THIS GARDEN'S PRODUCE BECAME THE FAMILY'S ONLY SOURCE OF INCOME DURING QUARANTINE
Agriculture|September - October 2020
IN SAMAR, an unused lot was transformed into a garden that helped a family earn income while providing for the town’s high demand for vegetables during the quarantine period, which was imposed to combat COVID-19.
VINA MEDENILLA

FROM HOBBY TO MONEY

As a son of hobbyists and gardeners, Mel Steven Fortaleza was asked by his parents to transform their idle lot into a garden so they can use it as a place for relaxation. They started establishing the garden that measures about 800 square meters last November 2019 and was able to get their first harvest by January 2020. Fortaleza and his father, both graduates of civil engineering, planned the garden themselves and named it Forever Organic Garden. The garden’s name ‘Forever’ is a wordplay from the family’s surname, ‘Fortaleza’.

They grow vegetables like cabbage, eggplant, siling labuyo, red pepper, okra, upo, ampalaya, malunggay, calamansi, lemon, alugbati, and different varieties of lettuce including iceberg, romaine, Parris island, and red leaf. They also plant fruits such as dragon fruit, guapple, grapes, and papaya. Presently, they have one gardener who takes care of the garden. Fortaleza’s parents also enjoy gardening as a form of exercise and hobby hence, they help in maintaining it.

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