I happen to be finding myself to be on a farm more and more nowadays. Not only have I been exploring farms and getting to know the farmers and owners outside of Metro Manila, but also appreciating the different types of farming and farming techniques that each one employs, working with the earth, the sun, and the moon to yield robust crops. Well this time I went back to Sta. Rosa for something a bit different… #FlowintheFarm!
Hosted by the beautiful, entrepreneurial ladies of Flow Retreats, the Waldorf mommies teamed up with the school’s Laguna branch and Holy Carabao to launch its first ever Flow event at The Farm Shed located in the Acacia Waldorf School in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. The Farm Shed was put together using bits and pieces of one of Holy Carabao’s co-founder’s old house, with mismatched wooden floorboards, big window panes turned into doors, and wooden planks from the house’s old facade whitewashed and used as par of the wall, juxtaposing the more industrial looking tin sheets that make up the rest of the space.
I got there pretty early in the morning and watched as merchants set up their stalls. There was an entrance fee of Php 300 as well as fees for various workshops, talks, and bootcamps that were happening throughout the day (Php 880 for 3 classes), with a little bit of everything for everybody – yoga classes, capoeira for kids, farm tours, and healthy eats for the crowd that gathered to celebrate the go-with-the-flow lifestyle.
I was really excited for Cafe 2.0‘s Bulletproof Coffee workshop that was scheduled for the morning, but I think I must’ve missed when I was out exploring the farm and feeding the farm animals (chubby bunnies!). Nevertheless, I dropped by later that afternoon for a cup (I still prefer my Earl Grey), and chatted with the staff about the whole butter-in-your-coffee craze. As it turns out, bulletproof coffee is more than just that, and is a staple for those on a ketogenic diet plan.
Imee Contreras, yogini and Waldorf mommy, held a Mindfulness Yoga class that morning as well, and I eavesdropped on her inspiring short talk on the yoga she teaches. Based on a mix of the ancient wisdom of traditional Hatha Yoga and modern Mindfulness based Stress Reduction (MBSR) practices, this ancient spiritual practice has modern applications that puts you on a whole new level of calm and that along with the actual yoga postures get you relaxed af. It may just be all that fresh air, but this was the chillest yoga class I have ever seen.
There were a lot of interesting booths inside and around The Farm Shed, and one that caught my eye was dōTERRA Essential Oils. I have never been a big fan of essential oils, the only use I’ve ever had for them were for my air purifier and oil burner, but a short chat with independent retailer Vicky made me want to give it a try. It was a little past noon when I paid her booth a visit and it was hot and sticky. A drop of both peppermint and wild orange on my neck was all it took to alleviate that uncomfortable feeling of ick. A glass of cold water with a few drops of lemon essential oil cooled me down, too. I was sold! I took home vials of peppermint and wild orange to add to my organic shampoo and body oil, and will probably order more as well as a bottle of clary sage once my stock runs out.
Whether you’re an athlete or just want an energy drink that isn’t laden with a shit ton of chemicals and sugar, Primal is a fantastic alternative to stock up on. The all-natural energy drink is just the pregame you need before working out, and the natural occurring thermogenic effect helps your body warm up to sweat out toxins while speeding up your metabolism in the process.
There were a couple of food stalls all set for ravenous mindful eaters that day at the farm, and I gravitated towards Edgy Veggy and their vegan Falafel plate, which was pretty good albeit not as filling as I’d hoped it would be. I came a little later to indulge my curiosity in a bag of camote chips with mushroom salt, but found them too hard for my liking and chucked it in the bin. I knew I should’ve gone for the brownies instead!
I took my falafel lunch under the trees, seated cross-legged on a haystack, next to a happy gurgling baby on my right, and a sweet rescued dog to my left. Once I scooched out of the way, baby and dog eventually found each other and the two friends played with each other as their parents watched on, the small child clinging tightly to the canine’s back, as they slowly made their way from one tree to the other and back.
I found a small container to fill up with drinking water for the tired pup after their little exercise and after drinking her fill she nodded off to sleep between haystacks, enjoying the breeze and the smell of the trees.
After lunch and a quick respite, I headed back inside The Farm Shed to listen in on a talk by Denise Celdran on Homeopathy 101, an alternative system of healing that has been around since the 1800s. Homeopaths believe in the Law of Similars, which states that “like cures like.” By this rule, a substance that would normally create symptoms in a healthy person can help treat a sick person with those same symptoms, when given in a very small dose.
Meanwhile, the Shibori Tie Dyeing workshop taught by Luisa Jimenez of World of Patterns was happening outside. I kind of wished I had signed up for this – it looked like oodles of fun! Luisa’s love for shibori’s harem pants started as something she had made on the side as a hobby, which bloomed into a profitable business.
While the adults were off having their fun, so were the kids! The farm had a short zip line where everyone was lining up for their turn while the farmers took a break from work and helped push some of the kids along.
The kids that weren’t on the zip line were either on a short farm tour with their parents – climbing trees and feeding the animals – or taking a bumpy carabao ride with Kisses, the farm’s sweet kalabaw. Kisses has been around for a while now, and when she isn’t on cart duty or helping the farmers, you can find her in the mud pit cooling off and having a laugh with her two other carabao companions.
The next talk inside The Farm Shed was a Pantry Makeover talk with two of my favorite mompreneurs – Hindy Weber and Melanie Go of Holy Carabao. Listening to the talk made me realize how even though I had made the conscious effort in the past year to make healthy choices for myself when it came to my diet, what I have in my pantry and use everyday can very well negate all the hard work I put in for a better quality of life. Small things like switching from aluminum and teflon pots, pans, and rice cookers to ones made out of stainless steel and ceramic options help your body from accumulating unnecessary deposits in the body that may have long-term effects. Eye-opening!
The super energetic kids form Acacia Waldorf School came out to sell cupcakes later that afternoon (they were baking al morning), and they were out of stock after only an hour of setting up. These kids could sell ice to an eskimo, they were so good at making people stop to buy one, that would turn into two, and then three cupcakes! I asked how they made the three dozen or so that they sold and it was a team effort – one was assigned to read the instructions, another was in charge of pouring ingredients, another was in charge of mixing, and so on. The cupcakes came frosted and customers could pick their choice of toppings – rainbow sprinkles, chocolate chips, or little hearts.
The #FlowintheFarm event ended with a short Kundalini Yoga sesh (also called singing yoga) lead by dvk Hawaii, which was also doubled as a farm blessing.
It was an exhausting yet exciting day at The Farm Shed and it was nice to see old friends again as well as make new ones. I had a blast with Flow Retreats’ first ever farm event, and I am giddily waiting for the next one!