Farmer shifts from specialty produce to table vegetables

By Sahlie P. Lacson

Carlomagno Aguilar, who manages Organic Growth, a farm that specializes in specialty produce, told us that he has shifted to growing table vegetables like squash, okra, tomatoes, eggplant, pechay, kangkong, and alugbati since, for him, these are what the people will need in case community quarantine continues.

This is just one of the activities Aguilar is up to right now to sustain food production.

“Due to the lockdown, I can only go to my vegetable garden (450 sq.m.) where I can grow my own vegetables. I’m expecting a shortage of food that is why it’s better that I’m prepared,” Aguilar said. Similarly, in order to teach people to start planting their own food, he makes vlogs and post them on social media.

“With my farmers, I give them tasks on what to do to maximize their time and ask them to take pictures so I can see if tasks were accomplished,” Aguilar said on how their farmers have been coping given the situation and whether they are still provided with regular income.

Kangkong is one of the table vegetables that can easily grow in case community quarantine continues.

Organic Growth manages several other farms with emphasis on a farm-to-table concept and advocating the natural farming method. Originally, they were into specialty produce such as lettuce, arugula, and herbs which they supply to hotels, resorts, and restaurants for their culinary needs.

Importance of farm-to-table concept

First, it is sustainable. Second, it can be cheaper. And third, it is safe and clean. “Everyone wants to live longer and healthier, and one way of doing it is eating clean and safe food,” Aguilar said.

Especially nowadays, aside from consuming the proper nutrients in order to boost our immune system, it is also important to ensure that food could be readily available just right outside of one’s kitchen. Limitations on logistics, as well as in financial resources could be addressed when we don’t have to look farther for other sources of food.

“The vision of Organic Growth is to make every region of our country become self- reliant with their food through farm-to-table. This concept, if applied to each of our country’s region, will make food sustainable. Each region won’t have to rely on distant provinces’ produce, rather, (they) will be producing their own,” Aguilar enthused.

“We need to act fast, or else, we will have a shortage of food soon,” Aguilar said.

Contact Organic Growth at [email protected].

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s May to June 2020 issue. 

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