They say that “the youth is the country’s hope”.

In Bahay Pag-Asa (House of Hope), this line rings true in many ways.  As a corrective and transformational facility exclusively for convicted youth offenders of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental of the Philippines, young boys and girls are given chances and opportunities — new hope — to reform and grow.

One of the center’s programs is organic gardening.  They plant and sell natural foods like strawberry, watermelon, papaya, hot chili, pechay (Chinese cabbage), string bean, pumpkin, and bitter gourd. Aside from resident boys and girls getting to eat clean and nutritious organic food, they also learn how to organically grow food: soil preparation, organic fertilizer, seed germination, planting, and crop management.  All crops are chemical – pesticide free, of course.

On May 12, 2017 (Friday), fresh, clean, organic, and natural foods pechay (bok choy or Chinese cabbage) will be harvested and are ready for sale at PhP 40/kg.  Only 15 kilos are available.  You may reserve at the “Comment Section” below.  There’s free delivery around La Salle area; otherwise, you may pick them up the University of St. La Salle (USLS) guard house Gate 2 along La Salle Avenue, Bacolod City (in front of Bob’s Courtyard).  Please look for Mylene Pura (0939 543 0182).  Kindly pay to her directly.  We’d appreciate your support!

By the way, I also compiled recipes how to cook bok choy.  Eating this healthy vegetable is one of the ways how to prevent cancer.

Here are photos from Bahay Pag-Asa organic farm:

“What’s growing at USLS – Bahay Pag-asa Organic Farm? Strawberries! We’ll update you when we actually get some berries.”

Strawberry

“What’s growing at USLS – Bahay Pag-asa Organic Farm? Watermelon! We’ll let you know when it’s ready!”

Watermelon

“What’s growing at USLS – Bahay Pag-asa Organic Farm? Papaya! Even papaya trees start small – here’s our seedlings, which will be cared for in our nursery until it’s time to plant them outside.”

Papaya

“What’s growing at USLS – Bahay Pag-asa Organic Farm? Paitan (hot chilies)! We’ll be ready to spice up your life very soon!”

Hot Chili

“What’s growing in the USLS – Bahay Pag-asa Organic Farm? Pechay (Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage)! This crop will be our first harvest in a few weeks and it’s looking great so far.”

Pechay

“What’s growing in the USLS – Bahay Pag-asa Organic Farm? Balatong (String Beans)! Of course these can be used in all kinds of dishes and the health benefits are considerable. The fiber content is very high, and it also provides some of your daily protein requirements. They also act as an easy source for acquiring vitamins like A, C, K, B6, and folic acid. In terms of minerals, string beans are a good source of calcium, silicon, iron, manganese, potassium, and copper.”

Stringbean

“What’s growing at the USLS – Bahay Pag-asa Organic Farm? Kalabasa (sometimes called “West Indian Pumpkin”). This large squash is used in soups and stews here. Calabaza is a good source of beta-carotene, some of which can be converted into vitamin A.”

Pumpkin

“What’s growing in the USLS-Bahay Pag-asa Organic Farm? Ampalaya (Bitter Gourd)! In the cuisine of the Philippines, bitter melon, known as ampalaya in Tagalog, and parya in Ilokano, may be stir-fried with ground beef and oyster sauce, or with eggs and diced tomato. It also has a long litany of medical applications.”

Bitter gourd

Here are more photos from Bahay Pag-asa (House of Hope).

“Today, under the guidance of Ms. Pamela Henares of Buro Buro Springs Organic Farm, the residents and staff are working to prepare the planting beds – involving an overhaul of the soil which should last 20 years. As the removed soil is replaced, it will be enriched with organic matter and improved with the product of our vermiculture efforts. This is a kind of farming that looks far beyond the next harvest and invests in the soil for years to come.”

Boy planting

Boys planting

“Bahay Pag-asa’s new plant nursery – ready for occupancy.”

Nursery construction

“The USLS-Bahay Pag-asa Organic Farm Nursery is a busy place these days.”

Seed1

Seed2

“The USLS-Bahay Pag-asa Organic Farm Nursery is now operational and providing us with healthy young plants for our farm. Yesterday and today we are moving many of these to our planting beds outside.”

Seed germination

“USLS-BPYC (University of St. La Salle – Bahay Pag-Asa Youth Center) Organic Farm Update: From nursery to field, our pechay (Filipino bokchoy) plants are shielded from some of nature’s tougher challenges under our netting until they become well established.”

Net

As you can see, all creatures, humans and plants, are given proper love and care.  With those two, hope does spring eternal.

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P.S. – In case you’re looking for a good property in Bacolod City, the Philippines, please check out the beautiful Megaworld Forbes Hill.  These are lots for sale by owner.  Thank you.

Forbes Hill Entrance

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