“Once, our efforts were based on whatever came to mind [in the moment]. Now, we come up with a plan; talking through possibilities, and how to manage these scenarios if things don’t go as planned.”—Zaldy, Philippines

Seems like it was only a few months ago that we were sharing the story of some of our community partners from the Philippines’ successful fish-hatching project. Remember? In an effort to address persistent issues related to hunger, nutrition, and income, our friend Zaldy, along with a bunch of motivated neighbors worked together to access funding, training, and supplies to maintain a fish farm in a local pond? Sure you do. Here’s a link so you can read it again!

When we spoke to Zaldy about the insights he and others involved in the hatchery project had learned from their experience, his thoughtful reply made us swoon with admiration:

“Once, our efforts were based on whatever came to mind [in the moment],” he said. “Now, we come up with a plan; talking through possibilities, and how to manage these scenarios if things don’t go as planned.”

In the intervening months since our previous article, Zaldy and his fellow community partners have kept up their inspired, inspirational tempo – working together to plant, raise, and harvest a robust community vegetable garden!

Gardening Project | PhilippinesAs you can see (and nearly taste!), partners in Zaldy’s community aren’t into qualified successes – grow big, or go home. Tomatoes are a popular ingredient for local dishes like singang, described as a “sour soup with fish or meat,” and sarsiyado , a dish made from sautéed tomatoes combined with fried fish. Farm-to-table, indeed.

The photogenic tomato models seen here are all the children or grandchildren of the partners responsible for implementing this project, and were very excited to be asked to pose for these snapshots, we’re told. No, thank YOU, kids!

Gardening Project | PhilippinesGardening Project | PhilippinesBesides the dishes listed above, tomatoes are one of the most frequently consumed food items in the community, either as ingredients or as a main course. Depending on the chef’s preference, they can be a nutritious, portable snack, or tossed in with other veggies before being fried, roasted, or boiled. As versatile as the people who grew them!

The vegetable garden in Zaldy’s community is the latest step they’ve taken together on their collective march out toward empowerment. Their practical, sustainable solutions to persistent problems serve a number of functions: As remedies to the issues they face, as examples for their children to witness and emulate, and, as a delicious reminder each day of how good victory tastes.


How to Help

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