Empowering women through edible landscaping

The story of how edible landscaping helped empower the women of Surigao del Norte was discussed during the online seminar of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) on 24 March 2021 via Facebook live in lieu of the National Women’s Month celebration.

“The [University of the Philippines Los Baños] (UPLB) came up with an idea to fuse ‘yung dalawa [edible food and ornamental plants], kaya nagkaroon tayo ng edible landscaping [EL] kung saan ‘yung itatanim mo bukod sa masustansya at makakatipid ka kasi mayroon ka ng pagkain diyan ay naka-landscape pa siya,” DA-BAR director Dr. Vivencio R. Mamaril said during his opening message.

UPLB Prof. Rowena P. de Guzman served as resource speaker. As co-project leader, she shared the experiences with The Valley Cathedral Christian Church (TVCCC)–Capangdan, the project’s selected target sector of the community.

TVCC is a Securities and Exchange Commission-registered non-government organization chapter.

TVCCC–Capangdan’s women were profiled and trained to develop their own EL garden design, which was further refined and established by the UPLB EL team.

From the process of site selection, final design presentation, and establishment of the EL garden up to monitoring and evaluation, initial findings on the gathered data provided insights on how the EL garden empowered the women participants.     

Nakakatulong ang edible garden sa aming lugar dito sa TVCCC. Marami nang mga tao [ang] pumunta dito sa amin at saka marami na kaming natutunan at marami na kaming nakilala. . . . Saka hindi na kami mahiyain. Sila [na] rin [ang] pumunta sa amin, [upang] mabisita [ang] aming EL garden,” said TVCCC EL garden in-charge Luzvilla E. Blancada during the impact assessment on women empowerment.

With discussions on companion cropping, organic concoctions, soil mixtures, pest management practices, and requirements, among others, the online seminar garnered 2,149 engagements and reached a total of 7,921 attendees or viewers, which comprises mostly of women. ### (Jireh Alodia R. Laxamana)