Every time the prices of vegetables soar, the usual advice of government officials concerned being interviewed is for the people to plant their own vegetables. My experience says that it is actually cheaper to buy vegetables from the market instead of planting my own, except that I can be sure that my veggies are not sprayed with pesticide. I even attended a seminar on hydroponics organized by a neighbor enthusiast who was so insistent that we attend at the village multi-purpose center for a fee, of course. I thought I would be harvesting lettuce every time I feel like it after the hydroponics seminar as we went home with planting kits and seedlings, but no! It was quite disappointing. My lettuce were looking so thin and small and pale after about two months. I tried to plant some again, but the results were the same. I decided to buy pechay (or pakchoi) seeds and instead of cultivating them hydroponics style, I planted them in the soil. The results were a little bit better, but still quite pale compared to my neighbor’s, but the birds soon beat me to them. Every day, I noticed the leaves with bird bites. I have also tried planting chili peppers, ginger, onion, and aloe vera. The ginger, onion, and aloe vera were feasted on by a rat, I guess, and the chilli pepper which was in a big flower pot was stepped on by a stray cat which used the flower pot as his toilet..
Gardening is a hobby, but my small garden has only ornamentals, save for my rosemary plant which was spared from stray animals. They probably hate the minty odor. I used to have a Calamansi tree from which I can get some fruits when I needed them but it withered after I hang Christmas lights on it.
Despite not being successful with the edible plants, my tiny garden gives me joy, especially when the flowering plants bloom. I remember that my father used to say that my grandma was wasting her time taking care of her Roses and other flowering plants as he preferred to plant fruit-bearing trees in our yard. Now I realize that we also need to nourish our soul by looking at the beautiful ornamentals and flowers even as we feed our bodies with fruits and vegetables.