Communal Garden in Balilihan
The Balilihan Farmers Marketing Cooperative (BFMC) has grown vegetables in a communal garden for almost four years now.
The cooperative’s 24 active members are composed of five (5) 4Ps beneficiaries and 19 non-4Ps beneficiaries.
According to Julita Batac, a coop member and a 4Ps beneficiariy, the income from the communal garden helps in meeting the school needs of her children.
“Tinuod nga nakadugang ang income sa communal vegetable garden sa among kita kay matag semana kaduha mi mag harvest, Lunes ug Biyernes. Ihatud namo angutanon ngadto sa Bohol Quality Mall ug uban pang tindahan sa Tagbilaran City. Mudisplay pud mi sa among merkado sa Balilihan kada Martes kay mao mana angMarket Day sa among lungsod (Truly our communal vegetable garden has augmented our income because we harvest twice a week, Monday and Friday. We also display in our public market every Tuesday because that is the Market Day of our town),” said Julita.
She encouraged other 4Ps partner-beneficiaries to plant vegetables in their own backyard because it will help them save money.
“Kung magtanom sila, makakaon sila og presko nga utanonnga makatabang kini sa ilang resistensya aron dili sila dalimatakdan og sakit (If they plant, they can eat fresh vegetables that can help boast their immune system and prevent them from getting ill),” added Julita.
To help her husband in their family’s expenses, Teresita Amas from Bindoy, Negros Oriental decided to plant vegetables in their garden. Her husband Ruel works as a carpenter.
“Nalipay ko nga pinaagi sa pagtanom nakatabang kini sapagkunhod sa among galastuhon nga dili na kinahanglanmupalit pa didto sa merkado. Kada paniudto ug panihapon, magluto ko og gulay (I am glad that planting vegetables helps lessen our expenses because I would not necessarily buy in the market anymore. Every lunch and dinner, I make sure that I cook vegetables),” said Teresita.
The family has a small ricefield but due to scarcity of water, Teresita decided to plant it instead with string beans.
Luckily, the yield is more than what she expected, therefore, she was able to sell some to her neighbors. She also delivers the string beans to the market and it earns her more or less Php 250.00 every harvest.
With that, Teresita was able to save money which she will use in the next planting season.
Found in the mountain barangay in Dalaguete, Cebu, the one hectare “Manolo’s Farm” was established by a 4Ps couple, Manolo and Basilisa Lanzaderas, to ensure that their family eats healthy and nutritious food while earning income out of the said farm.
Manolo applied all his acquired knowledge from trainings and seminars about organic farming and has been harvesting variety of vegetables like cherry tomato, bell pepper, spring onions, parsley, lemon grass, lettuce, chives, coriander, carrots, cabbage, basil and among others.
As a trained organic farmer, he encourages other 4Ps partner-beneficiaries to follow the natural farming system.
“Andam man sad ko magtudlo sa uban kabahin aningorganic farming aron makabalo pud sila og unsay maayongbenepisyo sa organic farming sa ilang pamilya ug sakalikupan (I am ready to teach others about organic farming so that they would know the good benefits of organic farming for their family and for the environment),” shared Manolo.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to strengthen the implementation ofcommunal and backyard gardening project among Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) partner-beneficiaries to empower them and promote good health among poor Filipino families.
Gardening aims to help address the nutrition concerns of beneficiaries by encouraging families to use indigenous seeds and organic fertilizer to grow vegetables within their own communities or households.
The DSWD has incorporated knowledge and skills enhancement training in the family development sessions (FDS) of 4Ps beneficiaries to enable them to become productive members of society and to provide them support for self-sufficiency. ### (By Social Marketing Unit, DSWD Region VII)