LOOK: Edible garden blooms at Manila’s Rizal Park

Manila's Rizal Park Edible garden blooms
The urban garden stands on a 1000 square meter lot and is covered with various vegetables including pechay, lettuce, eggplant, tomato, corn, parsley, basil, mint, beans, cucumber, and bitter gourd, among others. Photos from NPDC, DA.

A new edible garden is blooming inside Rizal Park in Manila to promote urban agriculture amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To bring Filipinos access to safe and nutritious food, an urban garden spanning a thousand square meters has been developed at the western section of Burnham Green near the Quirino Grandstand and is adjacent to the Rice Garden, which is being maintained by the Department of Agriculture (DA), together with the Philippine Rice Research Institute.

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Vegetables like upo, pechay, lettuce, eggplant, corn, and herbs are planted on the urban farm.

The green space also aims to promote an appreciation for best practices in urban gardening as well as agriculture among city dwellers in Metro Manila.

In a short message at the soft launch of the urban garden on March 12, 2021, Agriculture Secretary William Dar underscored the importance of ensuring food security for all Filipinos during the pandemic.

“The production of food is equally important as the fight against Covid-19. Kaya dapat lahat ng Pilipino ay may access sa ligtas, sapat at masustansyang pagkain,” Secretary William Dar said.

The edible landscape was made possible under a partnership with the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), and with the support of private seed companies Allied Botanical Corporation, Philippine Kaneko Seeds, and Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).

Farmers’ cooperatives also conducted a weekend market on March 13 that showcased local goods in Rizal Park’s Burnham Green under the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Program of DA.

Initiatives that promote urban farming as a food source for households amid food sustainability issues during the community quarantine include the Yamang Bukid Farm of Puerto Princesa in Palawan, the millennial farmers behind the start-up Future Fresh, and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) edible landscaping starter kits.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the teams behind Manila’s Rizal Park edible garden to ensure food security for all Filipinos and promote urban agriculture at this time of the pandemic.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.