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Veggie gardens in subdivisions

June 3, 2010

Agri Plain Talk


May 28, 2010, 3:01pm

A model vegetable garden in a subdivision in San Fernando City in Pampanga could provide inspiration to other subdivisions in other parts of the country.

This is the half-hectare plantation of vegetables and other high-value crops in an open space in St. Jude Subdivision. There, the latest hybrid crops from East-West Seed Company are being grown using improved planting technologies.

The showcase is a project of San Fernando Mayor Oscar Rodriguez in cooperation with the leaders of the subdivision and East-West Seed Company. The dream of the mayor, according to Myrna Manabat, the city agriculturist, is for the 127 residential subdivisions in the city to have their own vegetable gardens. This will be for the benefit of the residents as they would have access to fresh produce.

They themselves could learn to grow their own vegetables in their backyards because training for whoever wants to learn how to grow vegetables the modern way is part of the mayor’s program.

The vegetable garden at St. Jude is surrounded by the jogging lane so it is very visible to the residents. It is also just a stone’s throw from the church.

To start the project, the city government took care of preparing the land for planting. It also took care of buying the seedlings for planting. Then it hired four full time workers to take care of the plants. Mrs. Manabat said that the first planting was done on September 28, right after typhoon Ondoy.

Among the first crops to be planted were Diamante Max tomato, Gwapito eggplant, Galactica ampalaya, Tambuli upo, Pipinito cucumber, and string beans. In the second cropping, other varieties were also included.

The first cropping was very encouraging.

The tomatoes grown in eight plots produced almost two tons in three months from planting, producing an income of P41,842.50. The eggplant which was planted also in 8 plots measuring one meter by 55 meters also produced P20,800 worth of fruits. The ampalaya, upo, cucumber and string beans were also money makers.

Mrs. Manabat relates that many of the joggers in the early morning would usually go home with freshly harvested tomatoes, eggplant or some other vegetables they bought from the garden. Oh yes, the harvests are sold at reasonable prices.

Because of the success of the project, the mayor is set to continue the program in the more than 100 subdivisions in San Fernando. One new project initiated by Mrs. Manabat is the planting of sweet sorghum in a new subdivision. The grains will be used for making native delicacies by members of the Rural Improvement Club while the juice will be used in the nutrition program for elementary school children.

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