Behind The Clouds

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Created on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 Published Date


“Every cloud has a silver lining,” so the saying goes.

A metonymy to this adage is the story of Artemio ‘Temio’ Lomosbog, 72 years old, who had been farming for more than 50 years in Sagbayan, Bohol.

temioLife has been hard since he was born, he was deprived of what other boys his age had enjoyed. Born during the war time in 1942, his childhood was marred with pictures of the horrid past. Temio thought devoting his whole life in farming would stuck him forever in a necessitous status.

Even if life was not so comfortable,Temio, together with his wife, was able to send his children to school and they successfully finished college.

It was only lately, in 2012, when he thought of developing the idle land in sitio Canmayan. The family’s idle farm has been a rendezvous of the ‘guerillas” during the Japanese invasion in the Philippines. Known as ‘Behind the Clouds,’ it was where secret meetings took place during those times. Temio loved the name as he wants to connect with the past.

Inspired by a training on organic agriculture by the Municipal Agriculture’s Office (MAO) and the Bohol Island State University (BISU), Temio thought of developing the family’s unproductive land. He invited a technician to evaluate his area for organic farming. The positive assessment of the technicians motivated Temio to pursue his plans.

With the help of his daughter, an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Canada, who shared his vision of developing the land, he started to plant native papayas intercropped with pepper in a one- hectare area. Uniquely, this is the first and only ‘Third Party- Certified’ organic farm in the Province of Bohol.

Surrounded by mountains, the farm had enough buffer zone and cannot be contaminated with chemicals from other farms. Before the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, ‘Behind the Clouds,’ abounded with spring water, but the tremor shut down the natural founts. Yet, it did not discourage Temio from pursuing his dream and true enough, he found another water source.

The deadly earthquake in 2013 affected his crops, he thought it was all going to die, the leaves turned yellow, but what saved it, was his organic formulation. Upon the advise of the consultant from BISU, he mixed 20 liters of water with one liter of molasses and sprayed it to the plants. He also applied fish amino acid with molasses and surprisingly, his crops were revived. The experience reinforced his belief in organic farming.


His linkage with a non-government organization made him the first to devise and implement an indigenous processor for wood vinegar production. Wood vinegar is a Japanese technology in the 1950’s used as foliar spray to eliminate fungus, natural insecticide, enhancer for compost-making and as soil conditioner. Elements in the wood vinegar serve as co-enzymes or catalysts responsible in eliminating papaya pests and diseases.


Temio with his improvised wood vinegar processing chamber.

Adding value to his produce is in the pipeline of Temio’s list. He is now developing papaya wine which is medicinal rather than alcoholic. Made of organic papaya, the wine is a rich source of carotene and is better known to prevent cancer. He said he will be linking with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Science and Technology, to improve his basic formulation and packaging as he plans to market it internationally.

He is also developing the organic coco vinegar which is selling very well in the local market.

A burgeoning project in mind is to expand the 29-hectare farm, phase by phase, planting other crops such as ‘malunggay’, ‘bugnay’,and tangad, for a future processing venture.

In May this year, his daughter will be bringing with her a staff from the International Organic Accreditation body for an international organic certification of the farm.

 

behind the clouds

A showcase of organic technology, his farm has become a learning site for students and farmers.

Seeing the cloud’s silver lining brings so much joy to Temio’s heart – age doesn’t stop fulfilling his dream. 

 

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