Harvest time draws near for ide lot-turned-urban vegetable garden in QC

Published February 16, 2021, 2:03 PM

by Betheena Kae Unite

Residents will soon get to reap the rewards of the urban vegetable garden in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City, which is only the second such farm established in Metro Manila under the “Buhay sa Gulay” project. 

(Photo via DAR)

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the local government unit of Quezon City will have its first harvest festival on this one-hectare urban vegetable garden on Thursday, Feb. 18 at the New Greenland Farm. 

The farm has 45 garden plots planted with various vegetable seedlings, such as spinach, pechay, upland kangkong, and mustasa.

“The Department of Agrarian Reform is winning some small battles in combating hunger and poverty, thanks to its revolutionized farming system, which expands the scope of vegetable gardening to as far as it can get – the urban areas,” DAR Secretary Brother John R. Castriciones said.

“Making every square meter of idle lot productive is our humble way of helping our people, especially the poor, to cope up with the ill-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Castriciones added.

The harvest festival in Quezon City is the second in a span of two months to be held in Metro Manila. The first took place in January this year when hundreds of poor families and middle-income earners flocked to the idle football field-turned-vegetable garden of the Saint John Bosco Parish in Tondo, Manila to buy freshly harvested goods at a bargain price.

A brainchild of Brother John, the Buhay sa Gulay project was conceptualized after the DAR secretary noticed the 8,000-square meter idle football field while distributing food packs to poor families at the parish church.  

The one-hectare farm in Quezon City serves as the pilot site of the targeted seven-hectare lot for urban farming in the city. It will initially benefit 70 urban dwellers. 

It was, however, disclosed that the one-hectare pilot site has been expanded to two hectares with the number of beneficiaries increased from 70 to 137.