This Facebook page is making the holidays merrier for Aeta farmers in Pampanga
If there is one food craze we still can’t get enough of throughout our pandemic time, it is the purple yam or ube. A produce locally grown in the Philippines, ube and its many forms have been part of Filipinos’ fiesta banquets, and to this day, has been the source of inspiration for many culinary creations, whether they are savory or sweet. This purple crop has been a key to food business success to many at-home entrepreneurs, well, except for a group of farmers who are pouring everything they have yet they get less for their vibrant products.
Apart from growing ginger, papaya, and bananas, one of the main produce of Aeta farmers in Porac, Pampanga is ube. Planting them organically in the mountains, these farmers know how hard it is to produce the purple yam, however, they are pushed to sell their harvests at lower prices despite their quality. To help them get the compensation they deserve for their deep purple fruits, Chef Christopher Gomez of the food brand Chef’s Creations established a Facebook page, “Cabalen Aeta Farmers and Partners,” that will help these farmers sell their products at the right amount.
According to the Facebook page, “it is not a joke to plant purple yam,” and with all the craze it is doing in our local food landscape, it is just right to “not ignore the hardships of the Aeta farmers in planting” it.
“It is expected to bear fruit for a year, wait another month before picking the fruit, after picking the fruit, the planting will be prepared for two days and then the fruit will be planted,” the page says. “After planting the fruit, it is watered until it sprouts and begins to form leaves. [They] continue watering for up to five months and wait another five months. [It] takes 10 months to one year before [they] can harvest the purple yam.”
“Cabalen Aeta Farmers and Partners” page sells ube at P75 per kilo, while orders of 50 kilos and up are priced at P65 per kilo. Delivery of the produce is free for 50 kilos and above orders within Pampanga. While delivery fees are applied for orders bound for Bulacan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, which starts at P200, depending on the location.
If you aren’t keen on cooking your own ube, you can still support the Aeta farmers by purchasing products made with their ube by their partners. Currently, Chef’s Creation in Pampanga whips up delectable ube goodies such as pandesal, halaya, and ensaymada. While food brand Aurelia Manuel in Marikina City their bottled ube creation for only P290 for 12oz jar.
Visit “Cabalen Aeta Farmers and Partners” on Facebook to know more about how you can help Aeta farmers and how to purchase their produce.