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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Appreciation Post: Fresh Produce

When I first moved to the province from the city, I felt that my stay would be temporary. Now that I am two decades into it, I feel that there’s no place I’d rather be. Aside from enjoying the fresh air and not living in an overcrowded area, one of my favorite parts about it is getting fresh produce like fruits and vegetables easily – sometimes even at no cost!

My sister and her husband are good with planting/gardening. We’ve been able to harvest the following organic fruits and vegetables from their hard work: Chinese Cabbage (Pechay), Papaya, Malunggay, Calamansi, Lemongrass, Chilis and Dragonfruit. No fertilizers and no pesticides used. Our garden may not produce a lot, but it’s a start. Fresh fruits and veggies straight from the garden. Who doesn’t want that?

dragonfruit

I don’t have a green thumb; I can’t begin to count how many plants have died under my care. But I do love that we are able to do this here. I’d love to invest in some plant boxes so that we (meaning my sister and her husband) can plant some more or possibly break off some cemented parts of the house so we can have more land to plant in.

Aside from fruits and vegetables from our garden, we also get a lot of the same from friends and neighbors who have their own trees and plants in their own gardens. Recently we got some rambutan from a neighbor. Sometimes we get fresh mangoes from another. We also get a regular bunch of bananas from the harvest of yet another neighbor. All organic and for free! How often can you say that when you live in the city?

rambutan

In these times when we need to be living sustainably, it’s a good thing that we can have the opportunity to produce our own fruits and vegetables. I think everyone should be encouraged to start a garden of their own at home, no matter how small. There’s just this different appreciation for these items when it comes straight from your garden. Considering how weirded out I am by how some fruits and veggies look in grocery stores, it’s great to have normal looking produce to enjoy.

I read from a post of a friend on Facebook that having your own garden at home is not just sustainable living but it also helps the environment in terms of water absorption, because having an inch of compost and plant cover can increase the ability of the land to absorb water by 20%. This helps to absorb water/rainfall during the rainy season. In some areas, that can help minimize flooding and this can also help recharge our groundwater aquifers for future use, since most areas are having groundwater shortage issues already. 

While I do encourage having your own garden, this does not mean that I discourage acquiring your produce elsewhere. I think that we all need to support our farmers and buy from them as well. Here in our part of the province the fruits and vegetables come directly from the farmers themselves, so buying from the market is a great way to support them. 

If you are in the city, another way to support farmers would be to buy from Session Groceries, which works directly with farmers to sell their products. That way they earn more from their hard work instead of being paid little if they go through other routes/middlemen to sell their produce in grocery stores and other markets. When you order products from them, they deliver the produce right to your door. I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve seen the reviews and I think it’s a very promising venture that I hope other provincial farmers can benefit from in the future. 

If you haven’t tried gardening/planting your own fruits and vegetables, I suggest experimenting on it. Having your own fresh produce is very fulfilling, even for someone like me who just enjoys the benefits of it. 

If you don’t have a green thumb, support local farmers as much as you can. Not only will you be sure of the kind of produce you get, you’d be helping other people as well. 

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