Friday, March 4, 2022

Green-Minded: How The Pandemic Brought Back The Green In Our Lives But Distorted Its Meaning


I admit it, I've always been green-minded. I distinctly remember gardening at the front of our old house, scavenging whatever material I can use as a pot/container.  Even living in a medium-rise building all these years has not diminished my love for plants.  It's just that being cooped up from the quarantine last year made me get back to adding some more plants. Nothing really fancy or expensive though, I do not want to ride the bandwagon of "expensive is beautiful" that took off with the pandemic's rise.

It's well and good that quite a lot of people took a second hard look at plants and realized their value in helping us be healthy, assisting us in keeping sane during these lockdowns.  On the other hand, I find it off-putting to see people pay thousands of pesos for a rare Alocasia or what-not but not be willing to pay more for locally-grown rice and produce.  A lot of produce got wasted last year in the highlands up north because transport came to a virtual standstill.  Local rice growers are also facing stiffer competition from imports. I'm not one to judge that buying that expensive plant is a sin but if one is willing to pay thousands for a plant, at least be willing to support higher prices for rice.

For city folks, I guess it's not easy to relate to the difficulties in growing rice for instance when you can just go to a fastfood joint or local store and buy ready-cooked kanin.  Having been exposed to the farmers, it's a months-long journey from prepping the fields to harvesting the grains.  In-between is more hard work (also a lot of prayers that a typhoon or pest infestation will not visit the fields before they're ready for harvesting).

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