Edible landscaping is the practice of growing organic vegetables, fruits, and more in a landscaped garden setting. It was pioneered by the late Dr. Leonido R. Naranja from the former Crop Science Cluster of the College of Agriculture (CA-CSC), now the Institute of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS-ICropS) in the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB), in 1999.
Also known as foodscaping, edible landscaping is considered as an all-encompassing approach to growing a garden and producing food while making it look pretty, too. It’s the process of creating an integrative landscape that is resourceful, productive, and also self-sufficient and low-maintenance.
Naranja’s initial efforts in edible landscaping resulted in a partnership between UPLB, the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research, and the High Value Commercial Crops Program (HVCCP).
It also led to the establishment of two demo-gardens at the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) grounds in Diliman, Quezon City.
After Naranja passed away in 2010, Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. of UPLB continued the project with the help of Bryan V. Apacionado, Maria Charito E. Balladares, Ryan Rodrigo P. Tayobong, and Norma G. Medina, all from CAFS-ICropS.
The edible landscaping team continued to promote the practice through trainings, exhibits, project presentations, and partnerships with institutions to transform yards into food production hubs one yard at a time.
UPLB’s demo gardens has been reported to attract more visitors over the years, including ambassadors and government officials.
The team has also trained people and designed special modules to maximize the understanding and appreciation of the technology.
Most of the training courses on edible landscaping are held UPLB’s Ornamental Crops Nursery, but the team also travels to distant provinces to disseminate information on the practice.