When I first heard about the Archival Eco House, I was ecstatic. I mean, I am a huge fan of gardening and I was told that the eco house was the go-to place for the few Cebuanos who want to excel in this tricky little hobby. Now, you must all understand that while I do like garden and I try to maintain a healthy little garden in the backyard, my ‘skills’ just don’t seem to be enough to keep plants alive. They call people with this special skill a green thumb. Apparently, my thumb is brown. Several shades darker, as a matter of fact.
So imagine my excitement when I learned that at this eco house, you can learn how to grow plans even without using soil.
The search for the Archival Eco House is not easy. However, it isn’t too hard either. As long as you’re in the vicinity (Talamban) you can be sure that people will point you in the right direction. The Archivals are huge in this part of the city.
Upon reaching the gate, a young guy open the gates and let us in. Normally, you’d have to pay a minimal fee. However, if I’m not mistaken, we arrived just a few minutes ahead of a tour group from a certain mountain barangay.
The compound is expansive – which explains why a lot of things can be done in the area. At the heart of the property is the family home which is already considered a tourist spot. Although I wasn’t able to get in, I learned that the house is littered with amazing works of arts and pieces created using recycled materials.
One of the key elements of the property are the solar panels located in various parts of the compound. These panels ‘feed’ not only the whole compound but the neighboring houses, as well.
I don’t know how things are done, but this is the set-up just below the panels. This is how energy is processed and turned into electricity.
And check out this climbing tower which doubles as a solar panel tower with a solar-powered rest room at the bottom!
Now, as a gardening enthusiast, one of the first things that I noticed were the plants. Check out this amazing plant wall. The plants are planted in recycled soda cups! How neat!
And check out this set-up! A 2-liter soda bottle is cut in half and the top half turns into a planter. The lower half serves as the water reservoir and the plant doesn’t have to be watered daily.
This upper half of a gallon also looks great as a planter.
Now, one of my most favorite parts was the aquaponics garden.
You can literally grow your own food using this nice little set-up! It’d really want to be able to replicate this whole set-up one day!
And look! Plants do not grow on soil but on tiny rocks!
So here’s the set-up: On top, the plants are constantly watered using an automatic pumping system. The water from the planters then flows down towards the fish tanks. The fish enjoy the mineral-rich water from the planters. In turn, the water, which is kept clean by the fish, flows back up towards the planter.
I thought that this was the only thing I’d see at the eco-house. I was wrong!
One of the most visited parts of the property is the ‘mini zoo.’ The zoo features several animals – both wild and domesticated.
Take a look at this nice set-up! When the plants inserted on the side the huge barrel are watered, the water flows towards the garbage bin. The biodegradable materials inside the bin rot and eventually become fertilizer.
Another interesting section was this ‘junk’ yard. The eco-house collects (or buys) old wooden materials from various parts of the city.
These recycled materials are then turned into kitchen racks, pot holders, and a whole lot more!
This nice little wooden play house was also made using recyclable materials! Doesn’t it look amazing?
Now, here’s something you shouldn’t miss: The eco-house collects garbage from various parts of the city. The biodegradable materials are placed in worm beds and left to break down with the help of worms.
After a certain amount of time, the materials produced by these worms (called compost) are collected and used as fertilizer!
The non-biodegradable materials are also collected and shredded into small pieces.
Shredded plastic materials are feed into these machines.
Pressed tightly together, these materials then become strong bricks!
One of the most well-visited sections was the Goatery.
At the goatery, the goats are fed materials collected from local grocery stores!
The waste materials of the goats then roll towards a small hole on the ground when they mix with human and other animal waste. When mixed together, the materials then produce a bio-gas which can actually be used to cook food!
Check out this video to see how things really work at the eco-house!
If you’re also into recycling, gardening, natural energy, and composting you definitely have to visit the eco-house! You’ll go home with tons of new ideas and inspiration to start making great things out of old ones!
Visit the Archival Eco House at Sitio Ylaya, Barangay Talamban, Cebu City. To schedule a tour/visit, contact Tel No.s: +(6332)-2338760, +(6332)-2532184. You can also visit their Website or Facebook page.