A 30-year-old Physical Education instructor in a private school is making a good sideline income by growing lettuce the SNAP hydroponics way in a rented idle lot in Antipolo City owned by the subdivision where he lives.
The fellow is Julius Carl Gerona who learned how grow lettuce the SNAP technique by watching the video on YouTube. But he also attended a one-day seminar on the topic in Los Baños where the technology was developed. That gives him discount privileges when he buys the nutrient solutions.
The week before we interviewed him (March 23, 2019), he said he sold more than P12,000 worth of lettuce to his fellow teachers, homeowners in the subdivision, three restaurants and in the public market. He said his production is not enough to meet the demand. Marketing is not a problem.
Under the SNAP system, lettuce seedlings are grown in recycled plastic cups from coffee shops. Eight plants are installed in a pair of discarded styropor boxes of imported grapes. The beauty about the SNAP system is that once installed, Julius just waits for the plants to be harvestable in 30 days. That’s why he can manage his sideline with the help of just one young worker who does the sowing of seedlings and planting them in cups using sterilized coco peat.
Julius grows his lettuce in two greenhouses in the idle lot that he rents for P300 a month. The bigger one which is 7 meters by 18 meters can accommodate 180 trays while the smaller one can accommodate 150 trays. The planting is staggered to make the lettuce available on a sustained basis. He particularly likes to grow the Lollo Biondo variety from Ramgo because it is resistant to the hot weather in summer. It also produces big spreading leaves.
Julius is very upbeat about his sideline which is supported by his wife, the former Ghedan Cuerpo who is a public school teacher. They were expecting their first baby a week after our March 23, 2019 interview.
For inquiries, send Julius a private message through their facebook page: J & G’s Backyard Lettuce or https://www.facebook.com/JandGBackyardLettuce.