Military troops have begun reaping the benefits of propagating organic vegetables and fruit-bearing trees in this vast military reservation.
Since the “Hardin ng Lunas” was introduced in this camp on April 3, 2019, members of the Philippine Army and their families have learned the improved techniques of growing organic vegetables and fruit-bearing trees, which provide them a source of nutritious food and alternative livelihood.
Hardin ng Lunas, a joint undertaking of the Philippine Army and the Tarlac Heritage Foundation under chair Dr. Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay, aims to develop idle camp lands to make them productive for the benefit of the military personnel and their dependents.
“The Army’s 7th Infantry Division is now harvesting the fruits of their hard work. The garden yielded a bountiful harvest of vegetables and fruits,” said Brig. Gen. Henry A. Robinson Jr., assistant division commander of the 7th Infantry Division (7ID).
In a 7,500-square-meter site, the vegetables being tended by the officers and enlisted personnel of the 7ID Hardin ng Lunas team include okra, eggplants, string beans, red and green bell pepper, tomatoes, pechay, calamansi, squash, as well as red lady papaya and calamansi trees.
“Alam po naman ninyo napakahirap magtanim ng ganyan dito sa Fort Magsaysay, subalit dahil sa patuloy na pagtutulungan at ugnayan, nakita natin ang mga tanim na maayos at talagang magagamit sa ating mga hapag kainan (You know how difficult it is to plant such kinds of vegetables here at Fort Magsaysay. But through cooperation and coordination, we can see the vegetables are good and we can serve them on our dining table),” Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, commanding general of the Philippine Army, said.
Gapay, together with Suntay and Maj. Gen. Lenard Agustin, division commander of the 7ID, on Monday, led the inauguration and blessing of another site of Hardin ng Lunas here.
During the event, a ceremonial tree planting was held.
“Through the project, our soldiers will be given another livelihood for them to become more sufficient and not being dependent (on) outside sources, aside from food security,” Gapay said. (PNA)