Garden of Gift Giving inspires Filipino seniors to engage in outdoor and indoor gardenings

FSGW’s community garden invites veggie gardeners to plant veggies for “from garden to table” concept.

Elmer and Jie Aquino, FSGW volunteers, prepare the beds for summer gardening

The Filipino Seniors Group of Winnipeg has launched “Garden of Gift Giving” to let the Filipino seniors enjoy gardening in this time of Covid-19 and at the same time, to have a chance to know more about veggies, flowers, and household plants, giving them a great time to be busy while staying home due to some health protocols imposed by health officials.

“With Garden of Gift Giving, we want to share with our seniors the health benefits of outdoor and indoor gardening. We want them to enjoy themselves while living alone or with their loved ones. So we decided to convert the basement of the centre into a nursery and with the help of countless volunteers, we were able to get support from people who love gardening,” said Aida Champagne, former FSGW president and former Chairperson of the Manitoba Filipino Street Food Festival.

The FSGW vertical farming fever became hotter when the volunteers started dedicating their time and money, the idea to raise funds for the maintenance of the seniors center ballooned. The know-how and knowledge of Allan Basco, Elmer Aquino, Jie Aquino, and Bobbit Nepomuceno were incorporated to make the “Garden of Gift Giving” realized.

Lately, last Thursday, the Community Garden at the backyard of the FSGW Centre started to take shape with the help of the members of FILCAN Cabletow Lodge 189 led by Kaka Manlapaz, Felino de Jesus, Reilly Amador and Jun Isla.

“We would like to invite our kababayans to be involved in our community garden, There will be lots of fun in gardening,” Aida said.”Just drop by at the Senior Centre and we will give a chance to enjoy outdoor gardening this summer.”

The current FSGW officers include Jun Isla, president; Aida Champagne, Kelly Legaspi, Jun and Rowena Oquendo.

Volunteers from FIlcan Cabletow Lodge 189, from left to right, Felino de Jesus, Reilly Amador, Kaka Manlapaz and Aida Champagne.

Aida Champagne, one of the initiators of the “garden gift-giving project”, gets the seedling ready for planting.

Ready for planting: phone, buy, pick-up and plant and enjoy gardening!

Jun Isla, FSGW president, and Bobbit Nepomuceno, volunteer, work on the vertical nursery at the basement of the senior centre.