Imagine growing all the vegetables and herbs you need, without needing to go to the palengke! That’s what this inspiring Quezon City community did with a few hundred pesos, some upcycled items, and some serious ingenuity to start a community-based project. The result? A thriving community urban garden that produces harvests of pechay, kangkong, talbos na kamote, talong, malunggay, okra, string beans, ampalaya, and even siling labuyo on a weekly basis.
What’s so inspiring about this community garden is that none of them had any prior knowledge on how to start a garden. “Hindi talaga kami magsasaka. Wala kaming background sa pagtatanim,” says JC Tejano, a lawyer turned gardener who helped start the garden with his neighbors.
It all started when a fire razed an empty lot formerly used as a garbage dumping ground. After the fire, instead of letting it become a dumping ground again, JC and his neighbors decided to pool together some funds, resources, and manpower to develop and transform the idle lot into something more productive.
“The neighbors here decided to clean up the lot. Naisip na rin namin to start an urban garden,” said JC.
Using only P300, upcycled items, and the help of online videos and tutorials, they transformed the lot into a prosperous and sustainable garden to benefit the neighborhood that not only provides them with fresh produce but also helps keep them safer since they could avoid going to the palengke and standing in long lines during the quarantine period.
He claims that the garden is shared not just with the neighbors who contributed to the creation of the urban garden but it has grown to encompass the entire community. “Meron dito parang local sharing economy that’s happening. Walang nagbabayad or anything. Everyone just helps out and benefits from the community effort.”
How did they do it?
They repurposed wood from old cabinets, old metal shelves, sewing supplies, and even tires as pots. The only thing they bought, JC said, was the wire to create a trellis for the climbing vines. It’s truly a project that is a joint community effort worthy of sharing.
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