Most of us are currently required to stay at home to protect ourselves from the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the challenges that many of us face is accessing food that is nutritious enough to keep our immunity strong so we can reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
The quarantine restrictions have limited our trips to markets and grocery stores, so purchasing fresh and nutritious food may be a little bit more difficult at this time. So why not start growing your own food at home? This way, you will have one less thing to worry about.
Start growing food in your backyard, or if you have a small space, try plant boxes or recycled bottles instead. The quarantine period surely is the perfect opportunity to nurture your home garden.
There are many benefits of home gardening. Let’s hear them from home gardeners themselves:
Access to healthy food. “24/7 supply of fresh, clean, safe, and nutrient-rich leafy vegetables and fruits right at your home–what more could make me love gardening?…” – Christianne Ballarta
Saves money on groceries .“Hindi mo na kailangang mamalengke kasi nasa tabi na lang ng bahay. Kahit araw-arawin ulam ko gulay. Fresh na fresh pa. (I don’t need to go to the market anymore because the vegetables are readily available in my house. I can eat fresh vegetables everyday.)” – Rhea May dela Cruz
Good for mental health. “I love home gardening because it calms my nerves from anxiety attacks even before the quarantine started. It has become my therapy when I get burned out from being a full-time mother of three (3).” – May Marie Silva Feria
Great way to bond with family. “Growing our own vegetables serves as a bonding for us as a family. The kids love observing how the plants grow, and it sorts of gives us an accomplishment…” – Kristle Grace Aguilar-Hawod
Source of additional income. “Home gardening advantages… we earned extra income in our own way.” – Arnold Minimo
What to plant in your home garden
If you are a beginner, you might be wondering what vegetables are perfect to grow in your home garden. Worry not because East-West Seed provided a list of easy-to-cultivate, high-yielding vegetable varieties that are tasty, nutritious, and perfect for different Filipino dishes.
Monteverde Leaf Mustard
Newbie gardener with a small space? Try to start planting some leaf mustard in a pot or recycled bottle today. It will grow you bright green, compact leaf mustard just 20-25 days after sowing.
Saute it with corned beef or add some to sinigang or nilaga. This leafy veggie is a good source of fiber, Vitamin C and Potassium.
Here’s a guide on how to grow leafy vegetables:
It's time to grow healthy, nutritious food at home! In this VeggiEskwela webinar episode, Joyce will teach you how to start your own leafy vegetable garden.
Posted by East-West Seed Foundation, Inc.- Philippines on Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Diamante Max F1 Tomato
Tomatoes are used in many dishes so growing your own can really help in saving money. This tomato variety is high-yielding and can give you red, round, and firm tomatoes every 3 days, once you start harvesting two months after transplanting.
You can grow tomatoes in a big pot or in a 5-gallon container. The Diamante Max tomato variety is also strong against heat and has resistance to diseases like the Tomato Leaf Curl Virus Disease and Bacterial Wilt.
Here’s a guide on how to grow tomatoes:
Bonito F1 Bitter Gourd
Hesitating to buy bitter gourd because it is “too much” for your consumption? Try growing Bonito F1 — this native hybrid bitter gourd is a favorite of the North to use for Pinakbet because of its short (10-12cm), dark green, and glossy fruits. You will just have to wait for 35-45 days after transplant to enjoy its spindle-shaped fruit and leaves. Once the plant matures, you can already harvest every 1-2 days.
Use this in pinakbet, sauteed with meat and/or egg, or add its leaves to sauteed mung bean.
Here’s a guide on how to grow bitter gourd:
Pia F1 Butternut Pumpkin
A butternut pumpkin variety that has a delicious sweet taste and sticky texture. Its size is perfect for a small family.
You can grow Pia in big pots or in 5-gallon containers with trellis for support when the plant starts to climb. This pumpkin variety has resistance to Squash Leaf Curl Virus. You can start harvesting 75 to 80 days after sowing your seeds.
With its smooth, dark yellow-orange flesh, Pia is perfect for ginataang kalabasa, pinakbet, and even desserts to help you load up on vitamins and boost eye health.
Here’s a guide on how to grow pumpkin:
Red Hot F1 Hot Pepper
This is a very high-yielding hot pepper that you can also grow in big pots or in 5-gallon containers. You can start harvesting 60 to 65 days after transplanting. And if you take good care of it, it can give you a steady supply of hot pepper for your sauces and condiments for up to 6 months or more!
Here’s a guide on how to grow pepper:
East-West Seed offers all of these vegetable varieties in their Go Grow seed packs.
If you’re a beginner, you don’t have to worry about how to start since the Go Grow seed packs also include instructions on how to plant the seeds. However, if you want to educate yourself more, you can also visit growhow.eastwestseed.com and watch East-West Seed Philippines VeggiEskwela Online webinars to learn the basics of vegetable home gardening.
Ordering these is also now made easier and safer through East-West Seed’s Lazada Store. With just a few clicks, you can now purchase seeds of these easy-to-grow, high-yielding vegetables and have them delivered right at your doorstep.
All photos from East-West Seed.