Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Navy Launches Urban Garden in Manila

Director, Naval Public Affairs Office

The before and after landscape photo of the Urban Garden before it was developed.

The Philippine Navy launched Wednesday morning, 08 July 2009 one of its environment-friendly projects dubbed as “Urban Vegetable Gardening” at the Bonifacio Naval Station, Taguig City. The project is pioneered by the Navy’s engineering arm, the Naval Construction Brigade (NCBde) or Seabees. It aims to showcase an eco-friendly garden right in the heart of Metro Manila that can also as a good source of healthy diet and additional income.

In line with the government’s war against hunger, the Seabees collaborated with the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) of the Department of Agriculture in transforming the 600-square meter former trash site at the Seabees Headquarters into an organic vegetable garden. The Navy’s Urban Garden was realized thru the initiative of the Seabees aided by the technical expertise and seedlings from BPI. Organic fertilizers like compost and farming methods were used to grow vegetables like alugbati, upland kangkong, bush sitaw, saluyot, pechay, raddish, eggplant, and ginger.

Navy Chief Vice Admiral Ferdinand S. Golez expressed optimism over the project. In his speech during the launching ceremony, the Vice Admiral cited the health benefits of organic-grown vegetables saying "Vegetable is an important ingredient of our diet and input for good health.” He challenged Navy personnel to replicate the project in all units of the Command and to sustain the project and make vegetable gardening “ a part of our daily life in the Navy.”

Ms. Josephine Garcia, the BPI representative echoed the views of Vice Admiral Golez. “The garden is not only a good source of organic vegetables that promotes one’s health, but is also a good source of additional income” she declared.

The project which targets optimum yield over minimum inputs will showcase technologies in growing vegetables, herbs and spices. It will serve as a model for other communities in the urban area to grow vegetables in their backyards or even in containers. This in a way will produce quality vegetables for home consumption, generate income, and help minimize waste in the area through composting.

Through the years, the Philippine Navy has expanded its role to include the protection of our environment. After launching its own Ecological Waste Segregation Program at Fort San Felipe, Cavite City early this year, the Navy now embarks into another eco-friendly project, the Urban Garden. This project further attests to the Navy’s commitment in preserving our natural resources.

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