By JULIO P. YAP, JR.

THE Open House 2016 was a big success after thousands of visitors coming from all walks of life flocked to the 23-hectare experimental farm of Allied Botanical Corporation (ABC) in Tayug, Pangasinan, to join the agro-tourism event.
Visitors coming from Luzon, as well as from the Visayas and Mindanao, joined the event to witness for themselves the latest varieties of vegetables and other high-value crops, including practical farming and gardening techniques

ORGANIC AND NATURAL FARMING SYSTEM

According to ABC President Michael Caballes, the Open House 2016 showcases the company’s entry into the Philippine Agro-Tourism sector.
With the theme “Live Life the Green Way,” the event also highlights ABC’s green products – its contribution to the country’s organic and natural farming system.
Delegations coming from the different local government units (LGUs) also attended the opening of the Open House 2016 in Barangay C. Lichauco, Tayug, Pangasinan on February 3.
Representatives from the LGU of Olongapo City, and Office of Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte likewise graced the opening of the event.

EXCITING EXHIBITS

Among the exhibits that attracted the visitors, which is composed of tourists, agriculture enthusiasts, farmers, hobbyists, and government officials, are the different varieties of vegetables, ornamental plants, and cut flowers which can be grown in the lowland.
These include the different hybrid varieties of lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, hot and sweet chilli peppers, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and corn, among many other varieties.
During the event which culminated on February 7, the ABC also launched its new range of organic vegetable seeds, its trademark “green wall” and green roof system for edible and urban landscaping, the Koppert Biological system and Nordox organic fungicide – a complete range of organic farm inputs.

FIESTA ATMOSPHERE

The Open House event, which is held annually, featured a collection of vegetable-themed “Fruit fiesta” atmosphere where it showcased the different varieties of watermelon and melon, the “Chilli explosion” – from the hottest chilli to the sweetest bell, the Pinakbest varieties in its “Bahay Kubo” collection, the “Heat Tolerant Chopsuey,” and the “Tribong Legumes,” plus a lot more.
Another interesting vegetable that caught the attention of many visitors is the Micro Cherry Tomato variety, the size of which is just like the fruit of the aratilis or saresa tree.
The fruit is very small but very nice to eat, especially if it will be mixed with bagoong and eaten with fried or grilled fish or meat – a very delicious appetizer.
Another vegetable that attracted the visitors during the Open House 2016 is the “poor man’s sweet pepper.”
The Clarabel is the new sweet pepper variety that is dubbed poor man’s sweet pepper because it is so adaptable to the local climate – both in the lowland and highland areas.
Clarabel is very prolific and is resistant to plant stresses like the changing climate and various diseases.
The variety is a high-yielder but the plant has to be taken care of adequately right from the start – like most of the other vegetables, and the soil should be well-drained.

QUALITY PRODUCTS

Majority of the vegetables that were planted at the experimental farm of ABC were grown from Condor quality seeds, which the company is the exclusive distributor.
The visitors were also provided with the opportunity to attend the brief, but meaningful, complimentary lectures and seminars about Seedling Preparation, Urban and Edible Landscape, Flower Production and Vertical Gardening, Koppert Biological Systems, Hydroponics, Greenhouse Production, and Modern Agriculture Techniques on Vegetable Production.
Another exhibit which became the favourite background of those taking their “selfie” or souvenir photos is the company’s “green wall” which is planted not only with vegetables but as well as flowering ornamental plants.
The Open House 2016 is part of Allied Botanical Corporation’s commitment to the Filipino farmers and consumers, as well as pursuing its objective of educating the youth and protecting the environment.
Caballes said the ABC aims to create a better world, and this could be simply expressed through the company’s motto – “Enhancing Agriculture to Improve Your Life!”

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