Nutritious diet with fruits and vegetables has become even more important for survival and better immunity in the midst of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In these challenging times, UPLB Edible Landscaping’s (EL) rallying cry that “no Filipino should be hungry” to promote food production proves its relevance.
As events during the ECQ continues to unfold, EL walks its talk by helping supply food to stranded UPLB students and by empowering the students to produce for their own needs, as well.
On April 1, EL delivered freshly picked kamotetops, eggplants, red and green lettuce, chili,spring onions, señoritabananas, and papaya, as well as edible flowers like samsamping(blue ternate) and katuray(vegetable hummingbird) to Office of Student Activities (OSA) Director Rocky Marcelino.
OSA is an office under the recently elevated Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs from what was the Office of Student Affairs. Dr. Eleno Peralta heads the OVCSA.
Under the programs Lingap Adopt-a-Dormer and Oplan-Kawingan, UPLB has been providing free meals to around 1,500 UPLB students that are stranded in campus dormitories and off-campus housing facilities because of the ECQ.
Both programs, conceptualized by OVCSA with full support from the UPLB administration, are sustained by cash and in-kind donations from various benefactors.
Aside from the fresh harvest, the EL team also provided seeds and planting materials to the dormers and staff of Men’s Residence Hall with which they have started growing their own eggplants, sweet potato, blue ternate, dill, spring onions, pechay (bok choi), chilli peppers, and red lettuce.
UHO Chief Zoilo Belano, Jr. and Dorm Manager Ruejelle Cabral received these donations in coordination with Engr. Claire Sandro, a university extension specialist at the Institute of Crop Science (ICropS).
Edible Landscaping is a project led by Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., who is also a professor of horticulture at ICrops.
It is funded by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and is based at the Ornamental Crops Nursery, ICropS, College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS)
Edible Landscaping has been promoted to different local government units in the country and has gained a following for its food production approach to landscaping.
ICropS faculty members, researchers, and support personnel have been working with Chancellor Sanchez in the EL project since it was established more than a decade ago. (Remuel Torres and Maria Charito E. Balladares)