Plantdemic and plant parenthood

FULL DISCLOSURE - Fidel O. Abalos (The Freeman) - November 21, 2020 - 12:00am

The unprecedented surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths in the world’s largest economy makes us, a poor country, doubt on our capabilities to contain it. In fact, as the other wealthy countries in Europe deal with another wave, more reasons to doubt linger. Probably, this could be the reason why Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella is somehow overreacting as infections surged lately. 

Consequently, border controls were reinstituted. As if the residents in the neighboring local government units are the culprits, not the laxity in the implementation within the city of the proven health protocols. Possibly, therefore, what follows next will be the execution of the proven “virus surge containing but economy contracting lockdown” solution. When that happens, we will be holed up again in our homes. 

To those who are already working from home, that’s no longer a challenge. In fact, by now, they no longer treat it as the new normal. To most of them, with or without the virus, this is already their normal.

To the wealthy, whose preoccupation then was throwing wads of cash in department stores and go bar and restaurant hopping right after, they must have already learned to kill boredom these days by engaging in healthy hobbies. To the wage earners whose jobs won’t make working from home possible, they must have engaged in small income generating activities just to make both ends meet.

Indeed, there are many things the ongoing pandemic has brought while we were holed up in our homes.One of these activities that has pervaded globally is now referred to as plantdemic.  This word is a portmanteau (a made-up or blended word that combines the meaning of both words) of words plant and pandemic. Though yet to land in credible dictionaries like brunch (for breakfast and lunch), motel (for motor and hotel), smog (for smoke and fog) and podcast (for iPod and broadcast), it means a worldwide spread of the interest in gardening and nurturing plants inside one’s household. 

Palpably, there is a plantdemic. Though popular among urban dwellers, this newfound love for gardening is so contagious that it also infected those in the countryside.  In fact, environmentalists are happy as this latest craze will somehow address the growing concerns on the ill effects of climate change. 

Mostly ornamental plants, they found some joy in those that are said to emit more oxygen (like Snake Plant, Spider Plant, Peace Lily, Aloe Vera, etc.) while placed indoors.  Others are planting vegetables. Consequently, though they started only with just one pot or garden plot, today, some already have tens, twenties or even more. To support this craze, some are even putting up nurseries (in urban areas as well as in the countryside) in their vacant lots and made them their new livelihood.

Recognizing this trend, a tech start-up developed an app called “Plant Parenthood.” Appropriately named, it is an app that is designed for plant parents (a description intended for those who may find joy in nurturing plants) who may wish to take care or adopt plants (just like taking care of pets) into their lives. Though having only one plant doesn’t require this app, when the interest grows and having more is inevitable, it shall become a must. More so if one has a nursery and is seriously considering it as his livelihood. This is because each plant has its own characteristics and its own need for water, nutrients, fertilizers, sunlight, etc. Therefore, for each kind of plant, the quantities and frequencies of its intake and span of exposure to sunlight vary.

Obviously, this app addresses these concerns. This is an app that will help a plant parent keep track of each plant’s (each variety) needs. Its features include, among others, plant discovery and plant management (which includes watering schedule, social media feed and manual plant entry). Simply put, with this app, a plant parent will never forget when he last watered them; appreciate how far they have grown; share some plant updates with his friends; or, when needed, ask for some help from fellow plant parents all over the globe.

Therefore, if you are wealthy and is just a plain hobbyist, this app is good because it shall help you nurture your plant babies and avoid untimely deaths, thus, save on cost. To those who have nurseries and have made plant parenting a livelihood, this is more useful as it helps you manage the plants’ full cycle. That’s from plant discovery, nurturing and growing, reaching out to potential market (as you shall be globally connected) andmaking money out of it. Along the way, you are cost-efficient as inputs are precise and growths are well monitored, thus, improving bottomline.


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