Days are fun at The Farmhouse by EDL. Evenings are no different.
Read up on an alternative destination that offers a crash course on smart farm living, and a secluded haven to foster bonds.
“I’ll give you Jollibee GCs,” said one of my companions. She was upping the ante just so I would go and catch a chicken.
It was a bright morning in late January and we were having a tour of The Farmhouse by EDL. We were having a stopover at the free-range chicken coops. While most of my companions remained outside the wire-mesh fence, I stood amidst dappled-colored hens.
I narrowed my eyes, considering the challenge.
“Alright,” I said, grabbing a nearby hen’s tail feathers as soon as I did – swiftly and effortlessly if I may say so myself.
Cradling the tawny fowl in my arms, I beamed as my companions cheered. If it looked like I knew what I was doing, it’s because I did. My father raised (and still is raising) poultry for eggs and indulged (still is indulging) in cockfights from time to time. So, yes, I knew my way around chickens.
With gift certificates in the bag, the delight of the farm tour grew tenfold. From the coops, we hopped on a carabao-drawn carriage and proceeded to the barn. We got to milk the cows with our hands and see earthworms churning out fertilizers.
We also got to learn how to make salted eggs. Personally, I never liked salted eggs, and I’ve always wondered why anyone would go through such great lengths for something that tasted mediocre (but that’s just me). Turns out, making them was fairly easy. All you need is salt and dirt.
After the demo, we checked out the farm’s incubators. I found the lined-up eggs inside the machines somehow satisfying. The way eggs are tested for viability is also interesting, and surprisingly easy: you arrange them on a tray, and pass them by a light bulb. The specifics of the practice escape me, but apparently you can tell if an egg is addled or not by the way the light shines through the shell.
In addition to this, The Farmhouse also has a plot of land dedicated to growing vegetables like tomatoes and eggplants. They also raise pigs in addition to the chickens and the cows. The place is organic, using natural fertilizers and herbicides. The food served here is as fresh as it gets, and you’re also afforded peace and quiet.
The night before, however, instead of taking to our comfortable rooms to savor the relative seclusion of the place, we opted to make the most of this exclusivity.
The farm tour was great, don’t get me wrong. The food, of course, was superb. But we simply couldn’t overlook the expansive garden, the pool, and the open bar. Throw in the fact that one of our friends brought in a veritable DJ system, and that a Super Blue Blood Moon hung over the clear night sky, and, well, you really couldn’t blame us if we held a spontaneous lunar shindig.
The venue was perfect for it. In the middle of the yard was a zigzagging tree festooned by orbs of yellow light. A huddle of lawn chairs surrounded it. On one side was the pool, a mesmerizing pale blue. The bar glowed like a beacon next to it, while above, the massive moon cast its silver light. The rest of the area made room for an outdoor dance floor.
I threw my shoes off and walked barefooted in the grass, urging my other companions to close their laptops and embrace the lunar spectacle. Drinks were handed out, and soon, we were all dancing to “Always” by Erasure.
Some of my friends took a dip in the pool and at one point I came to check up on them. It was a big mistake, for after a few moments, I found myself being dragged into the water. It was three against one so I let myself be soaked, pants and all.
Drenched in water and in fun, the night turned deeper and somehow brighter. The music even more inviting. I was dripping wet but I kept dancing, showing off my perfect cartwheels – vestiges of my gymnastics training – as one does.
That night was one of my best memories.
I’m not saying you go to EDL Farm to have a party, but if you think this farm is meh with its rural offerings and provincial life, well, you’re wrong. What I’m saying is learn and experience as much as you can about organic farming during daytime, and if you still have the energy for it, stay the night and, you know, kick off your shoes and dance under the stars.
The Farmhouse by EDL is located at EDL Dr., Sitio Nueve, Barangay Dolores, Capas, Tarlac. For more information, contact Edgar Duenas at (0917) 709-6908 or (045) 206-3345.
By CELINE MURILLO
Additional photos by MARTIN SAN DIEGO