With an area of some 8,000 ha., vegetable production still remains promising in Iloilo City.
Lawyer Hans Sayno is proving that with his garden at his 4,000 square-meter backyard in Mandurriao district, Iloilo City.
He stresses that he has gone organic to promote his health and that of his family.
His farm has growing fruit and timber trees, talisay, mahogany, star apple, babana, guavas, jackfruit, American lemon, papaya, bananas and rows of plots planted to different vegetables.
Hans has just harvested several plots of pechay that his kids sold near the church. He informed me of the sale which must have beenvery brisk because when I got there, his kids were no longer there. The back of the church is just a seven-minutes leisure walk from my place. It did not take an hour for the kids to sell out their pechay.
Hans invited me to his backyard later that same morning of November 27, 2011, to scour (ay mail, “scrounge” is the better term) for pechay left overs to pick some harvestable ones.
A cottage lies beside a pond where tangkong crawls and under it, cat fish.
The garden grows ordinary vegetables aside from pechay — kamote, alogbate, okra, pepper, tomato, squash, green onion, raddish, balunggay, tanglad, tagabang. All are organic. Hansdoes not apply artificial inputs or chemical sprays. For fertilizer, he uses only carabao dung and compost from rice hull.
Hans wife takes care of ornamental plants and cooking herbs like basil and oregano nearby. Flowering plants attracts bees and predators that control pests on the vegetable garden.
A screened house serves as nursery to grow seedlings that are approximated ready for planting after the earlier batches of vegetables are harvested. Used laundry basins serve as seed boxes. Hans has ventured into carrots and lettuces to test whether they are suited in lowland.
Hans has a flourishing legal practice but he gets away from his office early afternoon to continue writing with his PC on a bamboo table in the shed by the fishpond where the air is fresh and cool.
For fuel, the family rarely uses the gas stove. The garden has ipil trees and it has a pile of its dried wood standing at the back of the house.
“Ipil-ipil is fast growing. We cut the branches today, it ready for harvest again the next month,” he said.
seedlings sprouting inside used laundry basins converted into seedboxes
Banoy, the gardener picking “pusu saging” (unbloomed banana flower)
Hans Sayno with his eggplants