The Garden for the Future
The Garden for the Future
By Mr.Remart A. Balingit
As part of the generation who grew up with fast food and canned goods, eating right is a huge obligation. According to the Harvard School of Public Health (2015), half the content in our plates should be filled with healthy foods such as vegetables and fruits. However, due to the costs and the abundance of choices, the regulatory amount of healthy selections are often not followed. To minimize the effect of this problem, the project “Gulayan sa Pamayanan” was launched at Pasay City South High School in Partnership by the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry last January 2022.
Spearheaded by Pasay City South High School with the leadership of Mrs. Editha F. Almbuyuguen for SHS and Mr. Dominador Torio for JHS, the project was already implemented in the School with the help of the stakeholders and the barangay officials.
One of the purposes of the project is to give jobs and livelihood to the communities with the use of technology such as Enriched Potting Preparation (EPP) and Simple Nutrient Addition Program (SNAP) Hydroponics.
The Enriched Potting Preparation (EPP) is a way to make it easier and cheaper for people to plant in their homes using only three things: bottle, potting medium, and compost soil extract (CSE). The bottle will serve as the plant container, the potting medium will be the soil needed for plant growth, and the compost soil extract (CSE) from the compost will provide the nutrition that will cultivate the crops. This can be easily done even in a small space.
On the other hand, the Simple Nutrient Addition Program (SNAP) Hydroponics is a system for vegetable production even without soil. It only needs seedlings, Styrofoam, and boxes that will speed up the process of giving the nutrition it needs. Like Enriched Potting Preparation or EPP, it only requires little space and inexpensive materials for the crops.
The project can make a big difference to a community. Due to the pandemic, many people lost their jobs and became impoverished to buy their daily necessities. According to a survey released in 2021, of 1,000 people, 64% lost their jobs when the lockdown began. Through it, the quality of life of individuals and families will be improved.
It will also provide a solution to the shortage of vegetables and fruits in large and urbanized cities such as Manila. It will be unnecessary and expensive to import from neighboring provinces to get nutritious food. Furthermore, the materials needed for the plan are few and affordable; Plastic bottles often found at home, Styrofoam frequently used in restaurants, and the seeds of used fruits or vegetables which can also be set aside for future crops.
If the vision will be successful in places like our school, it will serve as a stepping stone that teaches the next generation the value of eating right, caring for the environment, and working together to achieve a goal. Planting together can strengthen the relationship of youth with each other because they will create a better future for themselves – a healthy and clean environment.
Given that “Gulayan sa Pamayanan” will strengthen food security, provide employment, and increase the quality of life in residential areas, it is therefore easy to say that even though there are still many food choices for the next generation, they are more likely to choose the one that is best for them because it is more affordable and easier to obtain – available exclusively at their own homes.