OFW GROWS SURVIVAL CROPS THROUGH CONTAINER AND HYDROPONIC GARDENING
Agriculture|September - October 2020
WHETHER FAST OR SLOW-GROWING CROPS, producing your food can help you gain security and satisfaction in the same way that it can save our families from hunger during this COVID-19 crisis.
VINA MEDENILLA

In a world where almost everything is remote controlled and things can be instantly obtained in a push of a button, the best reward that one can get from gardening is to be able to see things coming into life from a tiny seed. This is what a Qatar-based Filipino urban grower Michael Forcado said on the impact of home gardening.

A certified public accountant (CPA) by profession, Forcado decided to grow vegetables while working abroad not just to save money but also for his family to be able to get proper nutrients from fruits and vegetables that are free from harmful pesticides.

He has been growing fruits and vegetables for seven years now. He created a social media account called ‘Vegetable Gardening And More’ featuring their roof deck garden, planting techniques, and gardening practices.

SURVIVAL CROPS

Forcado said survival crops are those easy-to-grow fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, kangkong, pechay, potatoes, onions, and eggplants. These crops grow easily from seeds and can be harvested quickly, which is very practical, especially during these trying times.

In planting survival crops, the main challenge is finding good soil for them as they need compost-rich soil. To solve this, Forcado uses natural fertilizers readily available in agricultural shops that can easily augment the nutrients naturally found in normal soil. For the plant fertilizer, Forcado uses coco substrate, potting soil, and lots of compost materials. He provided a big garbage container that serves as the compost bin.

For pots, there are no specific containers that need to be used; as long as there is a proper drainage system at the base of the containers, they’re good for planting. For those who have limited space and resources, it will be practical to grow their vegetables in containers.

According to Forcado, one major advantage of growing survival crops at home is that you are assured that the vegetables are free from harmful pesticides. Plus you can have fresh, naturally grown vegetables on the table all the time.

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