The Ilocanos' love for green leafy veggies is not simply included in backyard gardens, town streets and idle lots.
This time, a primary school in Badio town, Pinili, Ilocos Norte is changing its 6,235 square-meter lot into a malunggay (Moringa oleifera) plantation.
In time for the Nutrition Month event on Friday, some 147 students of the Badio Elementary School (BES) and about 50 parents removed their shoes and slippers as they walked through the rice paddies within the school compound and planted malunggay cuttings on the sides.
"We selected malunggay due to the fact that it has plenty of minerals and vitamins. It is also easy to grow by the parents and children in the house," said Aileen Rambaud, principal of BES.
Malunggay, likewise referred to as horse-radish tree, is drought resistant and grows well on Ilocos soil. On the very first year after planting, the tree can rise to 3 meters in height and the leaves can already be harvested, ideal for "dinengdeng", a preferred dish of Ilocanos.
Malunggay is typically discovered in the yard of Filipino houses. All of its parts-- leaves, pods, bark, seeds, fruits and roots-- are loaded with nutritional and healing properties, hence, earning the tag nature's "Miracle Tree".
Rambaud said once the trees planted by the students and moms and dads are completely grown, the school hopes to add to the health, welfare and advancement of the neighborhood by offering a potent source of iron, thiamin, calcium, beta-carotene, phosphorous, vitamin A, B, C and E and lipoprotein. Malunggay has all of these vitamins and micro-nutrients.
Research study also shows that moringa is a powerful natural medication due to its anti-bacterial and antifungal homes.
While there is a high demand for moringa items in the regional market, clients from Europe, the United States and other Asian nations are likewise searching for processed malunggay items for food and medication. Limited technology and supply, nevertheless, impede regional companies in the Philippines from meeting the demand.