Experience nature at its finest in these must-visit farms under the SciCAT program

Farms are probably one of the best places to be in when planning to take a time off from all the hustle and bustle of the city. But more than just relaxation, these farms in the Philippines definitely have something more to offer.

Learn a thing or two about agriculture at Mt. Kitanglad Agri Tourism Farm (MKATF) from the Magsasaka Siyentista, Mr. Benjamin Maputi Sr., who has spent years researching the best strategies for farming agriculture crops while fostering rain forestation. Located in Sitio Sinaburan, Brgy. Imbayao, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, the farm also offers fresh delicacies for those who want to enjoy a taste of nature. Indulge in their local specialties created especially for farm aficionados. Begin with their revitalizing brewed coffee, native chicken, roasted rabbit meat and homegrown veggies, which will pique anyone's taste buds.

You may also treat the farm as a mini-kingdom while walking around and taking photos of Mother Nature's picture-perfect scenes embellished with eco-friendly sophistication. Moreover, as you spend the cold night in camp quarters, tree dwellings, and hobbit-house-inspired accommodations, turn down the volume, gaze at the sky, and listen to the sounds of the woodland critters. If you are lucky and an early rise, you will see the monkey eating eagle and other birds hovering around the farm.

Next is The Seeds and Seedlings (S&S) Plaza of the Bureau of Plant Industry – Los Baños National Crop Research, Development and Production Support Center (BPI-LBNCRDPSC) that showcases the different generated and adopted technologies of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI). These technologies are promoted and disseminated through conduct of different agritourism activities. Plaza tours are among these activities, with visitors to the Plaza often consisting of students, teachers, farmers, farmer enthusiasts, and merchants, as well as NGOs and GOs. Visits to the Plaza are divided into two categories: planned tours and walk-in guests. These tours are available for a full day or a half day.

At the Plaza, there are also a series of training and lectures. Such courses are catered to farmers, cooperatives, and interested individuals. The Plaza's program focuses on farm tourism as well as the technologies on display.

The Plaza also has a Field Laboratory for students where they can learn about the technologies that have been adopted and developed at BPI. Undergraduate students who choose to pursue their studies in the Center may be assigned a space in the Plaza.

Another SciCAT farm that has the potential to develop into a full-fledged agricultural tourist destination is the Silan AgriFarm in Indang, Cavite. It is situated in Brgy. Indang, Cavite's Tambo Kulit where Dragon fruit, coconut, papaya, pineapple, lakatan, tomato, ampalaya, and eggplant are grown on a sixteen-hectare plantation.

Silan AgriFarm's major products are dragon fruit and coconut but they also grows other fruits and vegetables on the farm such as banana, papaya, pineapple, ampalaya, tomato, and eggplant. Silan AgriFarm shares a variety of technologies and innovations with the community and visitors, including papaya processing, stingless beekeeping (which helps pollinate the plants to increase the farm's production), production of lakatan, drip irrigation for dragon fruit, and production and care of native goat and pig.

Silan AgriFarm is one of the training locations of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), where visitors can learn about the technology and innovations used on the farm.

Feel at home while wandering around the Oikos Peace and Wellness Garden. A place that envisions itself to be a healing and rejuvenating abode, the Oikos garden promotes conservation, biodiversity, wellness, and spirituality.

Get excited about outdoor activities like trekking and kayaking, which allow visitors to enjoy nature at its best. Next, dine by the river with your loved ones while feasting on a delicious dinner. Then, after all of these activities, it's time for some peace with glamping and meditation sessions, two of the farm's most recommended activities to experience serenity like never before.

The Oikos garden is also proud of innovations like Organic Vegetable Production, where visitors may learn about organic farming and cultivating vegetables using biological processes to control soil fertility, pest population, and much more. Tourists can also get a taste of farm life by feeding the native chickens and pigs their locally prepared feeds. Following that, Oikos garden shows visitors how stingless bees become important pollinators of flowering plants, including agricultural crops, in order to preserve and promote biodiversity.