|Actual photo of the garden by the sea|
Can you imagine a vegetable garden in the middle of the sea? Does it sound peculiar?
It may sound unusual from other places but not in Barobo, Surigao del Sur.
Ermilinda Cortez, a resident of Sitio Anunang, Brgy. Gamut in the said town raised a vegetable garden in the fish pen located few meters way from the seashore.
She said that while conducting monitoring on the milk fish (bangus) production project under the Anunang Gamut Fishermen Association (AGFA), a project funded by Department of Agriculture through the then Mindanao Rural Development Project it tickled in her mind to raise vegetables to maximize her time.
Ermilinda is a member of the monitoring team in the said association.
“Since I was a child, I really love gardening so every time I have a chance, I would do it,” she said.
She then started to bring soil every time she visited the project riding in the small banca and placed it in the plastic container and used sacks.
|Interview with Ermilinda Cortez of Sitio Anunang, Gamut, Barobo, SDS|
From the vegetables seeds she received from DA through Municipal Agriculture Office of Barobo she sowed it diligently.
She tendered various vegetables such as vine spinach (alugbati), kangkong, bottle gourd (upo), petchay, lemon grass (tanglad), string beans, tomato and more.
Watering the plants is the tedious part since it is located in the sea with no source of fresh water. To solve her dilemma, she innovated a way to capture the rainwater. She put a gutter in the roof of the small hut within the fish pen and drained it to a water container through a funnel and a hose.
With tender care, the vegetable garden of Ermilinda by the sea had grown vigorously.
Now, after her monitoring duty in the project, she would go home with a bagful of vegetables enough for her family and to be shared by her fellow association members.
“If I was able to raise vegetables in the sea, no reason that others who are residing in the mainland could not plant as well,” boasted Ermilinda. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)