Start small, but dream big. This is the highlight of Eden Arquero’'s journey as a farmer. From what they thought is just a past time, Eden and her husband found a gem in tilling lands and planting vegetables. With their success, they became one of the most recognized farmers in Nueva Vizcaya. "It started when my husband retired from duty. We were living uphill and had a small backyard vegetable farm. But later we realized that there is a potential income from it so we decided to expand", shared Eden when asked how they started. Eden and her husband decided to convert the land that was once a rice field into a vegetable farm. And in that half hectare of land they own, they started working for their dreams. "Since the beginning, we really wanted to be successful. We sought help from people who are knowledgeable in this field." Eden knows that a good seed is important to have a good yield. "When we were in the uphill, we are already using Marimar F1, a tomato variety from East-West Seed. Many have endorsed us to other seed companies, but we stick with East-West because we have tried and tested them." The other varieties that Eden tried were tomato Diamante Max F1, watermelon Orange Delight F1 and eggplant Morena F1. “With Orange Delight, we became the most famous farm producing watermelons,” she added. They have established good relationships with their buyers. But if there is one thing unique to them, it is the "pick and pay" strategy for those interested to buy their produce. "It's a trend. People want to experience picking so we let them. And we sell whatever they pick in a relatively lower price." Since 2015 up to the present, the success of their vegetable farm is outstanding. From the small backyard farm, they are now tiling up to 5 hectares. Family members and other farmers in their town draw inspiration from their journey.
“Everytime the Department of Agriculture conducts a demo in our farm, we invite others to come. We want them to learn what we are learning. We want them to be successful like us.” Asked what's their secret, she excitedly said "STD - Sipag, Tiyaga at Diskarte". One must work hard and be wise to be able to succeed. Despite being recognized as the most outstanding lowland farmers in Nueva Vizcaya many times, Eden and her husband want to continuously inspire farmers not to stop dreaming and work for that dream. "I will never stop dreaming. What we have achieved is just the start of a much bigger plan," proudly exclaimed by Eden. They are geared to establish the first agri-tourism in their town. It might seem impossible, but for Eden it is always important to take that first step.