While 2020 will always be the year characterized by COVID-19, it has also been the year where despite adversities, great acts of kindness and charity were borne, together with new opportunities and innovations.
Take for example Cristina Callejo, founder of the Saturday Farmers Market coming to Nuvali on November 8, 2020. She took her love and passion for hiking and travel as an opportunity to helped farmers and their families thrive in the pandemic.
Planting the seeds of a budding farmers market
It all began when Cristina’s friend asked her to help out a farmer friend to sell her excess mangoes from his farm within her village. They were so successful at selling mangoes within their neighborhood that by late May, other farm groups have joined the fold. By then, Tina had four farm groups from Benguet, Zambales, Pangasinan and Cavite, as well as a cooperative from Tarlac. Another friend brought in the farmers from Baguio and Davao that she had also been helping. Thru the assistance and support of her village board members, Tina was able to start the Saturday Farmers Market.
“A Farmers Market is about people who love food, growers, and eaters alike,” Cristina said. “We get the freshest produce under an environmentally friendly and enjoyable shopping experience. You can make directly meet and ask the farmers for advice on what are the best fruits and veggies in season.” The market also spreads awareness of agricultural issues and creates a sense of community sorely needed in these trying times.
Cristina shared stories of perseverance from the farmers, how they helped each other and came up with other ways to earn money. One farmer who unfortunately lost a herd of goat opted instead to sell goat hide. Another farmer, who knew how to weld, supplied metal products for the magtataho, maglalako, and magtatahi. One farmer took lead in purchasing different seeds to plant in their own farms and supply neighboring farms so there wouldn’t be any competition. THEM, the Tarlac Cooperative focuses on smoked bangus and chicharong camiling along with selling ornamental plants, pots, and macrame products all made by women farmers and people with disabilities.
The Farmer’s Market in Nuvali
Residents of Nuvali can enjoy a variety of farmers produce at the Nuvali Farmers Market every Sunday, beginning November 8, 2020, 8 am till 11 am. With their eco bags, residents and visitors can purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood as well as hand crafted products by local businesses.