Farm-to-Table Feast: La Huerta in CamSur

La Huerta de Rosario is a rustic farm getaway where guests can enjoy a wonderful farm-to-table feast amid artistic surroundings. Visitors can experience harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables, taste it in the local cuisine served, and get inspired by the beauty of rural arts.

09. la huerta baao camarines sur farm to table kalabasa pili

Located in Barangay Sta. Teresita in Baao, La Huerta is relatively near Naga City (my hometown) in the province of Camarines Sur in the Bicol region. I first visited La Huerta back in 2011 and my family and I have been coming back over the years.

01. la huerta farm baao camarines sur sign

La Huerta’s name comes from the Spanish for “orchard”. Owned and managed by artist Bernadette de los Santos, more popularly known as Bidibidi, La Huerta was originally idle land which she converted into a demo farm for off-season tomatoes in 2004. Now, it’s an agri-tourism destination and artists’ hangout in the Bicol region.

03. la huerta baao camarines sur patchwork quilt

As a visual artist, Bidibidi uses her passion in arts and culture, her love for the environment, and her love for her hometown to revive local arts and transform this farming community into a destination spot for food, music, travel and crafts. I think her colorful floral paintings really reflect her cheerful personality. Check out this awesome profile feature and photo shoot about her titled “The Empress of Cool” in the progressive Bikol digital platform AGORA Magazine.

04. bidibidi la huerta baao camarines surThe farm itself and its grounds are beautifully landscaped, with a native nipa hut by the entrance and a paved walkway with leaf-shaped stepping stones leading into an airy hut where meals are served. The hut and furniture are made of wood and bamboo, with a sign of Baao from an old train station hanging in the restaurant area. Folk art touches like colorful patchwork tablecloths cover the dining tables while meals are served on pretty mismatched plates and cups.

02. la huerta farm baao camarines sur birdcage path

06. la huerta baao camarines sur vintage thermos collection

The four-hectare farm is the first and only vegetable farm in the Bicol Region to earn the GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) Certification issued by the Department of Agriculture, which she uses in the farm’s restaurant and supplies to the local market. La Huerta raises vegetables such as eggplant, ampalaya, string beans, okra, squash, along with the occasional crops of sweet corn, bell pepper, snap beans, spring onions, ginger, lettuce and petchay. The fresh lowland vegetables are harvested just before they are cooked and served.

05. la huerta baao camarines sur restaurant tables

The farm has several open air venues and function rooms for events and dining. La Huerta serves all-day breakfast (P175), lunch (P250) and all-day buffet meals (am snacks, pm snacks and lunch for P390 min. of 20 pax) for events like training seminars for farmers, student’s field trips and meetings. It’s also an ideal place for art workshops, artistic and literary gatherings, or just simple family getaways because of the refreshing surroundings.

10. la huerta baao camarines sur family pic

La Huerta can also customize the menu depending on the guest’s budget and what ingredients are in season. Breakfast usually consists of fresh farm eggs and homemade longganisa, oven fresh bread from the local bakery, seasonal fruits and beverages. Lunch is salad greens or pinakbet mix from the garden harvest, grilled local fish with tomato salsa, grilled poultry or pork with coco concoction, and lemon grass juice.

08. la huerta baao camarines sur kare-kare

I absolutely love the farm’s vegetarian kare-kare which makes use of freshly harvested vegetables, which goes really well with lechon kawali. Guests can also harvest and purchase veggies from the garden. At the moment, meals and visits are by reservation only, as the owner hires a cook only when visitors are expected.

la huerta baao camarines sur arts & crafts

My nephew during trips to La Huerta in 2011 and 2014

Other amenities and services (including tables, chairs, sound system, reservations to nearby hotels and spa services, etc.) can be arranged prior to your visit. A new addition to the farm is La Casita de Teresa, a back-to-basics bed & breakfast for guests who want to stay overnight. There are also farm and Art & Crafts activities for guests doing day trips.

07. la huerta baao camarines sur bed & breakfast casitaA few minutes drive from La Huerta in the Baao town center is Bidibidi’s residence, a bahay-na-bato which she has converted into another inspiring creative space. The ground floor of the house was renovated into Café des Artes, an art studio and gallery that displays paintings of Bicol artists.

11. cafe des artes baao camarines sur puppy

The cafe serves coffee, tea, cakes and pastries from a local bakeshop by appointment. Since 2010, Bicol artists have held group exhibits, book launchings, poetry readings, and musical events here.

12. cafe des artes baao camarines sur tea pastry

The cafe houses a collection of vintage books, art, and memorabilia, patchwork quilts, embroidered throw pillows, old bottles, teapots and bottles.

13. cafe des artes baao camarines sur paintings bottles

In Café des Artes, you can also see Bidibidi’s workshop for her F.A.R.M., (Fabulously and Absolutely Rural Made) Enterprises, a social enterprise that combines fashion with upcycling, while providing livelihood to local women and out-of-school youth in Baao.

14. cafe des artes baao camarines sur FARM embroidery craftsAccording to Bidibidi, FARM embodies the principles of “recycling, re-purposing, refining and re-finding things. It’s about glorifying the old and the vintage.” Her artistic products like bracelets, earrings, cocktail rings and layered necklaces are made from used or discarded buttons, trimmings and other found objects. Bidibidi also hopes to revive and upgrade the art of embroidery, which the town of Baao was once known for.

15. cafe des artes baao camarines sur buttonsFor art enthusiasts or those looking for new destinations in Camarines Sur beyond the usual tourist haunts, these destinations will leave you inspired. Have lunch at La Huerta or coffee and cake at Cafe des Artes and of course meet this gracious bubbly woman behind the artistic spaces. Best of all, by purchasing products and paintings from the FARM, you will be helping the local families and boost the local economy.

16. cafe des artes baao camarines sur bidibidiLa Huerta de Rosario is located in Sta. Teresita, Baao while Cafe des Artes is located in San Nicolas, both along the national highway in Baao, Camarines Sur, Philippines. Visits are by reservation. 

Additional photos courtesy of Bernadette de los Santos & Lorie Santos.

4 thoughts on “Farm-to-Table Feast: La Huerta in CamSur

  1. Pingback: Que Pasa: An Art Haven in Naga City | Travel Up

  2. i drove to baao on sept 12 to try to locate La Huerta. it was disappointing to find the place was no more. i was directed by townspeople i asked for direction along the highway that it was after near/or after Buluang baranggay. i drove to follow the road, but ended up riding on top of a concrete “pilapil” with no garden or orchard in site. VERY DISAPPOINTING indeed.

    • Hi Mary, I’m very sorry to hear that you were not able to find the place. We were in Baao to visit the farm and I took some of these photos just last August. I am also in contact with the owner so I know that the garden and orchard exists. Like I wrote in the blogpost, visits are BY RESERVATION ONLY to ensure that Ms. Bidi is there to accommodate you and can prepare food beforehand. Did you get in touch with her prior to your visit? Please do contact her on La Huerta’s FB Page or text her if you plan to visit again. Here’s a map to the place from the FB page. I’ve also relayed your comment to her and she says the place is in Sta. Teresita. If you’re coming from Naga, it is before Buluang.

  3. Pingback: Local Love at Farm-to-Table Cafe near Naga City

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