BAGUIO CITY – Members of the Senior Citizens Association of Barangay Irisan (SCABI) were trained on Urban Gardening and Waste Management for Health and Wellness at the Baguio City Fire Station Hall in Irisan, Baguio City last July 21, 2017.
The Research Division headed by Dr. Magdalena Wanawan under the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Administration Region (DA-CAR) organized the training with the Zero Waste-Baguio Inc. and the officers of the SCABI as its partner.
Margaret Tolero, President of SCABI said they wish to learn urban gardening to help lessen their garbage, especially in Barangay Irisan where the dumpsite of the city is located.
According to the Waste Analysis & Characterization Study, about 11, 647.11 kg of waste is being produced by an individual. This means that 11, 647.11 kg multiplied by the 32, 180 total population of Barangay Irisan is already too much waste according to Vicky Bautista of Zero Waste-Baguio Inc.
With that, the Zero Waste-Baguio advocates the SSS – Start Segregating at Source. This was emphasized because if segregating begins at home the waste to be collected will be lessened.
Aside from segregating, vermiculture is one of the solutions being cited for biodegradable wastes. It is the process of using worms specifically African Night Crawlers (ANC), scientifically called Eudrilus eugeniae, to decompose food waste turning it into a vermicast and vermi tea which is nutrient-rich material capable of supplying necessary nutrient to help sustain plant growth. It can be done within a limited space and can be a good enterprise.
Alongside with vermiculture is urban gardening where waste materials such as styro box, styro cups, soda bottles, damaged containers and among others can be turned into plant pots.
Mr. Danilo Agliam, the champion of Urban Gardening from Baguio City and at the same time an employee of DA-CAR served as one of the resource person. He challenged the participants by saying that they should continue learning and should not be contented with what was just taught to them.
Furthermore, Dr. Wanawan encouraged the participants to establish container gardens. Container gardening according to Dr. Wanawan is gardening without a garden because it can be done with a limited space at home. Container gardening is also a way of lessening waste since the damaged containers and other waste materials that can be innovated as planting pots will be excluded in the volume of waste collected by the garbage collectors, she added. Moreover, the biodegradable wastes such as kitchen refuse like fruit peelings and vegetable trimmings can be composted to fertilize the plants.
Tolero said that they were very thankful for the training and she assured the organizers they will apply what they have learned. She also answered the challenge from Mr. Agliam when she said that the next champion of urban gardening will be coming from Barangay Irisan.
By Karen T. Gawigawen