Space may be a challenge if you’re into gardening, but it can never be a hindrance to how well you can produce vegetables, specially if it is only for your family’s consumption. So if you think you don’t have enough space to plant, well, it is time you meet Ret. Col. Honorio Cervantes who will you realize that you can maximize the space you have.
In his farm at Patapat, Cagayan de Oro, Ret. Col. Cervantes adopted what he learned from the idea of Mel Bartholomew that divides a planting area into 12 inches by 12 inches, thus the name “Square Foot Gardening” and apply it to his 300-sqm farm lot.
With this concept, Ret. Col. Cervantes is able to make use each square foot to the fullest. Depending on the crop, he plants a number of each variety on every square foot to the max it can accommodate.
He says that this method is best for people who do not have enough farm space but wants to make sure they have organic vegetables to eat. And even for people who do not having soils and planting materials, Cervantes says that it is possible to do as he provides it for people wanting to – whether it is on a budget or a little more sophisticated.
This is the same method he did in teaching inmates to plant and harvest on their own inside the prison. So, there is no excuse to plant even just for your own consumption if one wants to make use of his or her small space.
Aside from square foot gardening, Cervantes maximizes his space even more using vertical gardening. So, imagine how he utilizes the ground horizontally, while also planting upwards. Again, this is another concept of how to make the most out of limited space.
At Cervantes Farm, bamboos where used to put up the vertical garden as frame and pots. I believe that in the urban set-up, many can apply this concept using different sorts of things, even plastics, ropes, woods and other recyclable and non-recyclable materials.
This way, we can help save the environment at the same time benefiting from the food we can produce.
Imagine how many vegetables you can plant in the simple yet effective concept like the Cervantes Farm is applying.
To top it all, Ret. Col. Cervantes says that he applies only organic practices on his farm. This makes sure he and his wife get the best out of his produce.
Now, with the organic farm in play and a gardening concept, the Cervantes Farm is also a farm tourism attraction for people wanting the same method applied in their small space. So, the opportunity continue to widen with Ret. Col. Cervantes maximizing his lot.
I also had the opportunity to take part in the lunch he prepared for us on our tour – all from the produce of his farm. I have to say that this is an eye-opener that truly, agriculture can be virtually anywhere.
It is a matter of knowing the craft, having the time and learning what to plant, to make sure that you can reap the benefits of your garden.
I see no reason for people to be hungry, literally, if only they will make use of their space, time and effort appropriately.
Indeed, the Cervantes Farm tour was a great way to start-off our Region 10 Organic Agriculture Tour courtesy of the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). There is really much to learn and much to earn when you’re into organic farming.
For more details on Cervantes Farm you can contact them directly for inquiries and farm tour or you may contact the DA-ATI Region 10 for details.
Zone 5, Patapat, Cagayan De Oro
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