Tom’s Garden: Cebu City’s hub for modern farming methods
Cebu City’s farmers will have a chance to learn modern methods of farming first hand in an agriculture hub in Barangay Taptap, one of the mountain barangays of the city.
The more than a hectare agriculture facility called Tom’s Garden or Technology Offered to the Masa’s Garden, is a farming laboratory, which aims to educate the local farmers from the 28 mountain barangays about the modern ways of farming that can help them have a more abundant harvest.
“The best way to teach them how is by giving them an example. When they see this and that the products are better than theirs, the farmers would submit themselves to learn this process,” said Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña during the facility’s inauguration on Saturday.
Organic farming including the use of vermiculture or a worm’s waste for fertilizer, growing products that are hybrid of foreign and local plant species, and the use of alternative supplies for farm animals are a few of the technologies used by the farm.
One of the highlighted technology used in the farm is the “newspaper technology” where piles of newspapers are stacked on the plant beds, acting like a sponge, and making the water stay in the plot beds longer.
“That way, you reduce water consumption for plants by more than half,” said Osmeña.
According to City Agriculturist Apple Tribunalo, Tom’s garden is open for everyone who would want to learn the farming techniques that they employ.
On Saturday, local farmers were toured within the facility where they were explained of the advantages of applying such ways of farming.
As for City Tourism officer Malou Inocando-Tabar, the city-owned garden which is a joint project of the city’s tourism and agriculture offices, is an effort to support the livelihood of the farmers while promoting the city’s tourism.
“The instruction of Mayor Tom was for me to look for a place in the high lands and develop it into a tourism spot,” said Inocando-Tabar.
She said that with the location of the farm that is over-looking the city and the suitability of the environment for farming, she knew that the spot in Barangay Taptap was going to be a good project.
Inocando-Tabar said farmers’ wives had been organized to sell the farmers’ produce to tourists, whom the city could bring to a native designed cottage at the edge of the farm.
Meanwhile, the farmers also received water storage equipment for their farms including two square tanks, water drums and water pumps, water hoses and a hauling truck that they could use to transport their products to the city.
The Cebu City government donated the water storage equipment while the hauling truck was donated by the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas.
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