Mama has always been into gardening ever since I was a young boy. It is no wonder that I have a fascination with gardening as well. I recently had a chance to see her garden again when I went home to our province in Sorsogon for a brief vacation.
There is really nothing extraordinary about her garden but I think what is more important is that it serves the purpose of providing them with some common everyday vegetables which otherwise would have been bought from the market.
my mother's garden
She grows a variety of edibles including the common camote tops (sweet potato) – great for the cocido, camoteng kahoy (cassava), gabi (yam), siling labuyo, malunggay and many more. She just grows them along the roadside and other vacant patches inside our compound. She uses the branches of madre de cacao as trellises for her pipinitos, ampalaya (bitter gourd) and bataw (hyacinth beans).
We still have the old langka (jackfruit) tree, the cacao tree and the atemoya (I am not sure though if it is – we have been calling it as such since we were children) all bearing fruits. I also saw a lubi-lubi (garden nightshade). We cook the young leaves in coconut milk as a vegetable dish.
I even brought home back home to Cavite some cuttings of berries. The cuttings are sown on recycled aluminum foil packaging, plastic bottles , coconut shells, broken plastic basins, old rubber tires, and milk cans. She has been recycling even before “green” became fashionable. Nothing is wasted on her. Everything is recycled and put into use again.
“There is nothing complicated with home gardening” Mama always tells me. Let nature take its course. All you have to do is sow, plant, nourish and water. She does not apply any commercial fertilizers but she uses the rice and fish washings to water the plants. The results are great.
I am sure we also can do it in our small patches or even pots and enjoy the harvest later.