The VillageGreenShop, your sustainable food enterprise

Food you can trust!


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Sugarcane Industry in the Philippines: Not so sweet

sugarcane

Over the weekend we went to the western part of Batangas to capacitate sugarcane workers and equip them of new skills so they can plan for other sources of income and set up livelihood when the sugarcane industry finally succumb to its natural death following the lifting of the sugar tariff by 2015 which as a consequence will create increased demand for lower priced imported sugar.

Their abject poverty is an eye opener to us and we would like to mainstream this invisible social challenge much more visible.

photo 4Take for example, a typical worker in the sugarcane industry in Batangas earns between Ps 50.00 – Ps 150.00 a day which is outrageously less than the statutory minimum wage. Not only that, some landowners exploit sugarcane workers by an unfair wage system called pakyaw or bulk wage payment. For example, groups of farmers or families are paid a flat rate regardless of the number of workers to work in some hectares in a sugarcane plantation. This pakyaw system enables each worker to earn P 45 a day!

Aside from low wage, sugarcane farmers have to deal with forced seasonal holiday when there is no work for four to six months. During this period, farm workers engage in grass weeding, coconut harvesting, construction work and other related farming works. The women augment income by doing laundry and domestic work. Others who couldn’t find similar work live on cash advances deducted from their wages so that when work resumes they have to work doubly hard to pay for their advances and pay for daily needs so others take out loans from friends and payday lenders or 5-6 loan schemes. Hence, during lean season, household indebtedness skyrocket to pay for food, education and other needs.

A typical family has 4 to 12 children. Although majority of the children are in school but in some big families, the young adult children stop schooling and work in the farm. It is also not a surprise that the bulk of child labor is in the sugarcane industry because children as young as 5 years old are forced to help especially if a family is contracted to work for “pakyawan” (bulk wage payment).

participants 4

SELF Matters help ABK Leap Project increase the capability of sugar cane workers and their families, expand their opportunities to increase skills and develop other income sources, help them access suitable financial products so they can build sustainable livelihood and improve their quality of life.

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Why organic farming is important

Soil is enriched of natural nutritional fertilizer so it meet your needs.

Soil is enriched of natural nutritional fertilizer to meet your needs.

TheVillageGreenShop’s mission is to reduce toxicity in food, unsustainable consumption and food waste and we do this through organic farming method, and a business model that allow us to plan production based on demand, pick to order produce and buy together.

Worm bed that provides nutrient-rich fertiliser for plants and soil.

Worm bed that provides nutrient-rich fertiliser for plants and soil.

Heaps of carabao manure that fertilises the soil.

Heaps of carabao manure that fertilises the soil.

What is organic farming?

The produce at TheVillagegGreenShop uses natural farming method where crops are grown without any pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other chemicals. It uses animal manure and plant based pesticides like pepper spray and other herbs to keep insects at bay and maintain the health and productivity of the soil.

Different varieties of green leafy veg

Different varieties of green leafy veg

Why is organic farming important?

Evidence shows that the use of fungicides, pesticides and other chemicals are extremely dangerous to our health and the health of our planet as the use of these chemicals release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and penetrate the soil and water system.

Organic farming is sustainable agriculture because it restores or builds the soil’s eco system, respects the natural environment and ensure the livelihood for farm families.


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Ever wondered where your food comes from and how it was produced?

TheVillageGreenShop is more than just your neighbourhood food delivery of organic produce. We don’t sell food for survival but food that heals and nourishes and gives soul-satisfying flavour. Each product is painstakingly grown on living soil by men and women farmers, small holder family farmers in community supported farms.

Have you ever wondered where your food comes from and how it was produced? We care about these issues by giving you this information.

Our veg, fruits and herbs including salad greens (romaine, arugula, green ice and red sail) are grown organically by small holder family farmers and community farmers in San Jose Tarlac. While the pakbet veg and green leafy ones are tended by family and small holder farmers in Capas Tarlac. They are trained not just in organic farming but in sustainability of food and caring for the earth. 

We also ensure that our network of farmers share in the wealth by paying them a moral price for the produce they passionately grow and add more to it by helping build human capability resources that they need in order for them to grow those crisp lettuces, juicy plump tomatoes, and give us those veggie-deliciousness and diversity in our food choices.

