Rizal LGU converts capitol grounds into vegetable garden; produce given to medical frontliners

Published September 28, 2021, 8:19 AM

by Nel Andrade

Who would think that walls, vacant spaces and lawns in parking areas can become a garden that can produce 100 percent organic vegetables?

(Photo from Nel Andrade)

The Rizal provincial government has proven that even with limited spaces in its compound in Antipolo City, an organic vegetable garden can be set up using old plastic bins as containers for the plants.

Walls and alleys that used to be storage areas for broken office furniture and machines, lawns that surround the parking areas and even the canopies of the Ynares Center stadium have since become pocket gardens for the vegetables that are distributed for free to the health workers of the province’s nine hospitals.

Leafy vegetables such as green and red-leaf lettuces that are rich in Vitamin A and K; kale or Chinese Broccoli that is rich in anti-oxidants; ampalaya, eggplants, cucumbers, string beans and okra that are rich in vitamins and minerals; and even chili peppers are grown in used plastic containers and old water gallons donated by Rizal based private firms.

Rizal Provincial Agriculture Office head Dr. Reynaldo Bonita told Manila Bulletin during a visit at the Rizal capitol’s vegetable garden last weekend that the chemical-free and pesticide-free vegetables that the capitol employees harvest are distributed directly to health frontliners on the orders of Rizal Governor Rebecca ‘Nini’ Ynares to give them the needed boost in their nutrition during this time of the pandemic.

In a Facebook post, the hospital staff of the Rizal Provincial Hospital System, sent their appreciation for the capitol’s donations of assorted vegetables.

Bonita said growing vegetables without pesticides and chemical fertilizers in the capitol ground’s vacant spaces using only containers was challenging at first when the project envisioned by Governor Ynares herself was started in May this year.

“But as we saw the seedlings grow each day, and flowers started to come out, we realized that we can achieve Governor Ynares’ vision of producing a steady supply of vegetables for our target beneficiaries, even if we have limited spaces in our capitol compound,” Bonita said.

Simultaneous with the establishment of the capitol’s vegetable garden are the creation of similar community gardens in all villages in the province.

Engr. Aldrin Albos, Rizal government’s senior agriculturist said the capitol targets to occupy other vacant spaces in the capitol compound to fully achieve the purpose of supplying organic vegetables to medical workers of the provincial hospitals and even to the capitol employees.

Rizal capitol’s community garden project is part of the Ynares Eco-System (YES) To Green Program, a pro-environment program of Governor Ynares, according to Tracy Tunque of the YES team secretariat.