By: Julio P. Yap, Jr.
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ONE of the emerging and exciting tourist destinations to visit in Luzon is the Milea Bee Farm which is located along Kurba Road in Barangay Balagtasin, San Jose, Batangas.
From a simple bee farm which the husband-and-wife team of Rico and Edilee Omoyon established several years ago, the 2,000-square-meter Milea Bee Farm is now a government accredited farm tourism destination where one can find organically-grown vegetables, fruits, and even colourful and edible flowers.
Of course, they always have natural honey which their bees produce from the different flower varieties at the farm.
The farm visit offers a unique experience – a chance to be up close and personal with the bees, and a learning experience not only for the students, but as well as to farmers who want to learn more about growing different crops organically.
Milea Bee Farm, which has been accredited by the Department of Tourism, has already started to offer a “Pick-and-Pay” activity where one can harvest organically-grown vegetables right from its vegetable patches.
A typical farm tour at the Milea Bee Farm starts with a “Bee Talk” where a visitor will learn about the importance of bees to the environment as well as their significance to agriculture.
Then the guests will have a guided tour around the farm, and afterwards, they will be treated to freshly-prepared honey drinks using the different fruits, herbs, and vegetables that can be found at the farm.
The farmers and would-be farmers will have the opportunity to learn more about producing safe and healthy foods.
While the garden enthusiasts can learn more about companion planting, and concocting natural fertilizers and pesticides that will boost plant growth.
They decided to convert their bee farm into a farm tourism destination in response to the government’s call to promote environment-friendly, efficient and sustainable farm practices, provide alternative recreation facilities and farm tourism activities for families, students, and other clientele, and promote health and wellness through high-quality farm-produced food.
After all, farm tourism involves agricultural-based activities which can provide training for the visitors and farmers on natural farming, and a venue for outdoor recreation and accessible family outings.
Under Republic Act 10816 or the “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016,” farm tourism recognizes the importance of agriculture in making available food and other products necessary to sustain and enhance human life, and in providing livelihood to a major portion of the population.
Aside from the farm tour offered by Milea Bee Farm, tourism coupled with agriculture services, can disseminate the value of agriculture in the economic and cultural development of the country.
It can also serve as a stimulus for the development of agriculture communities, and provide additional income for the farmers, farmworkers, and the local residents living near or around the Milea Bee Farm.
A simple visit to their farm, one can learn about environment-friendly, efficient, and sustainable farm practices.
The visit can also be an alternative outdoor recreation for families, students, and other clientele, because health and wellness with high-quality farm-produced food are advocated. (firstname.lastname@example.org/PN)