The Eco-Learning Farm (ELF) was established in 2010. It is a half a hectare sized horticulture garden, demonstrating the organic way of farming vegetables, herbs, ornamentals, small and big fruit-bearing trees as well as forest trees.
A diverse, organic farm that provides continuous educational opportunities for youth and other community members on innovative techniques for farming, livelihood and environmental protection. Some of these include biointensive gardening and aquaculture.
To sustain eco-friendly demonstrations of appropriate technologies in organic food production, livelihood skills training, and recycling of available resources through garden-based activities, tours and youth development projects. The ELF also serves to provide a year-round supply of fresh, organic produce for meals at Rehoboth Children’s Home, Inc.
In March 2013, we started constructing the ELC entirely out of bottle blocks. A bottle block is a one liter plastic bottle filled with non-biodegradable trash compacted until it is as hard like a brick or a hollow block, as they are called in the Philippines. Our ELC has been a model for our waste segregation advocacy. In RCHI’s community, trash service is not available and the common means of disposing waste is by burning.
Over 5,000 collected bottle blocks were used to build a 5-meter by 7-meter model Eco-Learning Center on the site of RCHI’s Eco-Learning Farm. The ELC was inaugurated in July 2013 and since then, many students, teachers, community members, government and non-government leaders and employees have come to visit the center and the farm. The ELC has been used for day-care classes, birthday celebrations, life skill sessions, trainings, staff meetings, and picnic area.
In 2015, we were able to extend our ELC and add on a 5-meter by 4-meter kitchen area, also built entirely from bottle blocks. The kitchen includes a sink with running water and counter space.
The Eco-Learning Farm has been used to conduct several trainings for Rehoboth staff, residents, and the local community, including the local beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Trainings conducted so far include: organic farming, solid waste management, bio-intensive gardening, fish pond construction and aquaculture, and mushroom cultivation.