Oh My Gulay Expo!

NABUNTURAN, Davao De Oro (September 15) –Is it possible to do waste management while ensuring food efficiency and nutrition of every household and earn extra extra income?

Very possible! It is by learning how to combine those four targets by way of Urban Container Gardening (UCG) technology.  The word ‘urban’ originally pertains to the practice by urban people to make gardens out of limited spaces.

‘Urban Gardening’ may not be an appropriate word for rural areas in Davao De Oro but it is an appropriate practice worthy of replication by barangays and even down to households that look after the nutrition, economic and waste management welfare of its people.

So on Tourism Month, the provincial tourism office opened an UCG expo that included an entry which had been a national finalist in the annual search for the best barangay solid waste management program with their initiative of making use of plastics, bottles and bakals as garden tool. They encouraged their kids to keep collecting wastes to earn brgy. scholarship from elementary to high School. Through this the barangay gets cleaned and gardens proliferate.

Where did they get their fund? Thru the earnings of their UCG! They sell seeds, seedlings even fully grown veggie plants!That’s leadership and initiative!So, to put it right in the context for Davao De Oro, we will call it- Home-Based Farming. The opening of UCG OMG expo opened the participants’ eyes to the exciting ways of growing vegetables even in front of the porch, the backyard, sideyard, roof decks, 2nd-11th floor (sky’s the limit) and everywhere! It’s flexible.

Being an organizer, I should not be too overly dramatic but mind you… I am moved- body and soul. Even to the point of reserving a  space in my house for potted plants for my own future power garden,  with all the imagination of growing my own seeds and collecting rotten and unsold vegies in the palengkeright in front of my family house.

At the UCG symposium, one question was asked: why are you not growing your own food?
Why can’t we do it? Why can’t we eat healthy by the works of our hands?Its a call for a GREEN Revolution right in our HOMES!So, this has become a personal project.
The Home-Based Farm Expo was held at Nabunturan’sGaisano Grand.  After the event, the winners were announced.

1st Place: Rural Improvement Club of Mawab, received Php12,000;  2nd Place: Rural Improvement Club of New Bataan, received Php10,000; 3rd Place: Rural Improvement Club of Maragusan,  received Php 8,000

Farm tourism.The 2nd day of the symposium tackled farm tourism and UCG.  The more than 200 participants composed of farmers, rural improvement club members, council of women members and GulayansaPaaralancoordinatorswere enriched by the experiences of practitioners thru their success stories.

The speakers were Marlo Yap of Bemwa Farmand  Jojo Rom, the father of UCG in the country for braving the raging Bunawan flood  to come to Comval and share their experience and expertise at the symposium.

Yap transformed a barren land in Marilog, Davao City to a high-value crop farm producing three varieties of lettuces, strawberries, cucumbers and raddish.

Rom is considered the father of urban container gardening in the Philippines. He developed the Household Resource Dynamic Flow (©HRDF 2008), a system he created in 2002, from his interpretation and understanding of the ecological sanitation philosophy that guided him in realizing some practical principles in Agro-ecology he learned in school. A system serves as a guide in resource mobilization in the household level.

With his gains from the array of developmental perspectives he advocates Urban Container Gardening (UCG) as a strategy to mitigate risks brought about by economic and natural disasters affecting the poor communities in the urban areas-where every home can participate in food production and waste management.

In 2010, UCG gained recognition from both the communities and international funders (Swiss Solidarity, HEKS Switzerland and Christian Aid-London) when it became the central component enterprise of “Post-Ondoy Livelihood Rehabilitation Project” in Banaba, San Mateo, Rizal.

By the end of 2012 Business Mirror’s five-part series that appeared in the newspaper’s agriculture page from August 15-19 2011 entitled “XU graduate practices urban container gardening” was awarded 2011 Story of the Year by the 5th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards. He is the author of UCG A Home Farming Manual-With an Introduction to Household-based Waste Management and Food Security System.  (ctd/pgotss/ids)

The Provincial Tourism Office opened an Urban Container Gardening expo that included an entry which had been a national finalist in the annual search for the best barangay solid waste management program with their initiative of making use of plastics, bottles and bakals as garden tool. (photo: tourism comval)

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