Residents-turned-urban farmers in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City have expressed appreciation for the new knowledge and skills they’ve acquired under the “Buhay sa Gulay” project of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
“This is really a big help for us. We were taught about new farming methods to increase our harvests much unlike before when we just cleared a portion of the area and plant,” said Severino T. Sablay, 72, leader of Team Talon.
Talon is one of five teams working on the New Greenland Farm in Bagong Silangan. Last Thursday, Feb. 18, the urban vegetable garden hosted its first ever harvesting activity.
“We were taught how to prepare garden beds, unlike before we totally ignored such practices,” Sablay noted.
Now, New Greenland Farm has 45 garden plots planted with various vegetable seedlings, such as spinach, pechay, upland kangkong, and mustasa.
“We are seeing a great future here. We were taught the proper way of farming and spraying our plants with pesticides. Before, we just plant and then let them grow by themselves,” said Camilo Mendoza, 79, member of Team Sayaw.
The one-hectare farm in Quezon City served as the pilot site of the targeted seven-hectare lot for urban farming in the city. It is seen to benefit at least 70 urban dwellers.
DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones led the maiden harvest on the farm. He said the project’s aim is to increase food productivity.
“What really matters is that we are able to arouse their interest and enthusiasm with farming,” the secretary said.