The third Urban Agriculture Expo will be staged on September 17-18 at the Market Market Central Plaza in Taguig City. The two-day event is a project of the Manila Bulletin and Agriculture Magazine to familiarize urban dwellers about many food production projects that they can undertake right in their homes.
Different ways of growing vegetables will be showcased by seed companies as well as hobbyists and commercial growers. The new varieties that are highly productive will be made available by seed companies like Allied Botanical Corporation, East-West Seed Company and others.
Visitors will be able to see the vegetable starter kit developed by Ramgo intended for teaching school children how to start propagating vegetables. Each kit includes a biodegradable pot, potting medium, seeds, fertilizer and a piece of paper where the school kid can note down his observation during the growing period of the seedlings.
MICROGREENS – Many homemakers will be glad to see microgreens which are actually sprouted vegetable seeds which are harvested when they have newly emerging true leaves. These are very nutritious for making salads. They are also very easy to grow in plastic pans and other suitable containers. From the day the seeds are planted, they can be harvested in just about 10 days or thereabouts.
Business-minded individuals can learn to produce microgreens which they can sell to customers. These are very clean young vegetables which are rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
FRUIT TREES IN CONTAINERS – Visitors will also can get some ideas at the Urban Agri Expo regarding how they can grow many of their favorite fruit trees in containers. These are usually planted in durable rubberized containers or halved plastic drums.
Homeowners, for instance, can grow their own calamansi trees in containers. Grafted plants which are adequately fertilized will produce a lot of fruits which can be used in the kitchen.
Many other fruit trees can be grown in containers. These include American lemons, chico, imported makopa, pummelo, atis, mango, pomegranate and others.
CULINARY AND HEALING HERBS – Many culinary and healing herbs can also be grown around the home. These include sweet basil, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, mint and many others. Many visitors will really be glad to find out that tarragon makes a very refreshing tea. Just put a few leafy stems in a glass of boiling water and, presto, you have very relaxing beverage.
HYBRID VEGETABLES – Urban gardeners will be able to buy seeds as well as ready-to-plant seedlings of cherry tomatoes, salad tomatoes, different varieties of peppers (hot as well as hot varieties), eggplant, okra, lettuce, patola, ampalaya, squash, upo and many more.
FLOWERING PLANTS – Lovers of flowers will be happy to see the new varieties of canna or Bandera Española, sunflower, marigold, zinnia, celosia, vinca, torennia, petunia and many more. There are dwarf as well as tall varieties of sunflower. The dwarf ones that are distributed by Allied Botanical are becoming a favorite potted flowering plant.
It seems there is a growing market for flowering plants, especially in the urban areas. Proof is that the seed companies are carrying different varieties of flowering plants that are imported. These companies include Allied Botanical, East-West Seed, Ramgo and Known-You Philippines.
GARDENING LECTURES – Visitors would be glad to know that there will be free lectures on growing various food and ornamental crops. There will be a talk on organic farming and gardening. This agri editor and part-time farmer will talk on the opportunities in growing fruit trees in the urban areas.
Entrance to the Urban Agri Expo is free to the public. So make sure to be there.