By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Susan Marges Gonzales, a BPO (Business Processing Outsourcing) employee, recently decided to start working on the farmland that her late father left her and her five sisters in Indang, Cavite.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she realized that a sustainable source of healthy food is necessary to survive in a crisis like this one. Plus, she wanted to continue the farming legacy that her late father started. But her love for cultivating plants isn’t relegated to the farm alone. She also cares for an urban garden in her Pasay home.
In the previous article, Gonzales shared the farm’s history and what they’re currently growing on the farm to help augment their income and food supply. Here, she talks about her venture as an urban gardener.
Growing ornamentals and vegetables
As an urban gardener, Gonzales is fond of growing both ornamentals and vegetables. Some of the ornamental plants that she owns include different varieties of alocasia with variegation, prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura), cypress, hoyas, varieties of pothos, fortune plant, and selloum.
She also grows vegetables like malunggay, pechay, sili, and okra on her rooftop.
To care for these plants, Gonzales plants them in pots with mixed soil, and waters them daily or when needed. She also uses household fertilizers like egg shells and soaked banana peels.
“Different plants require different care, thus knowing how to take care and make them grow through research is the key. Joining a community of urban home plant growers would also be a great help because we can share best practices on plant care for different kinds of plants at home,” Gonzales said.
But being both a farmer and urban gardener, Gonzales advises those who want to venture into agriculture, or horticulture, to start small then expand when they think they’re ready to take on more responsibility.
“There would be a lot of heartbreaks when your efforts won’t be successful in your first attempt, but just learn from it, continue learning by trial and error, and by researching from the experiences of other growers,” Gonzales said.
She added that partnering with local government agrarian and agricultural offices to seek support and also participating in seminars on plant-growing can help a beginner farmers or gardeners a great deal.
By bringing a piece of the farming life with her in the city, Gonzales enjoys the best of both worlds and promotes the idea of growing food as well as plants to others, much like her late father did.
For more information, visit Six Sisters Amazing Grace Farm on Facebook.
Photos from Six Sisters’ Amazing Grace Farm and Susan Marges Gonzales on Facebook.