By Zac B. Sarian
PANGSIGANG PEPPER STARTING TO FRUIT – Joseph Etomay of AANI Urban Farm shows a “Pangsigang” finger pepper, Django, that is starting to bear fruit. It is one of the varieties produced in big numbers using pure organic potting medium. A few plants in the home garden can supply the requirements of an average family in the urban areas.
VIGOROUS DIAMANTE MAX TOMATOES – Tita Rubia is all smiles posing with plants of a hybrid tomato from East-West Seed that have started to produce fruits. They are organically grown and no pesticides are applied because there seem to be now pests attacking the plants. The AANI Urban Farm is at No.1 Earl St., Kingsville Subdivision in Antipolo. Entrance is along Sumulong Highway.
OKRA & TOMATO – At left is a fruiting okra in a black plastic nursery bag while at right is a Diamante Max tomato that has started to bear fruit. Both are organically grown so they are healthful vegetables for the families growing them in their home gardens.
VIGOROUS EGGPLANTS – Photo shows workers busy working in the AANI Urban Farm vegetable production area in Kingsville Court Subdivision in Antipolo City. The eggplants in foreground are growing vigorously and are starting to flower. In a matter of days, they will be producing fruits.
INDIAN BLACK PEPPER – Another crop, this time a spice, can also be grown in the home garden. This is the Indian variety of black pepper, Paniyur, which produces long fruit spikes that are really pungent. Even the young fruits can be used in cooking adobo and other dishes that require black pepper. Photo shows propagations of black pepper at the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal. Usually, plants start bearing fruit as early as one to two years from planting.
PERENNIAL MINI CUCUMBER – Propagations of the mini cucumber that can remain productive for several years are now available at the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal. This produces small fruits that can be eaten fresh as snack food or processed into pickles, jam, juice, even prunes and other preparations. The vines can be grown on a trellis and will usually start fruiting in a matter of four months.
There are numberless opportunities in making an honest income in farming. There are limitless possibilities for those who are smart enough to spot income-producing projects.
One that has become a good money-maker for enterprising people, big as well as small operators, is producing vegetable seedlings that are ready for planting by whoever wants to grow crops but who are not experienced in producing seedlings of high-value vaieties.
The pioneer in the commercial production of vegetable seedlings for sale is East-West Seed, now one of the Top 10 vegetable seed companies in the world. It introduced in a large way the production of seedlings for sale with what it calls Farm Ready Seedlings. These are grown in plastic trays that are very convenient for buyers to handle.
Among the vegetables that East-West produces by the millions each year include different varieties of sweet and hot peppers, tomato, eggplant, ampalaya (including grafted ones), cucumber, pumpkin and more. Aside from vegetables, the company also germinates seedlings of high-value crops like different hybrid papayas, watermelon and melons.
Not long after, enterprising individuals followed suit. A lady in San Ildefonso, Bulacan is now a big grower of seedlings for sale. Other entrepreneurs doing the same can be found in Pampanga, Northern Luzon and even in the Visayas and Mindanao.
FRUITING VEGGIES – Now, AANI which has an urban farm at the Kingsville Court Subdivision (No. 1 Earl St.) along Sumulong Highway in Antipolo is doing something different. It is not producing seedlings for sale. Instead, it is producing vegetables in black plastic nursery bags that are already fruiting or about to bear fruit. The target buyers are subdivision residents who have some space in their yards to accommodate a number of potted vegetables that could provide them with fresh and healthful organically grown veggies.
These are grown in purely organic potting medium that consists of vermicompost, carbonized rice hull and a little garden soil. No pesticides are used to protect the plants because there seems to be no need for it. When plants are strong and vigorous, they are able to resist stress and pests don’t seem to be active.
Tita Rubia who is overseeing the workers was very proud to show us the beautiful vegetables that are about to produce fruits as well as those that are already in fruit. Plants of the Diamante Max tomato variety from East-West have started to bear fruit and many of them are bearing clusters of young fruits.
Another interesting vegetaqble is the okra which started fruiting barely over month from planting. The technique in prolonging the productive life of okra plants is to remove the non-functional leaves down below. This will also make for better ventilation that can discourage fungal growth and pest infestation. Later, when the plant has attained its maximum height, it is topcut and fertilized with organic fertilizer applied in the soil as well as spraying with organic foliar fertilizer. This will produce new growth that will continue to produce fruits.
Plants of the Pangsigang peppers (Django) have also started bearing fruits. A similar treatment recommended for okra will also work wonders. The plants have to be regularly fertilized and the non-functional leaves below pruned.
The hot chillies in plastic pots are already fruiting and were the first plants bought by a customer at the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal. By the way, the plants produced at the AANI Urban Farm are also available at the Sarian Farm for the convenience of customers who are in eastern and southern Rizal. The prices in the two places are the same.
This early, a medical doctor in Mindanao who saw our blog, texted to Tita Rubia saying that he will do the same as what AANI is doing in Antipolo. He also saw the possibility of undertaking a money-making project by producing ready-to-fruit as well as already fruiting vegetables in containers.