The pioneering “Boac Community Food Garden Contest”, launched last 28 April 2020 and spanned more than 55 days, has named three big winners from three separate participating barangays in the Municipality of Boac, in the island province of Marinduque.
The contest has inspired garden farms, hardworking farmers, and gardening enthusiasts to try farming their own food amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Aside from the Top Three winning places, the contest also launched seven mini competitions within the contest. With a gardening challenge that lasted more almost two months, the organizers made sure that the contestants remained engaged on top of their game.
Winners in these mini contests bagged special prizes such as organic fertilizers, organic vermicast and concoctions manufactured from the AGREA Vermiculture Facility at the AGREA Farm Estate, as well as certified seeds.
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“We are inspired everyday knowing that our farming communities are enthusiastic in producing their own food,” said Cherrie Atilano, AGREA’s Founding Farmer, President and CEO.
“This contest is an integrated holistic food-based approach of AGREA enables local farmers to grow nutritional food using responsible agricultural practices allowing them not to only feed their families but also to earn income by selling their produce,” she adds.
Meet the mini contest winners
The contest was anyone’s game, but five of the contestants succeeded expectations in garden design, story writing, garden photography, crop care & maintenance, and cooking.
Mrs. Thess Oracion’s photograph taken with her husband at the Oracion Garden in Brgy Bangbangalon bagged the Best Food Garden Photograph. Thess is a first-time garden contestant and shared how gardening helped her and her family through the pandemic.
In a Facebook post, Thess shared, “Ito po ang masarap at napakagandang bunga ng pagtatanim ng mga binhing ipinagkaloob ng Boac Community Food Garden Contest. Tunay po na panalo ang lahat ng kalahok sa pagsali pa lang sa pa-contest na ito sapagkat naging malusog at payapa ang aming puso, katawan, at isipan sa panahon na pandemyang ating pinagdaraanan, hanggang sa new normal nating buhay. Proud to be a member of this group. Proud to be a farmer.
The Biggest Green Leafy prize is won by John Oliver Hermosa and his D Upcycle Garden of Brgy Laylay. His single pechay plant weighed in at a whopping 790 grams and beating four other contenders in that category.
The Best Raised Beds and Implements mini contest is won by Nelia Requina Seño and her Lovely's Garden Farm. The working organic farm in Barangay Cawit features ingenious raised bed and trellis designs made of indigenous materials.
Nelia also bagged the contest's Second Prize and won P5,000 cash. The farm features high value crops such as lettuce, 'Bahay Kubo' vegetables, corn, chicken, hogs, and ornamental plants.
John Kenneth Landig and his Keana’s Garden in Brgy Poras bagged the Independence Day Best Photograph where he won a can of certified loose-leaf lettuce seeds. His garden, which posed an estimated operating size of 800 sqm also won the Largest Garden Area.
The cumulative total land area entered into the Boac Community Food Garden Contest is estimated at 5,400 sqm.
One other participant also won two awards: Dennis Motol and his Team Bukid Rosalina garden won both the Best Food Garden Recipe and the Best Garden Story. Dennis is a public-school teacher.
Read Dennis’ winning piece here: “Pamana”: the winning Boac Community Garden Story
Congratulations to all the winners! The Boac Community Food Garden Contest is powered by AGREA, Tulong Marinduque, Goodyear General Merchandise, Goodchow Food Express, The Diocese of Boac, and TESDA Provincial Office Marinduque.