We first chanced upon this place a few months ago when we were viewing some empty lots for sale at Santa Monica. It was behind a 1,000 square meter lot along the main road. As the sun already set, and the sky was getting dark, the place was closed. I saw a small sign that herbs were for sale. I made a mental note to myself to make this one of the places that we should visit soon.
The perfect opportunity came a few days ago when Mama and her sister, Tita Baby, visited us here in Palawan. The Aloha House was right on Mitra Road on the way back from Baker's Hill, where we had lunch.
We knocked on the gate and we were let in by a nice Cebuano speaking lady.
She led us right to the Farm Store.
There were bottles of molasses, virgin coconut oil, coconut-pineapple jam and pesto. They even had brown, red and black organic rice.
There were also some crocheted goblet covers and necklaces made by the women.
Mama and Tita Baby shopped for a bit.
A small roundabout was in the center, surrounded by a see-saw and and some bouncing wooden animals, all set on a little pool of smooth white stones. Elise and Nacho noisily played and the lady had to ask them to tone it down, as the little orphan babies were napping.
We took a peek inside, and there were several cribs side by side where the children, some barely a year old, were stretching and yawning and napping. Aloha House is also an orphanage licensed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Across the store was a cozy open living room where a friendly dog was sitting.
Behind the sofa were little cars made from small plastic water drums with wheels fastened to them. They were linked together to form some sort of pull-train. VERY CLEVER!!!
Another clever thing was a dog house with a small tunnel.
All these were overlooking a rolling garden of lettuce,
and gotocula! I got very excited when I saw gotocula, as Mama keeps a pot of these in her porch at home and eats about three leaves a day. It helps her arthritis. She gives them away to people whom she knows might need them for arthritis. It is also known to sharpen memory. Last year, when she found out I had joint pains in my hands, she gave me some, and since we have not tended to our garden in Manila, I found them all over the bermuda grass in our garden. Here, a few days ago when they visited Lawiswis Organics in Irawan, she she asked for some. So I have a pot of it sitting on some water in our balcony, waiting for me to plant them in a nice pot with some topsoil. I now eat two to three leaves a day and my joint pains are gone!
I wandered to the back and found another rolling field full of vegetables and herbs and found out that they also sell fresh lettuce.
There were some training materials since Aloha House is also a center for training for sustainable agriculture. Some folks over from the Department of Agriculture even trained here.
They also sell cheese: cheddar, mozzarella and feta. Yum. They are building a creamery at the back and it is almost complete. No wonder we saw some goats grazing on the grassy lot across the house.
By this time, all I could think of was FRESH green salad with sweet red tomatoes tossed in some coco vinaigrette, sprinkled with feta cheese. But we'll have to go back for that creamery. When it's completed, we'll take another field trip.