Needing food ? Grow it yourself on your balcony or rooftop (Jojo ROM / Willem VAN COTTHEM)

Seen at Jojo Rom’s Facebook :

Home Farmers Club (Urban Container Gardening Enthusiasts)

Jojo ROM (Davao, The Philippines) is a gardener becoming more and more famous for his remarkable successes with URBAN CONTAINER GARDENING.  Growing vegetables and fruit trees in bottles, pots, sacks, crates, etc., Jojo showed how easy it is to react upon the food crisis with simple tools.

Since many years, Jojo ROM produces all kinds of vegetables and fruits in his small backyard, but also on the balcony of the first floor and on the rooftop of his house.

He posted a series of interesting photos on Facebook (link above), showing that any family, not only those having a backyard, but also those living in an apartment or having a rooftop can easily produce a sufficient quantity of fresh food to alleviate hunger and malnutrition or to provide the necessary quantity of vitamins and mineral element for all the family members.

By re-posting these photos I hope to motivate people to start their own container garden at home.  I am strongly convinced that URBAN CONTAINER GARDENING (UCG) in backyards, on balconies and rooftops is one of the best methods to fight the food crisis, having a direct positive effect on public health and even on annual income by avoiding the high food prizes.  Jojo ROM’s nice work is highly commended.

It goes without saying that RURAL CONTAINER GARDENING (RCG) has the same positive effect on the standards of living of rural people.

I recommend to all fans of container gardening (UCG and RCG) to also try “bottle tower gardening“, as this technique has a lot of advantages, particularly production of a maximum of food in a minimal space (see :

Wishing a lot of success to you all !




“Thank you Willem, I’m always inspired to go on with this project despite surging ocean of challenges. I also would like to congratulate everyone in this group for trying UCG. If we practice this at home we are in one bandwagon to battle hunger and doing the ecological sanitation starting from our own backyard through composting. If we do this we are no longer negotiating starting from zero ground.  Government’s support to this project is always possible as long as we never forget our counterpart. Love, not leave agriculture, it is still the basic way of life… good food leads to good thinking and thanking about the resources provided to us by our creator. Great is the work of Willem who relentlessly supports the effort of the Filipinos.”


Balcony gardening : vegetables in bottles on the balcony edge (Photo Jojo ROM)
Balcony gardening : eggplants and other vegetables in bottles (Photo Jojo ROM)
Balcony gardening : eggplants fruiting (Photo Jojo ROM)
Balcony gardening : bell peppers fruiting (Photo Jojo ROM)
Balcony gardening : okra fruiting (Photo Jojo ROM)
Balcony gardening : Chinese cabbage (pechay) – (Photo Jojo ROM)
Balcony gardening : Chinese cabbage (pechay) in bottles –  (Photo Jojo ROM)
Balcony gardening : lettuce in bottles (Photo Jojo ROM)
Balcony gardening : Calamondin citrus tree (Calamansi) – (Photo Jojo ROM)


Rooftop gardening : Different vegetables in containers (Photo Jojo ROM)
Rooftop gardening : String beans and other vegetables (Photo Jojo ROM)
Rooftop gardening : Carrots from the roof to the kitchen (Photo Jojo ROM)
Rooftop gardening : Bitter melon production (Photo Jojo ROM)
Rooftop gardening : String beans, cucumber and bitter melon (Photo Jojo ROM)
Rooftop gardening : Radishes (Photo Jojo ROM)

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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