Netizens were amazed after a couple based in Toronto, Canada shared their backyard farming journey on social media.
“The first thing they always tell us is, ‘I didn’t know you can grow our food in Canada.’ ‘Pag nakita mo ‘yung winter dito, it’s really long, like it’s six months of winter. Syempre ang vegetables natin
ano, tropical. So, ‘pag nakikita nila ‘yon, they’re like,‘how did you grow it,’ and then ‘what did you do?’” Marv told The Philippine STAR.
Marv stayed in the Philippines before migrating to Canada in 1996. Growing up, he used to stay at his grandma’s farm in the province.
“Every summertime when I was in the Philippines, ‘pag break na sa school, I will live with my grandma in Pangasinan for about two months. I would also visit, uh, on my mom’s side sa Ilocos. So we would go there as well. They have a big farm. So I would pretty much be, like, gone for a whole day,” he recalled.
“I can wander around in nature. That’s kind of, that’s being my style. ‘Yun talaga ‘yung childhood ko. I prefer that over the city. Running around [in] the farm, and then They have talong, like everywhere, you can just pick,” he added.
In 2005, he met his wife, Char, a half Filipino, half Chinese/Guyanese. After a few years, they started to build their own mini farm.
“I have no experience with gardening. [cut] My mom came from the Philippines, but we never really had a garden.But when I met Marv, he was into it. We planted our first seed in 2007, and then every single year, we just always had a garden, no matter where, what space we had or wherever we lived, we always made sure we had a spot for a garden, even if it was indoor,” she said.
Char is more inclined in reading books about gardening while Marv is more on the execution side.
“I’ve read so many books about gardening. But Marvin is more like… A lot hands-on. He has a lot of experience, but I like to know the more technical,” she said.
“It’s a combination of like, you know, both our knowledge. So There’s something that I will apply of what she’s teaching me. Especially sa Canada kasi medyo mahirap because of the weather here,” Marv echoed.
Their garden features different vegetables like upo, talong, sitaw, kalabasa, ampalaya and other herbal plants.
Due to weather conditions, they plan out their crops and harvest ahead of time. Char and Marv also stressed how they can save every month as they eat their fresh produce.
“Summertime, everything grows really well. What we do is [during winter], we do a cover to protect the plants. It’s only like half the year. ‘Pag winter na, hindi ka makakatanim sa labas. We do grow sa indoor using hydroponics. [We] do our full harvest. By fall, everything dies back again, but there are some crops that we plant that are, that is, uh, that is good for cold season,” Marv explained.
The couple spent around 100 Canadian dollars or P4,000. They hope to encourage the public to grow their own food.
“We want to encourage a lot of people. ‘Yung mga kababayan natin na magtanim. It’s such an important resource to be able to eat something fresh and to thrive,” Marv stressed.