Holy Carabao Review


Did you that know you can have fresh, organic, biodynamic food delivered right to your doorstep? Holy Carabao, that's awesome!

I've been a semi-regular customer of Holy Carabao for almost half a year now. Holy Carabao is a lovely biodynamic farm based in Laguna, owned by Hindy Weber Tantoco and her family. The farm offers a comprehensive range of products, from grass-fed meat and dairy to organic seasonal vegetables to pure olive oil soap, and more. The farm itself is located inside the Fun Farm in Sta. Elena which I hope I get to visit soon-- it's apparently a giant playground with carabao rides, a petting zoo, jungle gym, rowboats, and more. By the way their Balik Bukid Country Fair is coming up soon, November 17! I wish I could go but I'll be at music camp at that time.

The first time I emailed Holy Carabao to inquire, I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I received a response-- it only took a couple of hours. I haven't been able to meet Hindy in person yet (hopefully I will, soon), but I've really enjoyed my correspondence with her. I've also read several of her interviews while researching about her farm, and I admire her graceful eloquence.  That's why I love buying direct from the farm-- I get to know the people who are growing and handling my food. I trust the food from Holy Carabao because this is what Hindy feeds her family too. In an interview by Panjee Tapales for Rappler, Hindy explained her reason for establishing the farm:

"In 2004, I had a second child who was diagnosed with a rare condition. That was the last straw. I studied and researched. It became crystal clear that we had to take control of what we eat and how we medicate ourselves. Once I got a glimpse of the truth, it was impossible to do nothing. So, there was about a 25-year build-up -- which may have taken even longer had Life not said, 'Enough.' ... Soon, we decided that if we were going to plant vegetables for ourselves, we might as well plant for friends and family."

I'm fascinated by the idea of living on a farm. I came across some gorgeous photographs of Hindy's family home at the farm on Curious Setting. So fresh and peaceful! I get that same vibe from the way she runs her business. Her passion and attention to detail isn't really surprising, considering that prior to this farm, she was best known as a successful designer. Now she pours that love into Holy Carabao. Here's what she said in another interview:

"How we treat the staff, how we package our produce and heck, even how we treat the earthworms will reflect on the quality of our harvest... Being in sync with the cosmos and working with nature are so crucial to the life force in all living beings. The farm doesn’t begin and end with its fences. It belongs to the land, which belongs to the country, which in turn belongs to the planet."

Holy Carabao is a homegrown family business, with product availability depending on the season. That's part of biodynamic farming-- following the natural rhythms of plants and animals. So their products aren't perfectly consistent, and, because it's a small team, sometimes there are slight delays in delivery. However, they more than make up for it with their excellent customer service, reasonable prices, and high-quality trustworthy products. I'm particularly fond of their Malagos artisanal buffalo mozzarella cheese-- melt-in-your-mouth creamy goodness!-- and our cook, Ate Shirley, has noted that their organic malunggay wilts much slower compared to the ordinary malunggay from our backyard.

They also supply raw milk from their happy, healthy, grass-fed carabao. If you've never heard of drinking raw milk-- check out this thoroughly researched history of milk, Is Soda Pop Or Milk Healthier, and the Weston A. Price Foundation's quick dairy guide. If your parents or grandparents ever lived on a farm, ask them about this too. I've tasted raw milk from a different farm and it was very rich and yummy, so different from industrial homogenized UHT milk. Sadly, I wasn't able to try Holy Carabao milk because their baby calf needed all of it at the time. But see, that's what I appreciate about their farm too, they respect their animals.

I'm happy and proud to be a Holy Carabao customer, and to support Filipino products. Ordering is super convenient-- their product details, price list, and delivery rates are on their website, and you can also subscribe to their Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates. You can subscribe to their weekly harvest list of available products, and you can also order via SMS. Minimum order of P650, and they accept cash on delivery.

Have you tried Holy Carabao yet? Let me know what you think!

UPDATE March 27, 2015: Three years later, and I'm still a happy regular customer. I've visited Holy Carabao farm and gotten to know Hindy, she's amazing! I get 80% of my weekly groceries from them-- poultry, herbs, vegetables, and their spectacular fresh pure guyabano juice.

Images from the Holy Carabao press kit.

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