A communal garden has long been a dream of the group for the barangay. This project, we believe, will address malnutrition among families by enabling them to serve and eat healthy meals using homegrown organic vegetables. It will also allow them to cut their expenses by growing their own food. That way, they can spend their money on other necessities such as healthcare.
The benefits of a communal garden is likely to extend beyond food security and health. Family and social relationships can also be strengthened since the members of the community provide advice and support to help overcome challenges and all receive the benefits the gardening project offers.
During our last exposure, we presented the proposal for an extension of the communal garden to the barangay council. A 500 square meter land just behind the day care was allotted, along with their full support for the cause.
This exposure, we were able to talk to Mr. Larry Lumosad, a resident from our barangay who has won several awards due to his farming expertise. He has been recognized not only in a regional scale, but nationally as well. He expressed his willingness to help out in the making of the communal garden since it would also be for the benefit of the barangay and an opportunity for the residents to learn about organic gardening. He advised us to do seeding in his greenhouse rather than plant the seeds directly in the garden. So we gathered up all the seeds that we have solicited and we went to his greenhouse to start planting. It was such a fun experience for all of us because it was our first time to see an actual greenhouse. We put seeds of bell pepper, okra, eggplant, tomatoes, and pechay in different trays. The mung beans, squash and cassava were to be planted directly on the soil of the garden, while the others seeds were reserved to be planted some other time on its suited season. cause after all, Sir Larry knew best.
Three weeks later, and the seeds have finally grown into small plants. We informed the community residents beforehand that it was time to start gardening. Everybody was so participative and eager to contribute, bringing with them their share of kawayan to help in fencing and beautifying the garden.
And so the planting and sowing and constructing began. The men of the group were working on the fence and carrying heavy loads, while the women did the land preparation and planting. The different plants were and seeds were divided amongst 5 groups, and they were appointed to take care of their own part in garden. It was such a beautiful sight to see-- their smiles, their cooperation, their laughs on occasional jokes being made. Their concern for our dirty clothes and hands trying to help. It made us feel truly blessed to be around such beautiful and kind people. Overall, around 100 residents were able to contribute to the success of Garden N.B.
A communal garden may seem like a simple project, but it goes a long way towards eliminating malnutrition and allowing avenues for livelihood among families in our beloved community.