Thursday, June 29, 2017

DA Caraga Promotes Urban Agriculture

Urban areas can be a productive source of food through urban gardening.

Thus, Gender and Development (GAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture Caraga conducted an urban agriculture and gardening training for DA employees on May 31, 2017.

Participants proudly pose with their output
DA-GAD focal person Isabelita Ocampo said that they intend to include all DA employees on the said training hence it is divided into four batches with the recent as first batch.

“Each of DA employees can be a role model for our respective community in promoting urban gardening; in the process we can help attaining food sufficiency,”  she said.

Participants were taught how to plant vegetables and herbs and spices in an environment friendly way with resource persons Norvien Mantilla and Geovani Jabagat of Research Division.

With limited space on urban areas, participants learned how to plant utilizing empty plastic containers, thereby it promotes recycling. 

Ocampo said that through urban gardening, families could ensure safe and healthy foods.

“No need for us to buy vegetables or species from the market since we have our own source and at the same time we can use our plants in beautifying our respective homes,” she said.

One of the participants, Rosalinda Galon, who planned to retire soon of Agribusiness and Marketing Division (AMAD) said that what she learned could be a possible avenue for her to attend to after her retirement.

“When I retire at least through gardening I still have source of income, enjoyment, physical fitness, and I can employ house aesthetic more,” Galon said.

DA Caraga Regional Director Abel James Monteagudo lauded the activity as he encouraged each and every employee of DA Caraga to be an advocate of urban agriculture. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Vegetable Garden by the Sea

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)