Becoming a Mom inspired Hindy Weber to reignite her love for science and nature. Her family business, Holy Carabao Holistic Farms, started out as a humble backyard garden in 2007. Being a Mom of four, Hindy simply wanted to grow the best possible food for her family. Little did she know that Holy Carabao would then become Manila’s first door-to-door organic food delivery service, supplying fresh, ‘farm-to-family’ produce to homes, supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants.
Having a close relationship with nature, understanding the importance of honest food and the people who cultivate it, and being aware of why we need to protect the Earth is what Hindy passes on to her own children. She does this through example and living out the values she deeply believes in.
We asked Hindy a couple of questions to know more about her experiences as a Mom and as a farmer.
Holy Carabao started in 2007 because I wanted the best possible food for my family and this led me to growing our own food. It only became a business a couple of years later. This thrust from a mother’s perspective is still intrinsic to our brand and company to this day. We went on to be the first door-to-door organic food delivery in Manila. We also supplied supermarkets, hotels and restaurants. But a few years ago, we decided to focus on our online business and the education arm of our business. Today we hold farm classes, farm tours, nutrition & wellness workshops, farm to table cooking classes. We also host country festivals called Balik Bukid and have been doing this since 2012
Domesticity is a match made in creative heaven! Mariel San Agustin produces her line of home decor with local artisans and Gawad Kalinga communities. I get to design products that I have a need for in my own life but can’t find commercially like the wicker lunchbox, the cutlery caddy, and now a garden collection. The gardening tools I find in the market are not fun and inspiring for me. I wanted to create tops that looked great and worked functionally, too. Mariel and I work seamlessly and so quickly together, too.
I’ve always been connected to nature. When I’d feel sad, angry or tired, I turned to nature for sense, reason, and inspiration. In fact, I wanted to be a zoologist as a child. But I was also very artistic, so I ended up in a creative field. When I had children though, it reawakened my love for science and nature. When you have this close relationship to nature, you become acutely aware of how it nurtures and heals you, and how it also needs your participation in order to protect and care for it.
Our Holy Carabao farm started behind our old farmhouse and then it grew as a business beyond our wildest dreams. Eventually, we moved out of the farmhouse and had to relocate the farm as well. We are now in a suburban village, and got locked down here for the last 7 months. Holy Carabao was also very affected by Taal. So we needed to continue our food supply and this is when we started planting around our property again. I taught some moms in our village, too. I also proposed to the village admin to allow us to plant on empty lots. There’s nothing worse for me than seeing a manicured lawn or empty lot when we could grow food in it!
Only one of my kids looks like he’s interested in it, the youngest one. The others are just so accustomed to seeing it growing up that I think they just take it for granted or just think it’s normal like seeing the kitchen at home. Not everyone likes to cook or bake, either. I’m confident though that one day, they will somehow find their way back to farming because it’s a part of our foundation.
I don’t expect any one particular thing from them. I just hope my children grow up to be responsible, compassionate and generous adults. I hope they travel the world and explore different cultures, meet different people, and spread love, decency, compassion wherever they go. Decency is so underrated. And a trait that seems to be close to extinct. This might sound strange but I also teach my kids how to fight. Fighting and conflict is almost unavoidable. So I want to teach them how to handle these situations with courage, reason, fairness, decency and accountability.
I don’t teach the kids about sustainability. They just see it as our practices at home. They see how I value food, how I value the soil, the Earth. We stare a lot at the night sky, we marvel at sunsets, and little bugs and leaves. It’s also very intrinsic in their education as they attend a Waldorf school.
We teach our kids and also all the kids who do farm tours at our farm that our whole lives depend on the Soil and on caring for the Earth. It all starts there. Most kids have very big hearts and when they realize how commercial food is grown, harvested/slaughtered, manufactured, and how affected the fisherfolk and farmers are, they want to eat differently. We also teach them that it’s not just a gardener’s job or farmer’s job to do this work. We can all be earth warriors no matter who you are, where you live or what you do.