This is a photograph of an ampalaya (bitter melon or bitter gourd) vine grown organically by my newly found cousin, Pito Garcia. We’re second cousins actually and we connected through a website on geneology my maternal relatives have just discovered. It’s the coolest thing to find relatives online and meet them for the first time in person. If not for the internet, our paths may not have crossed for a long time.
His farm is located in a beautiful spot surrounded by gentle hills in the Zambales town of San Antonio. It was a stormy day when Spouse and I went to visit. You can probably tell by the dark clouds over the hills that more rains were on the way. The rain and winds came in bursts, strong and surrprising…an amazing display of nature’s power and beauty. I’m getting all poetic because it was a truly awesome experience.
Pito is currently experimenting with organic farming. He’s been growing vegetables commercially for about three years now. Going organic is the next logical step. When you’ve lived the life of a farmer, enjoying the clean air, healthy lifestyle, and beautiful, beautiful surroundings that no man can build, going organic is the only way to go.
Watch out in the coming months, the unofficial cook might just turn into the unofficial farmer!