Categorized | Uncategorized

More than the crops

Harvesting friendships, appreciation and success

 

For eleven mothers, a vacant lot can open up a lot of possibilities.

Sprouting now with healthy greens such as cauliflowers, tomatoes, cucumbers, okra and ampalaya, this lot in Brgy. San Roque in Teresa, Rizal Province is no longer just a vegetable garden. Today, this lot has been a witness of friendships being deepened, children being able to appreciate a healthy diet and women seeing their value in the family.

Melba Balajadia, 33, shared that the idea of starting a garden with these other mothers rooted from a discussion in one of the Family Development Sessions (FDS) they have attended as parent-grantees of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

“Mayroong taga munisipyo (Agriculturist) na tumalakay ng Bio-Intensive gardening kung saan tinuruan kami na magtanim at inengganyo kami na magkaroon ng backyard o communal garden,” recalled Melba.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as part of the provision of rice subsidy in 2017, encouraged the beneficiaries to maintain a garden that can provide them food for daily consumption.

“Dahil wala kaming mga space sa bakuran namin para makapagtanim, nagdesisyon kaming mag-garden bilang isang grupo,” shared Cristina Natanauan, 46, the parent leader of the group.

With the assistance of the Municipal Agriculture Office, they have approached the owner of the vacant lot in their barangay for this project. Luckily, they got the approval of the owner to cultivate the land without any conditions.

 

Starting something big

“Nilinisan namin ‘yung maliit na bahagi ng lupa at doon kami nagsimulang magtanim ng talong, sitaw at mais. Kapag nag-aani kami, pinaghahati-hatian naming lahat,” shared Melba.

After five months of maintaining their small garden, they decided to expand their cultivation.

“Nasa isip naming lahat na sana mapagkakitaan din namin itong garden dahil marami sa amin ay wala namang trabaho, ‘yung iba ay naglalabada o namamalantsa paminsan-minsan. Kaya nagtulong-tulong kaming linisin pa ang ibang bahagi ng lote. Unti-unti dumami ang aming pananim hanggang sa ganito na kalaki,” Cristina shared.

Today, their garden has an assortment of vegetables and is being supported by the Municipal Agriculture Office through the provision of seedlings, organic fertilizers and technical assistance on the proper methods of planting different vegetables.

As the parent leader, Cristina maintains a record of the inventory of their seedlings as well as their daily attendance and their income and expenses.

“Nagkaroon na rin po kami ng sistema kung saan pinaghahati-hatian namin ang napagbebentahan ng mga gulay. Ito ay nakadepende sa attendance naming araw-araw sa pag-aasikaso nitong garden,” said Cristina.

 

Harvesting good results

Today, the garden is not simply a source of fresh vegetables and a small income for their respective families.

“Nakakatuwang isipin na dati kami ay mga nakatambay lamang sa bahay, naghihintay ng pag-uwi ng mga bata. Minsan maglalaba o mamalantsa. Pero ngayon, nakapaglalaan na kami ng oras dito sa garden at kahit papaano ay nakakatulong na kami sa aming asawa,” said Melba with pride.

She added that before, her husband’s small income as a tricycle driver is usually not enough for their family.

“Dati, parang halos araw-araw ay kailangang maghanap ng ulam. Kahit noong nagka-rice subsidy, kailangan pa ring humanap ng ulam. Kaya minsan, wala nang pambaon ang mga bata. Ngayon, nakakakuha na kami ng pang-ulam dito sa garden at kumikita na rin kahit papaano para makabili ng ibang pangangailangan,” Melba recalled.

She even shared that her children are now eating nutritious foods, especially now that they are also involved in some tasks in the garden when they do not have classes.

Sherly Diata, 56, added that doing stuff in their garden is also a good stress reliever.

“Parang hindi kami nakakaramdam ng pagod dito. Masaya kami sa ginagawa namin,” she shared.

All the other mothers agree. According to them, they have built good friendships through the whole process of cultivating their garden.

“Imbes na nasa bahay lang kami, ngayon, andito kami halos araw-araw. Naging magkakaibigan kami, na dati ay nagkikita lang kami tuwing may patawag sa 4Ps. Ngayon, napag-uusapan na namin ang maraming bagay, maging ang aming mga problema,” shared Melba happily.

Rita San Jose, 67, the eldest in the group, is also glad that despite her age, she feels accepted in the group and she finds she can still do a lot of productive things and even get a lot of exercise.

 

Sharing their harvests

When the group is gathered during a ‘rest break,’ they cannot hide but feel proud of how their garden has turned out.

 “S’yempre po proud po kami dahil talagang pinaghirapan po namin ‘yan,” said Melba.

They are also grateful to all those who supported them including the local government and one of the residents in their barangay who approached them and taught them to improve their techniques.

“Hindi po talaga kami marunong magtanim, pero unti-unti po kaming nagkaroon ng kaalaman para mapaunlad itong aming garden,” shared Cristina.

They are even surprised that their garden is being visited by various groups and individuals even from neighboring towns in the province.

“Madalas ay may mga benepisyaryo din ng Pantawid Pamilya na pumupunta dito, tapos titingnan ‘yung garden namin at sasabihing, p’wede pala ‘yung ganito,” said Cristina, who knows that being able to inspire others through what they are doing is one of the best measures of their success.

Looking forward, they know that with their continuous hard work and support with each other, they’ll harvest bigger deals in the end.#

This post was written by:

- who has written 540 posts on DSWD Field Office IV-A Official Website.


Contact the author

Comments are closed.

DSWD FO4A @ Twitter

Archives

Related Sites

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