The looseleaf lettuce salad tossed with sliced tomatoes, cucumber, green mango and singkamas was another gastronomic treat and the highlight of my visit to Eden Nature’s Park in Toril, Davao city. The best thing here - it’s free. This was made possible by my Company’s yearly employee’s outing.
There were of course other arrays of dishes to choose from during the festive lunch (lechon included) but those never come close to the salad. To describe: it’s the juiciest, crunchiest, freshest salad I have tasted. I even convinced the people at my table to try the salad and all made positive reviews.
Don’t think crunchy as that of the chicharon and jollibee’s chicken joy do, but crunchy enough that when you bite, one came to hear or feel rigid and crushing sound of the veggies (including its leaves) inside your mouth. The juiciness and the freshness were due to its timely preparation. It was picked and prepared on that day from its vast high-tech garden.
Majority of Eden’s vegetables were grown inside greenhouses and under hydroponics system. Here plants were fed in uniform amount of nutrient solutions (water containing fertilizer) where soil’s absence was replaced instead by other anchorage medium like coconut peat. Thereby, eliminating soil-borne diseases and weed growth; and since it’s inside the greenhouse, it's pest free. These all sums up to none delivery of pesticides and herbicides to plants.
The downside of this system, it’s costly to build. It’s not economically viable to backyard farmers.
I was warned by the caretakers beforehand not to go inside greenhouses but when I found an unlocked door at the far end I immediately sneaked in and took some photos inside.
There were still lots in the park where vegetables produced outside the greenhouses.
The photo above was the rows of a week-old cucumber plants with mulching and sprinkler irrigation system. The black plastics were called mulching used to minimize water evaporation and weed growth.
One of the caretakers who I pleaded to pose for the camera as if inspecting the pechay pant but hiding his lit-cigarette on the left hand.