To help interested individuals who wish to have a healthy lifestyle through beautiful gardens equipped with nutritious food crops, the Edible Landscaping (EL) Team of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) launched a starter kit for EL during the opening of the 10th Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition held on 8 August 2014 at SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

Believing that no Filipino should be hungry, UPLB started the concept of having an artistic style in growing edible plants through edible landscaping. Hence, in 2009, the team headed by Dr. Leonido R. Naranja of UPLB, embarked on the project titled, “Technology Promotion and Commercialization of Edible Landscaping”, funded under the National Technology Commercialization Program (NTCP) of BAR.

“Since then, BAR and the EL team have been going around the Philippines in promoting the edible landscaping concept,” Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr., project leader said. The EL technology is being brought to different regions in the country such as Bohol, Leyte, Cagayan de Oro, and Bicol through the conduct of seminars.

EL combines science and creativity to form a revolutionary crop production technology. It uses vegetables, herbs, edible shrubs, or fruit bearing trees as major materials in place of ornamental plants. It follows the principle of landscape designs in creating an attractive environment and functional spaces while producing nutritious, organic, and safe foods for the family at the same time.

The EL starter kit is a complete guide for those who want to adopt EL within the vicinity of their own homes. The kit contains brochures on what edible landscaping is, its components, and the EL process. Included also is a sample theme garden design with specifications wherein one can choose whether to build a pinakbet garden; an herb garden; a go, grow, glow garden; or a salad garden. More importantly, there is a readily-available seed-mix package inside composed of sample seeds of crops specified in the design.

BAR through its Applied Communication Division and the UPLB EL team adopted the technology for the central setting display for this year’s technology forum. Showcased were technologies on beekeeping, seaweeds, kapis, organic soybean, arius, abaca, fruit wines, sweet sorghum, native pig, coco sap sugar, mushroom, and agri-mechanization. Also featured were success stories from BAR’s two banner programs, Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) and NTCP. (Anne Camille B. Brion)