TALAVERA, Nueva Ecija : Here is a novel approach to the observance of All Saint’s Day. While the residents were paying their respects to their dead, farmers tended their crops in the model vegetable farm right inside the Talavera, Nueva Ecija public cemetery in preparation for next month’s “Gulayan sa Barangay” contest.
“Gulayan sa Barangay” is a competition for the different barangays in Talavera. The winning barangay, school and backyard residents that produce the biggest and most nutritious harvest of different vegetables will be awarded P500,000 in time for the Christmas season.
Some of the farm workers involved were those who earlier surrendered in the Oplan Tokhang drive in the town. A total of 53 barangays are actively involved in the “Gulayan sa Barangay” project.
Former three-term Mayor Nerito Santos, who is a soil expert, an engineer and the father of incumbent Mayor
Nerivi Santos Martinez, found the site of the Bagong Talavera Eternal Park, located in Barangay Poblacion Sur near the town hall, as ideal for vegetable raising. He gave his daughter the idea of using parts of the 10-hectare burial ground for vegetable farming.
Mayor Martinez encouraged residents to plant the sides of the cemetery’s inner streets to various crops like papaya, okra, tomato, upo (bottle gourd), patola (luffa), string beans, ampalaya and other tropical vegetables.
She added that inspired by the vegetable garden in the cemetery, two barangay chairmen Benito Miranda of Barangay Matias and Ram Manuzon of Barangay Pagasa, have converted a 1,000-square meter dumpsite into a vegetable garden and livestock farm.
Martinez said the project is the fourth “Gulayan sa Barangay” aimed at helping barangay residents raise part of their food needs