Here’s a simple way to help take the pressure off your pocket, your environment, and your overall well-being: grow your own food. Well, that may not be a new idea for some of us anymore. For the longest time now, we’ve been told about the benefits of planting our own garden and growing our own fruit and vegetables. But have you given serious thought about edible landscaping?
A popular concept
Edible landscaping, as it turns out, is also not a novel concept. In the 1990s, Dr. Leonido Naranja of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) began to introduce backyard food production while incorporating the basic principles of landscaping, hence the term edible landscape. But even agriculture-oriented countries in the west has been actively promoting and practicing edible landscaping or food gardening both as a means to a healthy lifestyle and ready access to fresh produce since the 1980s.
Why put importance to edible landscaping now if the concept has been already widely available a few decades back?
Spreading the benefits
Finding it a worthwhile endeavor to infuse the practice of edible landscaping to both urban and rural settings, the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) supported its promotion through technology demonstration and transfer.
The one-year project was conceptualized by Dr. Naranja under the Crop Science Cluster of UPLB’s College of Agriculture (CA) with the main aim of providing a creative and practical solution to limited food production and decreasing available land for agriculture.
The project officially commenced this year as the demo gardens has been established at the AgriPark, an extension facility of the CA-UPLB for showcasing technologies on agriculture and at the office grounds of BAR. The AgriPark likewise serves as the venue for trainings to disseminate the technologies on edible landscaping.
Cheap and easy
Since it can be done in any backyard garden, it doesn’t entail a lot of resources to start your own edible landscape. A poor family or community in the rural area could choose to begin with a handful of crops and therefore lower installation costs while those with larger available space could include fruit trees and vining plants.
The edible landscape garden being promoted for this project includes themed selections such as the pinakbet garden (tomato, eggplant, ampalaya, etc.), salad crop garden (lettuce, pechay, radish, etc.), and tree vegetables (such as malunggay).
It likewise promotes the use of recyclable containers to serve as pots where a variety of vegetables could grow. Hydroponics, a technology that enables crop production without soil, is also incorporated as well as the making of trellises and making composts. These simple methods are easy to learn and do not need sophisticated tools to perform.
For this project, beneficiaries of the training on edible landscaping include public and private school teachers who have started to establish their school’s edible garden with the involvement of its students. At the end of the project, it is expected that a manual on the good agricultural practices (GAP) would be produced as a useful information material for dissemination to the public.
For more information, contact:
Mr. Bryan B. Apacionado, Crop Science Cluster, College of Agriculture
UPLB, College, Laguna at tel nNo. (049) 536-2227 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Do-It-Yourself Food Garden by Miko Jazmine J. Mojica Bar Chronicle- bar.gov.ph