We are a campaign platform against toxicity in food, food waste and unsustainable consumption. Please see what we tackle here

https://thevillagegreenshop.wordpress.com/about-thevillagegreenshop/what-we-tackle/

We are thrilled to share what people say about us

https://thevillagegreenshop.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/what-people-say-about-us/

All items that we carry are FREE of pesticides, fungicides, GMO/soybean feed, antibiotics and hormones.

To TRY FIRST or SUBSCRIBE is easy – just send us your order through 0927 675 199/villagegreenshop@btinternet.com indicating your address. We can also bring your items to your workplace.

Many thanks.


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What people say about us?

AppetiteforOrganicWe are humbled, grateful and encouraged that our small ways of making this world a better place for everyone has been appreciated by people far and wide.  We were commended by people as far as New York for our passion of bringing the freshness of a farmer’s market to the urban city.  Or a dentist in Los Angeles who told us that we may continue to grow… plus of course the local community we serve. We can’t help but share with you the generous cheers from supporters and clients alike.

Erika says

We love your stuff! I’m excited! We enjoy your food immensely! At last a convenient source of fresh clean organic food.  I should have met you long ago. Hope you don’t get tired doing it.  You’re such a blessing!

Kathleen says

If you feel that your meals are missing a nutritious zing, lacking some fresh greens, TheVillageGreenShop delivers farm-fresh, organic vegetables which can be had right (with)in our village…

basket of greens & veg v1 like thisRebecca shares

I’m happy I’ve found a shop that cares about people! Your produce is awesome! Excellent!

Carol emailed us

We shared your food with our friends. Everyone like it!  Expect orders from them soon!

Chanda sent us a SMS

I feel good eating your produce! Very addicting!

Jing says

Eating organic food makes you look younger. My skin massively improved! I had an amazing result from my last medical check-up as my doctor told me that my BMI and various tests seem to be for a person 8 years younger (vs chronological age).

Shiela called to say

We love the crisp, crunchy deliciousness of your veggies! They are excellent! My children love it!

Thank you so much to our community of subscribers who are avid organic & fellow low impact advocates, organic migrants, organic converts, even those who are hesitant and doubtful they all form part our community! Cheers!

If you would like to enquire about our campaign, ask about our products, or if you would like to send us a feedback, we would like to hear from you contact us at

0927 675 5199/villagegreenshop@btinternet.com


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TheVillageGreenShop is passionate about urban farming

Who might think that farming is not possible in a highly urbanised and congested city like Metro Manila let alone if you have little space or don’t have access to land for growing herbs and vegetables? But it is possible through hydroponic farming.

Hydroponic comes from a Greek word meaning water and sweat which simply means hardly any soil is needed to produce vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, cucumber. Most of all size and location of the property are immaterial because it can be designed into vertical farming or roof farming.

Recycled Styrofoam boxes

Recycled Styrofoam boxes

Sowing tray with 10 day old lettuce ready to be transplanted individually into cups. In the middle is irrigation

Sowing tray with 10 day old lettuce ready to be transplanted individually into cups. In the middle is irrigation

To be harvested in 3 weeks

To be harvested in 3 weeks

Take for example this urban allotment farm in Pasig City (lies east of Metro Manila), which uses hydroponic method for some of its lettuce, taps into the latent resources in that community – they transformed an abandoned property into an excellent regeneration project , involving youths not in education and employment by giving them a fresh start in life through urban farming. These kids learn new skills and appreciate resources around them and how to be productive – having a stake in the outcome of this community project gives them hope and confidence to take ownership of their own situation. So buying their produce enables them and their families to put their feet on the ladder of development, and our local community safer while you keep yourself and our planet healthy.

All their produce can be found at The VillageGreenShop, food social enterprise with strong social ethos, champions urban farming and eating local and seasonal and buying collaboratively, and campaigns against the use of pesticides, fungicides, hormones, GMO and antibiotic in food.

If you would like to know more about our community projects, get in touch with us at villagegreenshop@btinternet.com or call us at 0927 6755 199.