I remember back then when exasperated teachers would blurt out, “Go home and plant kamote,” for students who wouldn’t be bothered to make an effort in their studies. It’s sad that farming is looked down upon but in times of crisis, when food is scarce, we realize that we should have been planting kamote all along.
As most parts of the Philippines is currently on community quarantine due to COVID-19, decreasing food supply and imposed limited movements have made our situation more challenging. Local government units distribute relief goods but thankfully, there’s a clamor for fresh produce not only to support farmers (#SupportFarmerspH #ReliefPH) but eating fruits and vegetables to keep healthy is another defense against the disease.
Advocates of home-based gardening have also started promoting the #TipidTanim Challenge encouraging households to plant now to enhance local food production for family consumption. Agriculturists and experts have conducted online lessons on basic vegetable gardening. In support to this, #IAmHampasLupa is crowd sourcing where the public can get free seeds. Local government agencies like the Department of Agriculture, some cities and barangays, and even individuals have already initiated seed-giving efforts.
During this time of the COVID-19 crisis and also as a response to the impact of climate change which we continually experience, let’s reconnect to the earth, reconnect to our food, and promote food security. And as we continue observing physical distancing and washing our hands, let’s stay home and plant kamote.