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I Joined a Vegetable Gardening Contest

SUGBUsog Containerized Gardening Contest

I recently joined a vegetable gardening contest which was conducted by the Province of Cebu. In partnership with the Department of Agriculture, this initiative will help ensure that every household will have their own source of food in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, this will also encourage people from going out and take their time to be productive in their garden.

If I’m not mistaken, they started posting about this contest a month after the lockdown. At that time, I was thinking of doing something else to take my mind off things. I’ve always wanted to make my own vegetable garden as I already have planted a few vegetables at home. But I kept putting it off purely because no one is pressuring me to. Honestly, I fail as a productive human being in society. So when I heard about this contest, I decided to immediately sign up. I needed an accountability partner who will keep me in check all the time. What better way to do it than actually have the provincial government regularly check on you, right?

Growing our own food is a basic survival skill.

I have always been a believer that growing one’s own food is a basic survival skill that should be taught to the next generation. Facing today’s economic downturn reminds us of what’s important in life. I am lucky that I still have my job and other projects to support myself, but if this global crisis will not improve in the next few months, I could be part of the millions of people around the world who are uncertain where they’re going to find another source of income.

I’ve been very comfortable for a long time and being in this state can be a danger. A life of comfort can make you weak and complacent. And when you’re too complacent, you get lost when things change.

That’s why I’m dedicating this year to learning more traditional life skills. There’s no excuse for learning especially in these modern times. We don’t even have to go to farm school to learn everything. Everything can already be found on the Internet. With the technology and unlimited resources we have today, anyone can become a skillful gardener.

SUGBUsog Containerized Gardening

One of my concerns before joining this contest was our backyard’s landscape. There’s not much soil and there’s too much limestone. On top of that, there’s really not much space within our property. But I wanted to transform the little space that we have into a garden teeming with life.

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I specifically joined the containerized gardening category because I knew I have to rely on containers to grow my crops. Thankfully, I stocked up a number of water bottles and rice sacks so I didn’t have to buy more pots. I also found a junk load of metal scraps lying around our house. I decided to repaint them so they can be repurposed as planters. Just goes to show how a little touch of paint can make a big difference!

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I didn’t have seed trays from the beginning so I had to be creative when I started planting. A little digging on the Internet taught me that you can also use eggshells as an alternative. I planted some of the tomato seeds and voila! They looked absolutely amazing.

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It has been over a month since I started and you can see the transformation in my garden. It makes me happy to see that it has transformed from this dreary-looking patch of land to a verdant field that will soon provide me with a bountiful harvest.

This is how our backyard looked like before I started planting.

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Look at it now!

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If I’m being honest, I had no idea what I was doing when I started. I basically just looked everything up on Youtube – how to germinate the seeds, how to transplant them, and how to water them properly. Every day is a learning process and I could definitely say that I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way.

I have a renewed appreciation for people working in the agriculture industry. Modern-day agriculturists are so cool and I have so much respect for these people. If I didn’t study English Literature in college, I would have studied agriculture. I’m pretty sure that I haven’t scratched the surface at all, but joining this vegetable gardening contest will definitely help me learn more about agriculture.

Special thanks to the municipal evaluators from the Municipal Agriculture Office of Santander for visiting my small garden for the 2nd round evaluation.

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Note: I made a separate blog about my gardening life. It is still under construction, but if you have some time to spare, I would appreciate it if you can check it out. I will be posting most of my gardening updates there. Who knows, I might also teach you a thing or two about gardening? *winks

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