For all of us who look forward to our gardens, here are photos from a farm in Amadeo, Cavite that we visited two days ago.

Fruits

Cabbage

Cabbage

Kale

Onions and kale – surprising to see kale flourishing in this hot climate!

Eggplant

Eggplant

Farmers

Our host, Meloy, sits in back with his son and wife.  He is in his early 20s and already a skilled farmer – and a very hard worker.

Meloy is about to leave with his wife and young son to the family farm in Cabanatuan to help his father to farm.  His brother came with family for a “despedida” – a farewell dinner.  We were invited too.  The meal was served on a banana leaf table cloth.  Everything but the fish came from the land.

Feast

From left to right:  taro, cassava (manioc), kangkong or “water spinach”, eggplant, long beans or “sitaw”, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce.  Except for the salad crops, everything was steamed and delicious.

Ampalaya

Ampalaya, or bitter melon, grows well on trellises.

Bitter melon (ampalaya) has strong anti-diabetic properties.  The Native Americans of the Southwest used to eat a bitter melon indigenous to that region.  There, and here in the Philippines, the healthy native diet has often been supplanted by fast foods and soda.  A return to food like that we ate on the farm will bring great benefits.  And it is delicious.

Tomato

Tomatoes are supported on each side by a web of blue plastic twine.

Papaya

Papaya

A footnote to the soda story:  on the island of Bacolod, where great amounts of sugar are produced, some restaurants are refusing to serve Coke as the local bottlers are importing high fructose corn syrup from Vietnam – cheaper than the local sugar!

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