Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Davao City Goes Green, Supports Organic Farming

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – With markets currently flooded with processed food, it's important to serve fresh and organic vegetables and herbs to Filipino families, a farmer from Davao suggested.
JP Into is a farmer who manages an organic vegetable and herb shop.
Nagakaon lagi ta og gulay pero puno man pud og chemicals nga dili maayo sa lawas,” Into said. (Many do eat vegetables, but most of them full of chemicals harmful to the body.)
Instead of synthetic fertilizers, Into uses a natural concoction made from indigenous organic materials. It can be purchased in many agricultural shops at very reasonable prices.
His shop is part of the "77th Araw ng Dabaw Agri-Trade Fair."
It displays more than 37 kinds of organic herbs and vegetables, including thyme, cilantro, marjoram, Chinese celery, laksa leaf, saw toothed coriander, oregano, cherry tomato, lemon balm, Thai basil, pineapple mint, garlic chives, lime basil, lemon spearmint, spearmint, peppermint, arugula, dill, cinnamon basil, stevia, choco mint, Italian oregano, tarragon, lemon basil, sweet basil, pandan, citronella, geranium, cinnamon tree, curry leaf, black pepper, rosemary, lettuce, kale, kaffir lime, habanero, and jalapeño.
The potted vegetables and herbs are ready for either harvest or consumption.
Not expensive
Unlike the misconception that organic products are expensive, organic vegetables and herbs only cost around P50-150/pot.
“The difference of these vegetables and herbs from those being sold inside grocery stores and supermarkets is that these are live plants. You take care of them and your benefit will be unlimited,” Into explained.
“If you harvest or consume, you do not chop the entire plant or uproot it. You can just cut some leaves and the plant will continue to grow. Like the lettuce, you can just cut several leaves, wash it and eat it. It would continue to produce more leaves until it will grow old. And like the other plants, you can get seedlings from the original plant that you have bought. It is an endless green cycle,” he added.
These plants can be placed anywhere – backyards, counters, fences, the garage, anywhere and everywhere.
Aside from its produce, the plants also add to the design and beauty of homes.
Into advised that for the plant to be healthier and more productive, it should be directly exposed to the sun.
“Some people who experimented in creating their own vegetable and herb garden failed because their plants were deprived of sunlight. Your plants will rot if they do not get enough sunlight. So bring them outside. Water them regularly but not too much,” he advised.
He said that planting your own vegetables and herbs benefits not only the body, but also the family budget. “Now you will not need to run to the store or market just because you need herbs or vegetables. These green treasures are already in your backyard. And definitely buying a live plant and growing it is cheaper than buying packaged organic products in the market.”
Organic farming in Davao
The local government of Davao supports initiatives on organic farming, both in rural and urban settings, believing that this can help in preserving the environment – particularly the rich water resources of the city.
Into observed that more people are now interested in urban organic farming because of the harmful effects of synthetic farm input materials on the human body.
"It is good that more people are now more aware," Into said.
He did, however, remind people that growing your own green kitchen is not an easy task.
Like all other tasks and responsibilities, diligence and patience are vital in feeding your body and your family green and healthy food.
Written by: Karlos Manlupig

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