If necessity was the mother of invention, boredom was probably the mother of reinvention. My journey to organic farming did not take the traditional route, an example of someone drawing straight with crooked lines. I was always a farm boy and spent summers of my youth riding horses, driving tractors and swimming in rivers. At the start of 2007, i left a decent job in the nice little island of Boracay after living there for 3 years. A second home to me, I had gone there after ending a 14 year career as a travelling corporate executive – living in hotels, eating restaurant food and having a suitcase as my home. Now I was headed back home to Bacolod City after an 11 year absence. The mission was to become an organic farmer. 2007 turned out to be a horrible year for me.
It was a year of learning, a year of self examination. Hacienda Buro Buro is a lovely place and was the family farm. And this was where the organic farming was happening. So I found myself in a farm, where things moved really slow, no exciting people coming and going – not much happening. Or so it seemed to me. I was depressed. it seemed like this was a wrong turn somehow. Things slowed down, too slow most times. Spent a lot of days day dreaming. Or so i thought.This was probably when the process of reinvention began. It’s never usually much fun, it took me a full year to get the point i guess. I moved to live in the farm soon after that, and the learning process continued. The sharing of it as well. And now discovering the fun of doing it all.
A few years on, I’ve already made a number of farms in Palawan and Panay Island for clients as an organic farming consultant. Amanpulo in North Cuyo was my first project. A beautiful place and an interesting story for another day. At the moment, I’m helping build 3 other organic farms using the technology we use in our farm, I teach how farming can be done with waste material from rice straw to cow dung, creating a sustainable food supply source in remote places where land is available, supply is scarce and costly. Interestingly, most of my clients are in tropical islands where results were a challenge. Thus, the term island farming. I had unknowingly reinvented myself and created my own tailor-fitted job.
I sort of came up with the idea of island farming as a joke, putting it up as a status update on my Facebook page one day while I was in one of those islands. I love the beach and most of my work brings me to beautiful islands, I’m also a big believer in always mixing work with some play. Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do. It became a career to my great surprise. As the world is waking up to preserving our planet, natural farming is at the forefront of the wave. And I just happened to come in at the right time, going about the mission of learning organic farming. And sharing what I know. And doing my share for a greener planet too. I am still learning as I am going but it has been one great ride.
In June 0f 2011, I moved base once more to Boracay Island to work on another farm project in Aklan. I currently also serve as a management consultant to Mandala Spa & Villas and Argonauta Boracay. The mission remains the same, to help in the reduction of the worldwide carbon footprint – one farm at a time.
Next island farm please!
Paul, I have a podcast about wormcomposting and would love to have you as a guest. You can find out more about me and my podcast at: http://gotoworms.com