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Successful school garden program widens coverage

Pupils and teachers at the Crisanto Guysayko Memorial Elementary School in Nagcarlan, Laguna show their bountiful vegetable harvest.

MANILA, Philippines — A school and home garden program was successfully implemented from January 2016 to June 2017 in Laguna towns.

The program initially involved five elementary schools in the Laguna towns of Alaminos, Majayjay, Nagcarlan and Pila and Cabuyao City, and a high school in Sta. Cruz.

It was supported by the Department of Education-Laguna, the Los Baños-based Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, University of the Philippines-Los Baños and the local government units of the five towns and city.

The program has produced 1.4 tons of assorted vegetables (squash, camote vines, ampalaya, malunggay, kangkong, okra, seguidillas, patola, saluyot, pechay, radish, beans, alugbati, pepper, tomato, and spinach).

The program’s feeding component also increased the weight and height of the hundreds of school children covered by the activity.

Moreover, the program churned out 30 vegetable recipes and 125 lesson plans that aim to integrate in the Laguna school curriculum such concepts and practices as organic agriculture, nutrition, climate change, edible landscaping and solid waste management.

Owing to its success, the program has been expanded to cover 15 more elementary schools and three high schools in the pilot five towns and city.

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