Safe and Fresh: The rise of urban gardening in Koronadal

Safe and Fresh: The rise of urban gardening in Koronadal

From providing safe and fresh food for the community to redeveloping unused spaces with only recyclable containers at hand, the Basic Urban Gardening Project of Councilor Junette Hurdado aims to encourage Koronadaleños to make urban gardening a way of life.

In line with the celebration of the Tourism Week and with limited available spaces in the city’s urban homes, a 1-day Seminar on Basic Urban Gardening was recognized by Councilor Hurtado as one among the most in-demand practical skills nowadays. The seminar facilitated the needs of the 58 participants for new inputs and skills anchored with the latter’s vision to rise urban gardening in the City of Koronadal by challenging them to adopt healthier lifestyle and start their very own home-based garden.  

To maximize existing resources into a productive endeavor where organically grown herbs and vegetables can be produced at homes, Resource Speaker Kian Castaneda introduced to the participants the key principles of Urban Gardening and Farming. Castaneda imparted the basics of seed growing, vermi composting and container gardening through lectures and demos.  The partakers were also taught on the basics of organic concoctions as organic fertilizer and organic pest repellant.

Further, Castaneda shared his insights on how he turned the productive hobby he learned abroad into a profitable business by putting up an urban garden and hydroponics farm, a passion which later turned into Organikian Urban Farm. According to Castaneda, urban gardening contributes to food security and safety. He emphasized that in promoting sustainable agriculture, it is wise to consider the potential productivity of the vacant spaces in and around the city. “Living in the city is not a hindrance in your desire to grow crops as source of safe and nutritious foods and additional income”, he said.

Castaneda shared that anyone can plant in their vacant lots, roof top, lawn, containers, balcony and even inside their houses which always starts in a good soil preparation as the first step. Also, he lectured on the General Procedures in Plant Care to include; visiting the plants regularly while observing the presence of pest, watering, weeding, spraying concoction, IMO, FP, OHN and planting insect repellant around the garden.

Meanwhile, Castaneda stressed that there are no mistakes to gardening, only experiment. “It is important to be resourceful. To be healthy, you must get your hands dirty, at walang magugutom kung lahat marunong magtanim”, Castaneda said. According to him, Filipinos have taken up gardening as a hobby because it gives them outlet to relieve stress. Hence, he said that growing a home -based herbs and vegetables seems like a more cost effective alternative, instead of buying them in the market.