The first settlers and the early generations of Lusod relied on the abundance of the land for subsistence. Men hunt for wild animals such as deer, wild boar and birds that abound in the surrounding thick forests. Sweet potato, locally called ubi and commonly known as camote is the staple food. This crop is produced by kaingin (slash-and-burn/swidden) system of farming wherein a forest area of up to 500 square meters approximately is cleared each year by a farmer during dry season and planted with sweet potato cuttings during the start of rainy days usually in May or June. Families also raised cattle, pigs and chickens mainly for their rituals such as baki, kanyaw, timbal, adamag, padit and other traditional rituals and festivities. The number of animals, especially cattle and pigs, owned by a family or household determine their social and economic status.
Up to the early '70s, wild fruits such as dagway, balokok, bilih, uyok, namay, calawag, buyot, batnak, and and a few others more were available in their seasons at the kalahan (non-pine) forest for people to enjoy freely. There were also plenty of culturally edible animals such as frogs, eels, freshwater fish, crabs and hayyap available in the river (I say culturally because in some cultures these animals are not for food).
Lusod is endowed with rich loam soil and thick forests. Along its rivers and creeks are sandy but fertile soil which are favorable to farming. For generations, almost all households have relied on the Kaingin system. Some families, however, have later on acquired or made rice paddies along the lower Danggo river particularly at Sitios Ticam, Bactad, Bato, Mohngol, Calutit, Dagdag, Kilong and down to Lanah and Manaan and so they have rice on their plates sometimes each year.
When the barangay was not yet accessible to vehicles, crops and other produce were usually in small scale, only sufficient for family consumption and some shared free to neighbors or whoever asks for some. For some families, cash comes from trading cattle, native hogs and chickens. A few others bring in cash from native Arabica coffee (Benguet coffee) and garden peas (sweet peas) by selling them to traders who come to the village or by hiring transporters to manually haul the products to be sold in nearby towns.
The recent opening of a farm-to-market road has encouraged the people of Lusod to produce cash crops such as garden peas (sweet peas), coffee, ginger and native rice in bigger scales. These are being transported to Baguio, La Trinidad or Bambang trading posts. Other local produce are also sold within the village usually on Sundays and occasions such as weddings and other gatherings. Rice wine (tapey) is also sold locally or transported and sold to nearby villages and towns like Poblacion Tinoc, Kabayan Central, Tawangan and Ballay.
Lusod Agrarian Reform Multi-Purpose Cooperative was created in 1993 under the guidance of the Benguet Provincial Agrarian Reform through Community Developer Cristopher Carpio.
Gipah Herbal Tea
Gipah or gipas (Sarcandra glabra) is a shrub that naturally grows in the mossy forest of Mount Pulag and its surrounding forests. For many generations, the plant has been utilized by the indigenous people of the Cordillera Region as tea and an alternative medicine for various ailments.
Through the initiative of then US Peace Corps volunteer Sophia Deborah Kneiss, the commercial production of Gipah Herbal Tea began in year 2000. It is now one of the income generating projects of Lusod Agrarian Reform Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LARCMPC) with the assistance of some government organizations such as DAR, DA, DTI, LGU-KABAYAN, DOST and OPA-BENGUET.
Each box of Gipah Herbal Tea contains 10 tea bags and is sold at Php 60.00/box; wholesale (50 boxes or more) at Php 45.00/box. For orders and enquiries, please contact us.
more information to come soon...