A LITTLE over a month ago, residents of 17 barangays around the St. John Bosco Parish in Tondo turned the church’s football field into a huge garden. Now, they’re reaping the fruits — or in this case, the veggies — of their urban farming project.
Yesterday, residents trooped to the former playing field to harvest fresh leafy vegetables including, as reported by GMA News Online, “saluyot, calabasa, pechay, spinach, [and] Chinese kangkong.”
The project was a partnership between St. John Bosco, the local government of Manila, the Department of Agrarian Reform, and the Department of Agriculture.
“Maraming Filipino ang naapektuhan ng pandemya dahil karamihan sa kanila ay nawalan ng trabaho at nawalan ng paraan kung saan sila kukuha ng maihahain sa kanilang mga mesa,” said Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones during the launching of the project on November 24.
The DAR provided training, tools, and seeds to the residents as they got started on their backdoor farm.
The project was evidently a success. According to a report by ABS-CBN, residents also sold the vegetables after yesterday’s “Buhay sa Gulay” harvest, pricing them between P30 to P40.
Castriciones had earlier indicated that they would roll out similar projects in Quezon City, Pasay, Pasig, and Caloocan.
In a vlog posted by the Tondo Football Club last December 30, the Manila area’s football players now practice in the St. John Bosco park while the field is being used as a farm. Throughout the pandemic, the club, unable to participate in events during the lockdown, used the time to raise funds to pass on ayuda to the families of club members.