Left photo: One of the WWRRDEC personnel doing the land preparation for the planting of the vegetable seeds provided by Department of Agriculture (DA) Baguio City. Right photo: The seeds provided by the DA in Baguio City.

Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic that the whole world is now experiencing, selected staff from the Watershed and Water Resources Research, Development and Extension Center (WWRRDEC) staff planted assorted vegetables in the Learning Ecopark for Advocating Resources and Nature (LEARN) garden of the Center in Baguio City on April 30, 2020.

The seeds were provided by the Department of Agriculture through their regional office based in Baguio City.

The DA’s seed dispersal is part of the department’s program to ensure food availability and sustained production amidst these difficult times.

Coherent with the DA’s program, WWRRDEC upholds the mandates of DENR by assuring the sustainability of natural resources and helps promote the proper use of land or vacant spaces for vegetable production.

The seeds planted, which were availed by Ms. Minda S. Odsey from DA-CAR, were bitter gourd, eggplant, French beans, pole beans, cucumber, Chinese cabbage, and tomato.

WWRRDEC personnel residing in the vicinity of the office are required to monitor and maintain the established vegetable gardens.

Health protocols such as wearing of face masks, proper hand washing, disinfection and social distancing were strictly observed during the gardening and monitoring activities.

Direct sowing was done for the French beans, pole beans and cucumber while the other vegetable seeds like eggplant and tomato were first sown in germination trays before they were transplanted to the established garden.

Although we are faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center finds a way to address some of the negative impacts of this disease outbreak by producing fresh and healthy food from idle backyards and maximize the use of the Center’s LEARN garden. Carissa C. Collado, WWRRDEC