Monday, March 02, 2009

Agricultural Tourism? Why Not. - Wheatgrass and The Manila Seedling Bank

Being an agricultural country, the Philippines should be able to showcase its produce and attract tourist to flock to the country to avail of those. What do we have anyway?

Our local durian can compete in taste and quality with those of Thailand. Our Mangoes are among the sweetest in the world, if not the sweetest. We are among the leading producers of coconut oil. Our seafood is bountiful because we are an archipelago. Why can't we be like Thailand where your mouth waters when you consider a trip to that country. Just think of all those Lanzones, atis, and durian. But when you think deeper, we have those too and greatly at par with what they have. So what do we lack? Hospitality? We are among the most hospitable people in the world.

I guess it is partly because we don't market them well enough.

But you know, I admire the step that the Manila Seedling Bank took. They opened up a portion of the property and rented out some stalls. Some of these stalls offer fresh juices such as turmeric, sugar cane, and pandan. But, inside the compound is an herb and vegetable farm called the EDSA Garden House. There, customers can buy plants, eat fresh green salad, and order a shot of wheatgrass juice. All freshly picked.

If you are particularly interested in wheatgrass, ot only can you avail of the wheatgrass juice, you may buy things that you need to grow your own. They sell growing kits (for beginners) at about 350 php. Wheat berries/grains, soil, growing tray are available too. And if you do not have a grass juicer, you may get hold of one there. Nice huh?

Visitors can also choose to buy plants, both vegetative and decorative. Orchids in the likes of Waling-waling and the dendrobium are bountiful. Even trees for planting - and I mean big trees - are all up for sale.

When visiting the Manila Seedling Bank, it is best to have a vehicle with you. That's because the place is rather huge and will be difficult to walk to see the whole place. But, if you prefer to use the public transport, there is actually an abundance because the MSB is at the corner of Quezon Avenue and EDSA - pretty busy street.

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