myforestfarm is a holistic approach considering the labour standards, community aspects, societal complexity and the ecological impact of this reforestation project. The design and layout of the 17000 sqm land was conceived by Gabby Mondragon and is inspired by permaculture design principles. Upland farming requires special techniques to prevent soil erosion such as inter-cropping and planting along the contour lines of the mountain. The plantation is all organic, without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The maintenance requires no machines and causes no technical CO2 emissions.
The main threats for reforestation in our area are illegal logging, cogon grass fire and charcoal making. Due to the lack of jobs, charcoal is the only option for a livelihood for many families, though it is illegal. myforestfarm could serve as a model that addresses these concerns. The agroforestry concept is an organic forest farm, which combines reforestation with a fruit and vegetable plantation. Rodolfo Ferrer is hired as the full-time farmer and co-owner of the project. He is responsible for the daily maintenance work and protection of the trees from forest fires, illegal logging and pests.
We planted endangered indigenous forest tree species. The lower area of the hill is for the fruit trees, papaya and vegetables; the upper area for the forest trees. In July 2009 we planted more than 1000 forest trees. Already in July 2008 we planted approx. 500 fruit tree seedlings that we purchased at Pioneer Green Plant Nursery.
We planted approx. 100 papaya, 500 pineapple and 500 banana crops. The variety of vegetables includes ampalaya, mongo, ginger, pepper, malunggay, squash, ube, and many more. We are still experimenting on what grows best. The family of our farmer Rodolfo Ferrer uses the variety of crops to enrich their daily nutrition.