By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Edgardo “Ed” Sarte, 56, works as an operations manager for Solid Mix Corporation, a ready-mix concrete company in Caloocan during the weekdays. On the weekends, however, he finds time to visit their family home in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija.
On their property, he and his youngest brother, Albert Sarte, grow banana trees for their family’s personal consumption.
“We grew bananas because my family and I like to eat fruits because they’re refreshing and healthy. But more importantly, it was for my parents so they’d have a steady supply of potassium in their diet,” Ed said.
Bananas are known to be rich in potassium and fiber. For the aged, the mineral is beneficial because it regulates heart health, lowers blood pressure, strengthens bone density, and improves digestion.
These benefits from bananas are what Ed is after to give to his parents without having to resort to the use of supplements.
Other advantages that can come from consuming bananas include removing unwanted chemicals from the liver and kidneys, and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
“Personally, I think that nothing beats the natural experience. An effective health booster comes from nature like being around clean surroundings and eating fresh fruits and vegetables,” Ed said.
Apart from the benefits from bananas, Ed and his brother chose to plant almost all the variants of banana such as latundan, lakatan, and saba in their backyard because they found it easy to grow.
“We water our banana plants moderately and we don’t use plenty of insecticides or fertilizers so it’s very convenient for us since my brother has to keep an eye on our parents as well,” Ed said.
He added that planting the trees on a spot that has the enough amount of sunlight and shade works well because they don’t have to worry about weather damage too much.
In case of excess in their harvest, Ed said that his brother sells their bananas for P40 a kilo right outside their house.
Sadly, because of the constant rain, their banana trees have been washed out. The brothers decided that they shouldn’t place their future crops in low-lying areas to avoid damages brought about by weather conditions.
Ed said that he and Albert will continue to plant fruits like banana, calamansi, and papaya on their property because nothing beats the feeling of being able to grow something valuable right in their own backyard.