Manong Nestor Acosta, Ilocano organic farming advocate

Old-style farming is considered to be modern again. The growing environmental concern in relation to unnatural farming practices such as genetic modification and the use of artificial chemicals has led many farmers worldwide to revert to quaint agricultural practices.

54-year old Nestor Acosta, a native of the town of Bacarra and a farmer for 34 years now, has gone back to the basics in regard to his farming methods. The year 2000 was a turning point in his life as a farmer. The words of a certain public servant — “Agpaili koma ti saba, ngem tattan isumetten itti agpaaway. Awan kadin itti daga itti away? (Bananas should be sent to the city, but now they are sent to the countryside. Are there no more lands in the countryside?)” — were like thunder to him. He took the public servant’s words as a challenge. He worked up a plan, leased additional pieces of land, and went back to natural farming techniques.

He uses only chicken manure  fertilizer in his 10-hectare veritable organic vegetable and fruit farm. Through integrated farming, he is able to yield more high quality, better tasting gourd, bittermelon, papaya and long green beans which he and his family sell at their vegetable stall in the Bacarra public market. To date, he has 230 cinta and red lady papaya trees. His younger guapple trees are nearing maturity.

Manong Nestor has earned several awards for his outstanding efforts in sustainable agriculture. Four years in a row, from 1990-1993, he was awarded an Outstanding Farmer in Region I. He is also a Gawad Saka awardee for converting a wasteland into a year-round green integrated farm. In 2008, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Foresty, and Natural Resources Research and Development – Department of Science and Technology (PCARRD-DOST) sent him to Korea for a study-visit. “I learned much from that visit. It was an exchange of organic farming ideas between the Philippines, which I represented, and Korea,” he said.

I asked him what are the usual problems he encounters and he said, “So far, none.” He humbly adds, “It is good business for the family.”

Young red lady papaya fruits

Quality sitaw or long green beans

Balayang banana tree. Balayang banana heart is excellent for Filipino kare-kare dish.

Gourd (also known as patola or kabatiti) and ampalaya leaves are Ilocano favorites

“The whole town of  Bacarra, as well as the entire nation, should adopt organic  farming practices for better health and longer life,” Manong Nestor said when I asked him what he wanted to tell his fellow Ilocano farmers.

Nestor Acosta, Brgy. 40 Buyon, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, Philippines  63-926-6157764
Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

4 thoughts on “Manong Nestor Acosta, Ilocano organic farming advocate

  1. nakaka apal ka gayyem! I love organic anything – veggies, meat, soap, makeup…. but tends to be too pricey. Talaga nga naim imas ti organic! By the way, I hope you don’t mind me sharing your blog to some of our batchmates such as Jackie Santos & Mercy….My hubby & I had a dinner with them last week to savor their mula nga tarong!

    • Of course, it’s for sharing. Ilocano veggies taste different in the States. Even pork is bland. Reny says – isu met lang adu itti sauce da. LOL

  2. I’m a Fan of you, hope to see you in Person to discuss about organics products and Hoping to learn to your long Year experiences… Mabuhay ka Manong

  3. gud am po,ang gaganda po ang inyong mga products,hope to see u in person. my dad po ay si Jerico Duran Acosta, anak ni Epifanio Acosta, dyay po sa Bacarra din ang birth place ni daddy.Nung 7 years old po ko tumira ako nang isang taon dyan with lola Tina and lola Ising, parehong matandang dalaga.nung wala na po cila bumalik na po ko sa Isabela. Godbless po sainyo lahat dyan……


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