School Raised Vegetables

A few months after we started the feeding program at the Banawa Elementary School in Cebu, I noticed that the school started growing vegetables in the school yard. It was actually amazing how healthy and prolific the vegetables seemed, particularly since they seemed to make a conscious choice of planting these “above ground” either in recycled plastic containers, plastic bags and most intriguingly, bamboo poles. I am sure this agricultural effort was part of their class lessons on nutrition or afterschool activities, but the offshoot of this program, I was told, was that some of the produce was included in the meals for the feeding program, so the kids grew part of their own meals.

The sign up top translates roughly to “School Vegetable Gardens” and these are just some of the things they had in the school yard. Up top were kang kong or water spinach in hanging halved recycled plastic containers. They explained that the ground was very rocky and had hardly any topsoil so they had taken to planting in containers. Above, a really cool use of large bamboo poles, halved and filled with compost and soil… they used this to sprout seeds and even grown other veggies to maturity.


Gardening has always been a favorite pastime of many people including me. That’s simply because it’s a relief from stress and brings joy, especially when it’s harvest time.

I am growing pechay organically in my backyard. I have 15 pots planted to pechay, and I enjoy sharing my harvest with my friends and neighbors. Likewise, I want to share my little knowledge on backyard gardening for the benefit of those who are interested in it, too.

I suggest to those who are planning to establish a garden to select an area that is exposed to sunlight and is near the kitchen. With the garden being one stone’s throw away from the kitchen, it would be convenient to water the crops with rice wash or with fish or meat wash, which are all good for the plants as these contain nutrients and minerals. Preventing infestation would be easy, too, as it would be easy to seefrom the kitchen window the condition of the crops.

I also suggest that they construct a stand to elevate the pots to maximize use of space. Fill the pots with humus soil or compost. Plant one seed in small pots and two in bigger pots through direct seeding. When the pechay begins to sprout, start to water the same with either rice wash or fish- wash or meat wash.

As for pest management, I inspect my pechay plants every morning to see if there are tiny holes or scratches on the leaves. These are indications that the plants are infested with small pin worms or cutworms. I remove these greenish black worms using a stick and puller.

I start to harvest after 30 days. I do not uproot pechay plants until these start flowering. Pechay grow up to four months. Replace the soil in the pots with new garden soil and replant again.


Philippines is the very tropical country. We can find here in the philippines many different vegetables. One of them is pechay because pechay is just very easy to plant and we can harvest this in just 45 days.There are many ways on how to plant this pechay. Either we plant this in the farm or just in our house.

Needs in planting pechay:

1.) Seedlings
2.) Pot
3.) Fertelizer

a. Seedling Production.
Sow seeds thinly on shallow furrows across the seedbed/seedboxes, and cover lightly with fine top soil. Do not broadcast seeds when sowing to avoid thick germination in one place. Water the seedbed/seedbox daily using a sprinkler so as not to expose the seeds which might be eaten by insects. However, when seeds have germinated, regulate watering to produce sturdy seedlings. Weeding, watering and other cultural management practices should be regularly done until the seedlings are ready for transplanting, or after about one month.
b. Transplanting
Moisten thoroughly the seedbed a day before pricking out the seedlings for transplanting. This will facilitate easy pricking out of seedlings for transplanting from the seedbed to minimize root injury. Gently prick out the seedlings and transplant them in the prepared plots or in pots, after which water adequately the plots or pots. Spacing usually depends on the variety of pechay to be planted but the common distance used is 15 cm between hills and 20 cm between rows.
c. Care and maintenance
Apply liberal amount of organic fertilizer at the base of the plants, then cover lightly with soil and water immediately. Water the plant whenever necessary or depending on your own judgment or observation of the plant. Weeding must also be done to minimize competition for soil nutrients. However, weed carefully so as not to disturb the roots of the pechay. To control pests and diseases, spray the right amount/dosage of pesticides as prescribed on the label, which should never be increased. If possible, plant green onions along the sides of the plot. This plant is offensive to some insects/pests and thus would act as a deterrent to the attack of some insects/pests to the crops. Mechanical or hand picking of worms may be resorted to on a limited number of plants