By Mike U. Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – The regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) based here on Tuesday said hydroponics is a good way to be productive in time of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“With the assistance of the agency, Caraganons now learn backyard vegetable gardening, every family member help one another in this practice during community quarantine,” DA 13 Regional Spokesperson Emmylou T. Presilda told The Manila Bulletin on Tuesday.

Many and daily are coming to the regional office here and in all offices spread in various areas in the region asking for vegetable seeds, the DA 13 regional spokesperson said.
Yes, in the midst of a global pandemic, a man turns a negative situation into a positive one, she added.

For instance, with the city of Butuan placed under community quarantine, forcing people to stay at home to prevent the spread of the COVID 19, Bryan Tingas turned into backyard vegetable gardening to put his time to good use.

Tingas said that when the community quarantine was implemented last March, their office also implemented a work from home policy. It was then that he decided to utilize the vacant space in their yard to have a vegetable garden.

Since the space is limited, he also used some empty containers and planted them with vegetables. In addition, he put up his own hydroponics, a method of gardening that uses no soil, but instead grows plants in a solution of water and nutrients.

Tingas said that he thought of having the hydroponics since this planting method is less laborious and does not require a lot of time for management which he said would be good once work resumes and he would have less time to tend to his garden. “With hydroponics, there is no need to water the plants daily so you save time as well as water,” Tingas shared.

He researched on the internet on how to establish hydroponics. He then prepared the needed materials such as the styrofoam boxes, paper cups, the nutrient solution, seeds, and the nets he used for shading.

He said that the roofing or shade is necessary if you are planting leafy vegetables to protect them from too much heat. He also said that he did not spend much on the materials since he just asked for the Styrofoam boxes from fruit vendors.

“Although the space is limited, I was still able to plant various vegetables, you just need to be resourceful in doing things,” Tingas said.

Tingas said that their garden has served as their own food source. “We have since been harvesting vegetables from our garden and I am glad that I am able to support the food security advocacy of the Department of Agriculture,” he said.

Moreover, Tingas said that he hopes to inspire other people to also have their own backyard vegetable gardens so that they too can provide nutritious and chemical-free foods for their families.