Meet Lester from Pampanga Province in the Philippines
I'm a seafarer working on cargo ships and currently on vacation in the Philippines. Onboard a ship we cannot freely grow plants and vegetables, and that restriction made me realize how much I love gardening and how much I miss it. It made me dream to have my own farm in my retirement period but realized I can start early and do backyard gardening when I am on vacation.
My Inspiration to Grow My Own Organic Food
My mother is one of my inspiration in growing our own food. She loves gardening and she has been growing different vegetables since we were children. It's true that people can inspire their family members to grow their own food as well.
The pandemic made the prices of food in our area higher. So we decided to minimize our food expenses by growing our own fruits and vegetables. It's also good because we can enjoy healthy and organically grown foods.
Our Land and Growing Methods
We are located in the plains of Pampanga Province in the Central part of the Luzon Island of the Philippines. Our growing space is about 500 square meters. We grow many seasonal vegetables and fruit. We use organic fertilizers like compost, vermicompost, and vermicast, cow manure and chicken manure. And we make our own Fish Amino Acid.
For pest management we grow marigolds in our garden. We are still learning more ways to reduce pest damage organically.
We got most of our seeds from local online stores when we first started and some seeds were given by our friends. Once we grew the crops, we started saving seeds and sharing with our community as well so others can add more plants to their gardens.
Growing Food is Good For Us & Our Community
It's very rewarding when we get a good harvest. When we have it in abundance, we can sell some of our crops, and share some of them with our family and friends, too. It's also a good bonding for the family for the limited time I'm with them.
Not all people have the opportunity to grow their own food. As a seafarer who only has limited time and opportunity to do gardening, I encourage people who don’t have to travel to start growing their own food and enjoy the gardening journey. Share your stories and interact with the community and inspire others to grow healthy foods. It's true that what you sow – you will reap! You can enjoy the fruits of your labor and share with others, too. We can start small and dream big.