Philippines : Revive backyard gardening (Google / The News Today)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

Revive backyard gardening

By Rodolfo P. Gumabong

History really repeats itself. In the early 60s, there was an acute shortage of food and unemployment was high. Then Pres. Diosdado Macapagal opened the employment opportunity by spending millions of pesos in the so-called “Emergency Employment (EE)” in all remote barrios of the country then, many got casual jobs and money flowed like rivers of water. Food was scarce then and rice vanished in the market. Then Chinese philanthropist Chiu Kim She mobilized Iloilo Chinese rice traders and within few days, Ilonggos qeued the long line of human horde just to get cheap rice by several gantas which the Chinese merchants sold at affordable cost. But while rice was literally abundant, vegetables, fish, meat, and root crops were not only scarce but also the price was not right. An appeal was made by city officials that each household cultivates vacant space in their neighborhood and plant vegetables, root crops and even put up tilapia pond. The appeal clicked, soon thereafter housewifes utilized the stuff planted in their garden and eventually, local markets were flooded with green leafy products and even fish.

Let’s start cultivating small vacant lot in our homes and plant vegetables. For those with no vacant lot, utilize used big water pots, abandoned plastic jars, and other dilapidated basins and put soil on it and plant green leafy vegetables and eventually raise your voice to heaven and pray to God for rain and fruitful harvest. God answers prayers for those who truly seek His face.

Emulate the example set by our suffering people during the Japanese occupation (1942-1944) where food was not only scarce but nowhere to find. Farmers cannot plant palay as the Japanese soldiers were on the run to haunt for able bodied men who were suspected of being guerillas. Everybody was always on the move as the Japanese “berdugos” were all around hunting Filipino underground army. In their hidden hideout, evacuees planted rootcrops that sustained them for the duration of the war. In the city, the cost of rice per ganta was 10,000 Japanese money; meat was about 15,000 Jap money per kilo. Chinese businessmen mass produced rice noodle and rice cake.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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