Best Local Experience on Bohol
Jolit’s Garden is a family-owned and family-run, award-winning biodiversity conservation garden and farm. It is located in the countryside of Batuan, walking distance from Junjal’s Backpackers Chalet which you can read about here. Their garden has won several awards related to conversation, biodiversity and permaculture. If you’re looking for a truly unique local experience, look no further!
When coming from the town of Batuan or staying at Junjal’s Backpackers Chalet, Jolit’s Garden will be off the main road on the right, going away from town. There will be a sign to the right, where you will follow along a dirt road and will find the destination within ten minutes of walking, on your left.
We discovered this place thanks to our hosts from Junjal’s Backpackers Chalet. It was about a twenty minute walk from our accommodation and we spent an amazing afternoon discovering this local gem. Jolit’s Garden is open to the public every day during the week. When you walk over and finally arrive to the garden, there will be someone waiting to greet you or you’ll simply need to knock on the door.
My partner and I went to the garden in the early afternoon on a weekday. We were greeted by Jomer, one of the owner’s of Jolit’s Garden. He gave us a garden and farm tour, explaining how the garden worked, what their methods and objectives were. Jomer is very passionate about agriculture and that is reflected in his family’s garden. If his conservation and recycling efforts weren’t enough, he has found a way to use everything he has to extrapolate all of their benefits, with minimal to no waste. For example, he ferments honeycomb and then uses it as fertilizer for his cacao trees, which he later uses to make homemade chocolate! How fantastic is that?!
After you’ve visited the garden thoroughly, between examining the native bee species they’re colonizing or trying to wrap your head around the fact that there are hundreds of turtles in the garden’s ponds, you’ll finish the tour with a visit to their farm stand. Here they sell everything fresh and harvested directly from their garden, including honey from the native stingless bees! I couldn’t resist buying a little pot of honey - I think this is one of the best gifts for either yourself or someone else, buying local honey. This honey is particularly interesting because of the type of bees and also its medicinal properties. This honey is ten times more potent and powerful than that of Manuka honey, but the harvesting process is a lot more delicate and there is a lot less research commercializing these benefits and properties. The more you know!
At the end of the tour, consider purchasing something from the garden’s farm stand or making a donation in respect to their time and dedication for the tour and allowing public visitors. Something to note is that Jomer occasionally takes on apprentices or offers to lead local experiences and excursions. I would recommend staying at Junjal's Backpackers Chalet for a few days and then going to visit this garden from there. I would highly recommend this local experience, as it is truly unique! I'll be sharing more of this kind of stuff on this lifestyle blog.