Dako og tabang ning pagpananum namo, labi na sa mga panahon nga wa jud mi. (Planting [of vegetables in containers] has helped us a lot, especially in times when we really don’t have any [resource].) This was according to Alicia Sulga, one of the beneficiaries of Green the Home Project implemented by faculty members of the Department of Agricultural Education and Extension (DAEE).

Green the Home project is an offshoot of the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) conducted by the Agricultural Extension students and faculty of DAEE in Barangay Guadalupe, Baybay City, Leyte in partnership with the local officials and barangay residents. The project aims to improve the living conditions of the barangay residents through container gardening and other alternative livelihood programs for additional income, to educate them on proper waste management, and to inculcate in them the value of responsible parenthood.

Having unstable and insufficient income is the main problem of the people in the barangay. According to the survey conducted by Agricultural Extension students of DAEE, food shortage due to unstable source of income, vices and conflicts were the major problems identified by the residents. Since the barangay is located near the sea, fishing is the only means of livelihood for many of the barangay residents. However, there are times that they would have no catch to sell. The advent of the project Green the Home project for them was really life changing. Due to lack of space for gardening, majority of the residents chose container gardening to be their major project activity. The project taught them how to do container gardening of vegetables and spices with the use of available recyclable materials like old pots and plastic containers.

Mrs. Alicia Sulga has been a beneficiary of Green the Home Project since 2011. She was the former Vice President of Green the Home project in Sitio Riverside, Guadalupe, Baybay City, Leyte. She works as a cook in an eatery while her husband is a fisherman. She said her income from selling vegetables and spices from the project is a big help in increasing their family income.

Aling Emma, also a beneficiary of the Green the Home project expressed her gratitude to the project implementers She said, Kadtong nagsugod na ang project, nalipay jud ko kay nakatabang jud ni og daku sa akong pamilya. (When the project started, I was so happy because it was a big help to my family). She explained that the project made their lives better because they can already sell their produce and earn income. Naay panagsa nga mo harvest mi ug pito (7) ngadto sa kinse (15) ka kilo nga paliya, unya amo ibaligya og kwarenta (P40) ang kilo sa APMC sa VSU, sa mga tindahan sa barangay, ug sa tindahan sa akong igsoon sa mercado sa Baybay. (There are times that we can harvest 7 to 15 kilos of bitter gourd, and we sell it at PhP40.00 per kilo to APMC in VSU, to stores in the barangay and to the store of my sister in Baybay market.) She said her income from the project enabled her to buy necessities, like medicines when a family member gets sick, as well as defray school expenses for their children.

Alicia and Emma are only two of the many beneficiaries of Green the Home project who have already experienced positive outcomes of the project. Now that the project has expanded to Brgy. Marcos, there is a great possibility that it will be able to help provide additional livelihood to more families.