Who would have thought that what once was a dumpsite would grow food and feed a community.

An area in Barangay Uno by the coastline was once an eyesore with its piles of garbage. But in 2018, it was converted into a community vegetable garden to pad the impact of hunger and malnutrition among informal settlers in the area.

Today, the garden speaks eloquently of its transformation, being one of the most outstanding food security programs not just in Bacolod City but also nationwide with recognition given by national agencies.

In fact, the barangay enabled the construction of a nursery and greenhouse through assistance entrusted by the Department of Agriculture.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has recognized as well the program a couple of times because it matches the goals and campaigns of the national government on sustainable livelihood and food security beginning at the grassroots.

Patches and beds of pepper (sili), Chinese cabbage (petchay), eggplant (talong), lettuce (letsugas), lady’s finger (okra), moringa (malunggay), squash (kalabasa), sponge gourd (patola), raddish (labanos), and mustard (mustasa), among other greens, give a verdant face to Barangay Uno’s impressive transformation.

Nenita Alonzo, one of the residents who benefits from supply of free vegetables, implied that manna from heaven comes down through the community garden.

“Malaki talaga ang naitulong ng gulayan. Noong nagka-Covid, nakapag-harvest na ako dito,” Nenita said.

Antonio Barte, garden caretaker, said residents do ask permission before they pick vegetables as there is a system in place.

“Tumatawag naman sila kung manghihingi kasi nakakandado naman,” Antonio said.

Whatever surplus there is that is sold, the barangay makes sure that funds support programs of the fisherfolk association.

Wency Canales, president of Barangay Uno-Bacolod City Fisherfolk Association, called on further support from members to maintain the monthly cleanup and plant-growing.

“Umaapela ako sa aking mga kasamahan, especially sa fisherfolk, every month, nagki-cleaning kami dito. Kailangan nating magtanim dahil hindi naman para sa ibang tao ito. Ang makaka-benefit nito ay tayo mismo sa community,” Canales urged.

Moreover, residents appealed support from the Local Government Unit on free water supply, organic supplement, and seeds to enrich the potential of the community garden.