HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER LOSES SUMMER SIDE JOBS, NOW EARNS EXTRA INCOME FROM THE CROPS HE GROWS
Agriculture|September - October 2020
AS COMMUNITY QUARANTINE (CQ) continues to take effect to combat COVID-19, many people are still adjusting to the changes in their new daily routine. For this teacher of Lucena City National High School named Marcelo Alivia residing in Quezon province, losing his side jobs as a part-time coach, swimming instructor, and basketball referee is something he had to face.
VINA MEDENILLA

Since classes haven’t started yet, he decided to plant in a vacant lot next to their house as a way to relieve his boredom. He was able to get free seeds and seedlings from the regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) through his colleague. A government program called “Tayo ang Kalikasan” that provides seminars and garden competitions also urged him more to start gardening.

FRUITS OF LABOR

Since his elementary days, planting has always been his hobby. He gained knowledge and experience from his parents, who contributed a major influence to his love and interest in food production. Alivia enhanced this knowledge through modern devices. He gets ideas, tips, and techniques via an online video streaming website that serves as a guide to improve his plants.

Crops in his garden include okra, cassava, sweet potato, yard long bean, tomato, eggplant, papaya, river spinach, corn, bitter gourd, patola, Malabar spinach, mustasa, cucumber, squash, chili and bell pepper, saluyot, cabbages, and some medicinal plants such as sambong, lemongrass, oregano, and damong maria (Artemisia).

The said vacant lot measures 300 square meters wide. He planted cassava on its sides that functions as a fence. In over three months, he was able to plant an estimated number of 200+ pieces of okras, 34 papayas, 100+ eggplants, 100+ chili pepper, 150 pieces of white corn, six cucumbers, 20 pieces of squash, 10 pieces of ampalaya, and 60 pieces of sitaw. Presently, he was able to harvest cabbages, mustasas, cucumbers, eggplants, okras, chili peppers, and ampalayas.

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