Agriculture - - Patok -

THE TWO-DAY Ur­ban Agri­cul­ture trade fair at the Mar­ket! Mar­ket! Cen­tral Plaza in Taguig City last Septem­ber 1718 was a big hit. The event is part of a con­tin­u­ing project of Agri­cul­ture Mag­a­zine of Manila Bul­letin. The trade fair was the third of a se­ries that Agri­cul­ture Mag­a­zine plans to un­der­take in the com­ing years to pro­mote farm­ing and gar­den­ing in the ur­ban ar­eas. There are many plants and even small an­i­mals that can be pro­duced for food in lim­ited spa­ces, us­ing in­no­va­tive pro­duc­tion tech­niques.

A num­ber of en­trepreneurs have shown that mush­rooms can be grown prac­ti­cally ev­ery­where in the city. Eric Ro­driguez of Tanauan City was very proud in show­ing the Gan­o­derma mush­rooms that he grows in his home. This is a spe­cial species with medic­i­nal at­tributes.

He also dis­played shi­itake mush­rooms, a species that is usu­ally grown in the high­lands where the weather is cool. He dis­closed that the beau­ti­ful shi­itake mush­room that he dis­played in his booth was grown by a friend in the low­lands of Gen­eral San­tos City. The se­cret? It was pro­duced in an ice plant.

Carol Goitia proudly show­cased mush­room burg­ers and tapa as well as other prepa­ra­tions. Th­ese are or­gan­i­cally pro­duced food prod­ucts that are claimed to be good for a healthy lifestyle. Speak­ing of healthy food, the Aztec Spir­ulina pro­duced by Engr. Napoleon Puente and his family in Cainta, Rizal, was a big hit at the trade fair, es­pe­cially among the el­derly. Spir­ulina has been tagged by the UN FAO (United Na­tions Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion) as the most com­plete food in the world. The lo­cally pro­duced Aztec Spir­ulina has been an­a­lyzed to con­tain 72 per­cent pro­tein.

Spir­ulina is a blue-green al­gae that is cul­tured in a very hy­gienic en­vi­ron­ment at the Cainta farm of Aztec Spir­ulina Com­pany. The com­pany pro­cesses the har­vested al­gae into cap­sules and gran­ules. It has also de­vel­oped a 5-in-one cof­fee blend con­tain­ing, among oth­ers, spir­ulina and man­gos­teen ex­tract.

UP LOS BAÑOS - The Uni­ver­sity of the Philip­pines Los Baños (UPLB) show­cased at the trade fair its edi­ble gar­den­ing tech­nique us­ing plas­tic pots and other con­tain­ers for grow­ing plants. The pot­ted veg­eta­bles are grown in ver­ti­cal gar­den­ing style so that even a lim­ited space can pro­duce sig­nif­i­cant amounts of veg­eta­bles for home use or for sell­ing in the mar­ket.

The uni­ver­sity also show­cased the com­mer­cial­iz­able

Ur­ban Agri fair visi­tors wait­ing for its open­ing.

Ken­neth de Gra­cia of Costales Na­ture Farms speak­ing be­fore a jam­packed au­di­ence.

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