Aside from cooking and baking, gardening has become a newfound skill of a lot of people while the country is in lockdown. Months after, several ‘gardeners’ are already earning from their produce. Some of them lost jobs during the pandemic but were now harvesting blessings from the bounty of the earth.
The Fortaleza family of Samar has already started tending to their unused lot and plans to create a home garden out of it even before the COVID-19 hits the world. What began as a hobby soon became a source of income.
The family called theirs Forever Organic Garden.
They started to grow vegetables such as cabbage, eggplant, siling labuyo, red pepper, okra, upo, ampalaya, malunggay, calamansi, lemon, alugbati. There are also different varieties of lettuce in their gardens, such as Parris island, red leaf, iceberg, and romaine.
During their first time of harvest, they were able to produce a lot of vegetables such as lettuce and pechay. They distributed some of it to their relatives and friends. They decided to sell the remaining ones.
Realizing that there is a considerable demand for lettuce in Samar since there is only a handful of producers, the family allocated a vast part of their garden for it.
To get more customers, they offered their customers the unique experience of ‘lettuce picking,’ where visitors get to harvest their products similar to the strawberry picking in Baguio and grape picking in La Union. Customers will bring their harvest to the weighing scale and pay the corresponding price.
Customers get the chance to enjoy their harvest right there, with a variety of dipping available in the garden. Aside from that, the garden also offers other meals for its guests, such as lettuce shake and veggie salad.
Source of income during the lockdown
The Fortaleza family was thankful that they were able to transform their garden last year. After the implementation of the community quarantine took a toll on their construction business, the garden has become the family’s sole source of income, giving them roughly P50,000 per harvest.