Half a day at the Enchanted Farm

Two weeks or so ago, the OnMedia crew visited the GK Center for Social Innovation’s Enchanted Farm for a shoot. I’d known about the farm for a while already cause I’d attended some GK CSI Nights at Ateneo before, but I’d never been there and I was always curious about it. The video called for some coverage of social work and since social entrepreneurship was something I haven’t seen that prominently featured in videos yet, the Enchanted Farm it was. Great thing they’re so accommodating 🙂

It’s somewhere in the area of Bocaue, Bulacan, an hour or so away from Manila by car. When we got there… well, I don’t really wanna betray how inarticulate I am in my own head, but my first thought was, “Cool.”

You enter a gate that’s the shape of a house into this place that looks like a ranch, and it’s green everywhere. 🙂

We stayed in the Zone A area mostly. The community organizer, Shanon, gave us a tour after lunch 🙂

Each family gets 10 square meters of land to cultivate, and that’s their food for a month. If you’re good at it, you get 50 square meters, giving you food and a possible source of income.

Blue Bamboo, like all the other businesses there, is owned both by the social entrepreneur and the community. The entrepreneur has the idea, the community has the resources and the manpower, they both work on building their systems.

Their bamboo bike. I WANT ONE FOR MY BIRTHDAY.

This is what I love about the concept of social entrepreneurship – it’s business tied with the welfare of a community. It’s using resources as creatively as possible and the it’s the exploration of business in a local setting. It’s spreading the inherent advantage of your intelligence and your skills around so that people far from centers of commerce don’t get left behind in terms of development in their field. It’s inclusion in the production process and making it collaborative. It’s bridging the gap 🙂

The families don’t earn much by our standards of needs and wants here in Manila, but in the place where they’re at, with all the help given to them, the actual worth of their income is high. That’s amazing. Makes you think of how expensive our lifestyles are and how it really doesn’t have to be.

I’m so excited for this place to be completed. And it’s just a showcase farm, GK CSI is building more sites around the Philippines, each one larger than the Enchanted Farm, each one nurturing several communities. They always welcome visitors and volunteers 🙂 If you’re interested, just go to their Facebook page. Company team building parties are also more than welcome there.

OR! Attend the GK-CSI nights! It’s free! And sometimes there’s dinner 🙂 Every Wednesday they’re in the Enchanted Farm Cafe, around 630. There’s a different topic every week and it alternates – on the week with no talks, it’s workshops with the actual social entrepreneurs 🙂 It’s also the best time to pitch your social enterprise if ever you have one.

CSI’s there to help you out. 🙂

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