‘Farmacy’ dispenses natural cures
Hoping to, ultimately, convince Filipinos to eat healthier, the couple behind the popular Tagaytay spa Nurture Wellness Village recently opened an unusual farm, one that is also an “open classroom” that aims to educate guests on the importance of plants and how they affect different parts of the body.
Called Nurture Farmacy, the 4,000-sq-m property is a “wellness, cultural and farm destination,” which was set up as an extension of the spa village and a venue for wellness-related group activities.
Owners Dr. Mike and Cathy Turvill opened the farm last month also as a celebration of Nurture Wellness Village’s 15th anniversary.
Cathy, a certified Educator of the Living Foods Institute of Atlanta, Georgia, who took up several wellness courses in the United States, said only one message was being conveyed throughout her studies: “If you eat wrong, no doctor can cure you; if you eat right, no doctor is needed.”
By opening Nurture Farmacy, Cathy said she hoped more people would understand the connection between different functions of the body and how food—particularly, plants— can help in these functions.
One’s wellness journey at Nurture Farmacy starts with the unique farm setup.
Instead of having the plants plotted simply in rows, Nurture Farmacy’s plots are “shaped” like different organs—the brain, heart, intestines—to represent various body systems, such as as the nervous, cardiovascular and digestive systems. “Farmacists” walk guests through each area as they talk about the different plants and how they are connected to the health of each body system.
“It’s all about biology, anatomy,” said Cathy. “When we put this up, we said, let’s not just plant [fruits and vegetables]; let’s connect them [to our body].”
Nurture Farmacy started as the Turvills’ private kale farm. As the spa village began to grow and more people started coming in groups, the couple decided to make use of the farm for more group-related activities such as corporate team-building, camping and educational field trips.
The place, which has an events pavilion, is also open for weddings or family reunions, and has pools for both adults and kids.
Like the spa village, which has elements of Filipino cultural heritage such as traditional Ifugao huts, Nurture Farmacy also aims “to reconnect Filipinos to their roots,” said Cathy.
In an area called “Balik Tanaw,” guests are welcomed by Maria Clara, the farm’s carabao, before being ushered in a Balai Tinggian, a heritage house from Abra.
There, woven fabrics and embroidery by the Tinggian tribe are showcased.
Nurture Farmacy will soon also have another facility called the Nurture Wellness Institute, wherein short culinary courses on plant-based diets will be offered, completing one’s “journey to wellness.”
“When people come here, they don’t know much about our body’s systems and their relationship with plants. When they go out, [what we want is for them to] have an aha! moment; and more importantly, [to make] the decision to practice what they’ve learned,” said Cathy. “If we can move them along one or two steps, we’re happy.”
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