In November 2019, the Fortaleza family transformed their idle lot in Samar into a garden, hoping to produce vegetables as a hobby. But they soon found that it could become a lucrative venture for them. They named it Forever Organic Garden.
“Noong first harvest namin, hindi kami nag-expect na marami palang produce ng vegetables, lalo na ‘yung lettuce and pechay,” shares Mel Steven Fortaleza in a video interview with Summit Media. “’Yung ginawa is binigay muna sa mga kamag-anak and friends. E hindi pa rin nauubos, so tinry naming ibenta.”
They also thought of a ‘pakulo’ to get more customers. Inspired by the strawberry picking in Baguio and grape picking in La Union, they came up with ‘lettuce picking’ where visitors get to harvest their own produce. “May timbangan naman doon, doon na lang din kami nag-pe-presyo,” Mel shares. They even offer different kinds of dipping sauce so the customers can enjoy their harvest right then and there!
Mel is thankful that they thought of transforming their unused lot last year because the quarantine really took a toll on their primary source of income — their family’s construction business. “The garden is the only income of our family this lockdown,” Mel says.
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Mel shares that they earn roughly Php50,000 per harvest. “Buti na lang din may garden—blessing din ni Lord. Nakagawa kami ng garden last year, at least may kaunting pera pa rin na pumapasok.”
He adds, “Sa start talaga akala namin ‘yung gardening it’s for passion only—for hobby lang. Noong na-try naming na ibenta, nakita namin… Malaki pala ‘yung profit ng gardening lalo na kung seseryosohin ito.”
Inspired to start your own home garden? Watch the video below to learn how the Fortaleza family did it!
What kind of vegetables can you grow in your home garden? Click here for our guide!