Wednesday, 27 May 2020 04:52

Family garden: Source of food and extra income amid COVID-19

Written by Cherryl Juranes
Family garden: Source of food and extra income amid COVID-19 Photos courtesy of the Bulalajos Family
A family of seven (7) from Barangay Kauswagan started a small crops and vegetable garden on a vacant lot to somehow provide food on their table and an additional income for the family as the community quarantine continues in the city.
Mrs. Lucena Bulalajos is a barangay sweeper whose salary is insufficient for the needs of the family. On the other hand, his husband is a jeepney driver whose livelihood has greatly been affected by COVID-19 following the city ordinance on social distancing among passengers in public vehicles. This spurred them to make use of the vacant
lot to construct a garden as the family has been into growing plants even before the pandemic.
“Kay wala naman mi trabaho ug insaktong pangita tungod sa pandemic, naka huna-huna mi na magtanom kay mao man pod na amo hilig ug taas naman pod [among] bakante na oras para among matutokan ang pagpananom para naa mi panghingwaan sa adlaw adlaw na panud-an ug extra income,” Mrs. Bulalajos explained.
(Since we are jobless for the meantime and we have no permanent source of income due to the pandemic, we were thinking about planting because it is what we are passionate about and we have much time to do it, so we could also have a source of food and extra income.)
This vegetable garden started when a family friend who happens to be studying under an agriculture program gave them seedlings. Got interested they bought more and started growing them on April 9, 2020. Since then, the whole family has been helping each other in taking care of the crops and vegetables.
“Matag alas kwatro sa kadlawon magsugod na ug bisbis ug sa hapon sa alas tres magsugod na pod usab og bisbis … kauban ako, akong bana, ug mga anak,” she narrated.
(At four o'clock in the dawn we start to water the plants as well as at 3 o'clock in the afternoon … I am with my husband and my children.)
The family has grown 17 kinds of vegetables, crops and herbs namely: onion leaves (sibuyas dahonan), sweet potato leaves (camote tops), tomato, Chinese water spinach (Chinese kangkong), luffa (patola), lemon basil (bawing), eggplant (talong), chili pepper (sili), pineapple (pinya), corn (mais), malabar spinach (alugbati), oregano (kalabo), moringa (malunggay), string beans (sitaw), cassava (binggala), lemongrass (tanglad), and bok choy (petchay). In a span of one month, the family already harvested the fruits of their labor and earned some money.
The garden doesn’t just provide them with food and extra income but it also serves as a form of exercise for the whole family.
“Dili pod ingon na para kalingawan o kapangitaan apan isip usab na ihersisyo sa amoang mga lawas ug dugang sustansya sa kalawasan sa tibook pamilya,” Mrs. Bulalajos shared.
(It’s not just for fun or source of income but it is also a form of exercise and more nourishment for the whole family.)
With the positive results gained by the family in gardening, Mrs. Bulalajos encouraged her fellow Kagay-anons to do the same especially those who have vacant lots.
“Ang akoang ikaaghat sa akoang mga isig-katao ug kaigsoonan sa palibot na adunay luna maskin magamay man o madako na mamahimong matamnan, buhata ninyo ang pagpananom aron inyong makita ang inyong gihagoan ug masud-ong nga maka-harvest kamo og mga presko na mga gulay na maoy makatabang sa pang adlaw-adlaw na panginahanglan,” she said, emphasizing the benefits of vegetables in strengthening one’s health to fight against the virus.
(I encourage my fellow citizens and relatives around the area who have space, large or small, to grow plants, embark on gardening so you can see what you have been working for and see that you can harvest fresh vegetables which could help with your daily needs.)