A church vegetable garden in Camarines Sur is feeding townspeople during the community quarantine to stop the spread of coronavirus disease.
What started as a hobby for a parish priest turned out to be a food source for a community in lockdown.
Fr. Rex Ramos of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Ombao Polpog, Bula, Camarines Sur constructed a Vegetable Arc Garden in a vacant space beside the parish before the COVID-19 outbreak. The harvests have since been given out to those who could not afford to buy vegetables.
At first Fr. Ramos encountered challenges with the soil being muddy and infertile.
To remedy the situation, Fr. Ramos bought and mixed 30cubic (6 trucks) of soil, 50 sacks of chicken manure, and rice hull to make the soil fertile.
He also used old tires to guard the plants against flooding.
“Dahil binabaha kapag umuulan naghingi ako ng mga goma sa vulcanizing shop para doon ilagay ang lupa para di gumuho,” Fr. Rex explained in a social post on April 17, 2020.
(Since it is a flooded area every time there is rain, I asked for used tires in the vulcanizing shop. I out the soil inside the tires so it will not collapse)
Fr. Rex also built a trellis to make the garden stronger and look better.
“Naisipan ko ang arc o ang konseptong tunnel para naman kakaiba. As of now naghaharvest na ng karakaunti ipinapamahagi ko as relief sa walang mga pambili ng gulay ngayong Covid19. Kasama ko ang aking mga sakristan sa paglinis at pag ayos ng mga taniman,” Fr. Rex added in the post.
(I thought of arc or tunnel concept to make it look peculiar. As of now we are harvesting it little by little and distribute it as relief to those who cannot afford to buy vegetables during COVID19. Together with my sacristan, we are cleaning and fixing the garden).
“My goal is to teach my parishioners simple backyard gardening in their limited spaces so they can lessen their expenses. I want my garden to be a model that they can emulate,” he said.
Households were encouraged to do urban farming so they can grow their own fresh and healthy food from their backyard or rooftop. This is also one way to secure safe and nutritious food source during emergency situations.
The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) is also promoting its Edible Landscaping garden model as a source of healthy food source during community quarantines to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease and perhaps as a way of life in the “new normal” once the lockdown is lifted.
University of the East Caloocan (UE-Caloocan) also joined a campaign of the Department of Agriculture to promote urban farming as a food source for households amid food sustainability issues during the lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Larry Gile head also modeled a planter using an old jeepney.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Camarines Sur’s Fr. Rex Ramos for finding ways to feed the hungry during the quarantine.
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