I started gardening on August 15, 2018.
I cannot forget that date because I was in front of my computer back then, thinking of my next blog post idea, when I heard a public announcement outside the house that there will be a gardening seminar at the barangay hall.
For some reason, I got interested with it, so I immediately logged off from my computer and went to the hall and signed myself up for The Joy of Urban Farming seminar, which is a project of Mayor Joy Belmonte.
Growing up the in province
Just to give you a quick background, I grew up in a small barangay in the Samar province and my parents have farm lands which they have inherited from my grandparents, but I never had an interest in planting, farming or gardening.
Yes, I experienced planting in elementary and high school when we had a subject that required us to cultivate and grow plants in our school garden, but I only did it because I have to, not that I want to.
In short, I wasn’t really into planting, and never in my wildest dreams have I ever thought of digging the soil, sowing seeds, and growing plants after graduating high school. Never!
But remember what Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher say about change?
There Is Nothing Permanent Except Change. Change is the only reality in nature.
And I agree…
Everything in this world can change. Relationships, circumstances, and feelings change.
And that’s exactly what happened to me when I attended the gardening seminar.
It changed my perspective about planting and gardening.
Gardening as My New Hobby
Little did I know that it was already the beginning of a new and exciting hobby for me and my daughter who now shares the same interest in plants.
After the lecture, they gave us some seeds, a seedling tray, and a potting mix or soil.
They taught us how to properly plant the seeds and we took them home under our care.
Everyday, Macey and I were always excited to water the plants and check their development. Dad was also supportive of our newly found hobby and he even bought us a new water spray.
After a few days, the first set of our celery has grown bigger and we couldn’t be any happier the first time we harvested them.
We planted more vegetables and herbs including okra, talong, ampalaya, patola, sitaw, basil, oregano, rosemary, and more.
The growing number of greens in our garden added color and joy inside and outside the house.
It also attracted and inspired some of our neighbors to start their own garden and grow plants even if they have limited space.
We gave them seeds and taught them how to grow plants in pots and how to convert their kitchen scraps into organic fertilizers.
Sabi nga ng friends ko sa Facebook pag nakikita nila ang mga pinopost kong plants,
Ang sipag at ang tiyaga mo naman.
Well, that’s because gardening really requires hard work and patience.
You don’t plant a seed today and expect it to grow the next day.
You need to water them everyday, pull the weeds, cultivate the soil, and protect them from harmful pests, for them to grow healthy and strong.
But all the watering and waiting pay off when it’s harvest time.
It’s very fulfilling.
Iba talaga ang feeling na nakapagpatubo ka ng plant. Kahit konti lang ang harvest, sobrang sulit naman ang pagod pag nakikita mong nagbunga ang pinaghirapan mo.
5 Values Gardening Has Taught Me
Gardening has not only taught me how to grow plants.
It has also taught me many values and lessons in different aspects of my life – at work, in my relationships, and my faith.
- Persistence – It taught me to keep cultivating my plants even if it was time-consuming.
- Patience – It taught me that things don’t happen easily. It takes time.
- Hard work – It taught me how to work hard and be consistent not only when I feel like it.
- Education – It motivated me to keep learning by reading blogs, watching gardening videos on YouTube, and attending seminars and meetups to know more about plants.
- Gratitude – It taught me to be more grateful to God, the source and creator of everything in this world.
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. – 1 Corinthians 3:7
Meeting Other Gardeners
After that first gardening seminar in our barangay hall, I continued learning about planting.
I joined gardening groups on Facebook, I attended seminars, and I joined meetups and mastermind groups.
I became a member of the Urban Container Organic Gardening or UCOG community on Facebook that was founded by Kuya Don Bustamante.
After the group’s first anniversary event, the members were divided according to their city or area of residence for easier coordination of activities and meetups.
I became a member of UCOG-Quezon City group where I continue to meet new friends and fellow gardeners.
It’s fun to share your interests with like-minded people.
They motivate and support you when gardening gets tough, which may happen anytime during your gardening journey.
Going back to the farm
A year after I started urban gardening in Quezon City, I enjoyed it so much that I decided to go back to my hometown in Samar to see our small farm which I haven’t had an interest in until 2018.
I also thought I’d share and implement what I’ve learned about farming from my one-year of gardening experience.
My husband and my parents thought I wasn’t serious when I told them my plans of going home to see the farm.
But I did it anyway and I thank them for supporting me. Good thing Papa was in Samar during that time and I was also able to convince my sister to go with me.
We stayed there for two weeks and I had the best of my time gardening and farming.
I wished I could stay longer or live in the farm with my family for good, but that’s far from reality right now because we are based in QC.
But who knows? We might, one day, decide to build and live in my dream farmhouse in the province. If not for good, maybe stay there for a month or two during summer.
What I realized after visiting the farm
I thought it would be easy for me to manage a farm because I already have an experience in gardening.
But when I saw our farm in the province, I realized that it takes more work than I could ever think of.
Starting and maintaining a farm requires:
- intensive planning
- people, and
I could only do so much during my two-week vacation, but I’m glad I saw our farm and I enjoyed the experience so much.
It was one of the most relaxing and fulfilling vacations I ever had.
Even if I cannot do anything with the farm right now, I still dream of having my own sustainable farm someday.
In the meantime, I will continue to grow and cultivate our plants in our urban garden and be content with what we have right now.
This is our mini garden in the terrace at dito ako madalas magmuni-muni. 🙂
If you’d like to see more of my gardening experiences, check out:
This is Day 2 of My 31-Day Blogging Challenge
It’s 11:20 PM. I started writing this before lunch, but I got busy with other things including Zoom meetings, and I just got the time to wrap this up now.
I could’ve done this tomorrow, but I’m taking this challenge, so I’ll try to be persistent and consistent. 🙂
If you’re a fellow blogger, you can join me in this challenge.
If you’re a reader, I hope you can stick with me until the 31st of May.
Thanks for your time and I hope you can check back tomorrow for my next blog post. 🙂