How gardening — and extra mouths to feed will help communities and families survive.

When Covid-19 outbursts, it did not choose its victim. In all ages, social status and zip codes seemed affected by this pandemic.

When the Agriculture Department launched the Plant, Plant, Plant, Project (PPPP) o “Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19”, everyone in the metro and rural areas flocks to nearby DA station to ask for available seeds and seedlings to start an urban garden. Online inquiries on how to avail said project rose briskly.

This trying time, the Cagayan Valley region amalgamated the call of the national government to start its campaign in encouraging the locals to plant vegetables at their backyards.

On April 20, 2020, the DA Regional Office No. 02 (DA RFO 02) kicked off the #GardenMoIflexmo challenge that aimed to post on social media the garden activities, whether an existing or start-up space. It also showcases different vegetables planted on backyards, recycled materials, or in any areas that use creativity.

This season, the result is finally out for this challenge.

“In line with the sustainable and eco-friendly garden gumamit akong iba-t-ibang pamamaraan para sa aking garden at siyempre para na rin maging creative, innovative, and productive ang aking Enhanced Community Quarantine,” said Jordan Collado Ursua Jr., first placer and people’s choice awardee from Quirino province.

For Archival Sabado, agriculturist and an employee of the DA Quirino Experiment Station (QES), Aglipay, Quirino, his garden featured recyclable materials, first placer, and people’s choice awardee. He wanted to inspire and involve his children in agriculture at a young age.

“Start and train them young,” he said.

Among 91 participants, five (5) winners for household and three (3) winners made it to the finals, including the following:

2nd place Ligaya Fernandez Diozon, of Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya

3rd place Delio Montemayor, of Quirino

4th place Angelita Abella, of Solana, Cagayan

5th place Diosevan Romo, of Lallo, Cagayan

for DA employees;

2nd place Catherine Jimenez, of Cabagan Isabela and,

3rd place Sheryl Bayani Alariao Arnedo, of Iguig, Cagayan.

The first 50 uploaders will receive 7-in-1@55 grams vegetable seeds; top 5 winners for household and DA employees will receive garden tools set of three, 7in1 vegetable seeds and water sprinkler.

“People’s Choice Awardee” will receive garden tools set of three, 7-in-1@ 55 grams vegetable seeds at water sprinkler, respectively, brought to you by the DA High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP).

The challenge ran from April 20 to May 15, 2020, and judged by Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulatory RoseMary Aquino, HVCDP Focal Person Engr. Blesita C. Tega, and Carol Albay.

“Ang proyektong ito naglalayong pagtibayin ang food security program ng pamahalaan na mag-uumpisa sa mga households at komunidad,” said Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo.

“Alam namin kayo ay nagtatanim pero kami ay nakikiusap na lalo pang paigtingin ito hindi lang ngayong nasa Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) ang lahat kundi hanggang sa matapos ito.”

Farming is fun, and it is moving outdoors. It creates opportunities in small spaces and leaves impacts on communities. The future of food is now.

Stay tuned on Enhanced Garden Mo, I-flex mo Challenge part 2.





*Note: The top 8 prizes will be delivered by the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section while the first top 50 uploaders will receive their prize via mail. Please message us your Name and Official Address.