East-West Seed Foundation (EWSF), the corporate social responsibility arm of East-West Seed, recently launched its new website that showcases a wide range of content on how to grow vegetables at home and in small spaces.
EWSF developed this new website as a response to the growing demand for information on vegetable home gardening prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also in line with EWSF’s mission to raise appreciation, production, and consumption of vegetables to improve the health of Filipinos.
Video tutorials on every step of growing vegetables in small spaces can be viewed and downloaded for free on EWSF’s website under the VeggiEskwela page.
“At EWSF, we envision a future where every Filipino enjoys food security and proper nutrition through improved vegetable consumption. We poured time and effort into creating these educational materials on vegetable gardening to encourage more people to grow their own food, especially during this pandemic where food security is at risk for many communities,” said Ma. Elena van Tooren, Managing Director of EWSF.
The website also supports teachers by providing them a comprehensive teaching program on vegetable gardening for Grade 5 students, following the Department of Education’s standards and curriculum. Teachers can register as members of the website to access teaching guides on home gardening and get certification after completing the assessment for every lesson.
“We aim to empower teachers with information that can help them to effectively teach vegetable gardening to their students. Vegetable gardens help in addressing malnutrition among school children and increase the youth’s appreciation for agriculture. We hope that these teaching guides will enable teachers and students to build and maintain their own vegetable gardens,” added van Tooren.
The EWSF website received around 2,000 member registrations in just a month after its launch. Over half of the registered members come from the education sector. According to van Tooren, they hope that teachers from all 45,000 public schools in the Philippines will take advantage of this opportunity.
One of the website members, Avegail dela Cruz-Valmocena, shared, “I learned a lot! Although I teach science, I can use these materials across other disciplines such as TLE, agriculture, health, and in contextual application in everyday life.”
Since 2012, EWSF has been actively promoting vegetable gardening and consumption in schools and communities in the bid to improve food security and nutrition in the country. As of 2019, EWSF has trained around 28,000 students and teachers in 700 schools and communities nationwide, with the help of its partners from the government and private sector.