Arcie King Macapagal: A Hydroponic Pioneer in Guiguinto, Inspiring Growth and Innovation
In the heart of Guiguinto, a municipality aspiring to be the Garden Capital of the Philippines, resides a man whose resilience and passion have transformed him into a hydroponics trailblazer. Meet Arcie King Macapagal, a former bus conductor, grab driver, landscaper, and massager, who found solace and success in the world of hydroponics amid the challenges of the pandemic.
A Diverse Green Oasis: A Well-Managed Process and Green Pasture Emerges
Arcie’s hydroponic journey started in May 2019 when the pandemic forced him to seek alternative means of income and a productive way to spend his time at home. His once hobby became a profession, giving birth to Green Pasture, his family-managed hydroponics venture in Guiguinto.
The garden showcases various hydroponic systems such as Kratky, Nutrient Film Technique, Aeroponics, Dutch Bucket, Indoor Set-Up, Automated Drip Irrigation, and Modern Farming. His diverse garden hosts an array of crops, from leafy greens like Lettuce, Kangkong, and Onion leaves to fruitful delights including tomatoes, peppers, calamansi, pineapple, ginger, onions, garlic, bell peppers, cucumbers, and sitaw (string beans).
Presently, Arcie manages to harvest 200 heads of lettuce and 10 batches of fruit-bearing crops twice a month. To achieve this frequency, he follows a meticulous process, sowing seeds immediately after transplanting. His record-breaking harvest stands at an impressive 300 heads of lettuce.
Beyond being a successful hydroponic gardener, Arcie values his role as a loving father and husband. He prioritizes work-life balance to nurture a strong bond with his family. A unique aspect of their family dynamics involves his children actively participating in hydroponic activities. His three-year-old has learned the art of transplanting crops, while his 11-year-old has mastered the skill of sowing seeds. For Arcie, involving his children serves a dual purpose – teaching them valuable life skills such as openness and financial independence, and imparting knowledge that will shape their future.
Post-harvest, Arcie’s children even share the bounty with neighbors, a practice rooted in teaching generosity and community spirit. His endeavors are not just about cultivating crops; they’re about cultivating values and a deeper connection within his family.
A Transformative Partnership and a Balancing Act: Practical vs. Technical Hydroponics
Around three years ago, Arcie King Macapagal embarked on his NutriHydro journey when Engr. Leonard Divino paid a visit to their home in Bulacan. It was after Mr. Nars Adriano introduced him to the world of NutriHydro. Since then, Macapagal has been on a mission – to make hydroponics accessible to everyone in the most practical and straightforward manner.
NutriHydro recognized Macapagal’s unwavering dedication to hydroponics and remains impressed by his passion day after day. Serving as an advocate for nurturing the next generation of growers, Macapagal actively engages in online platforms, offering hydroponic materials, consultations, and conducting free training and seminars, whether onsite or in virtual spaces. His expertise has attracted growers from various places, some even invited by local officials and institutions for livelihood programs.
In his hydroponic journey spanning about four years, Macapagal spent three years with NutriHydro after experimenting with other nutrient solutions for a year. His go-to favorites from NutriHydro’s product line are the Lettuce Nutrient Concentrate 500 mL, prized not only for its affordability but for its invaluable effectiveness.
Macapagal devised two approaches to hydroponics – the practical and the technical. The practical method relies on a nutrient solution without the need for meters. He even experimented with hydroponics without using a meter, achieving satisfactory results. On the other hand, the technical aspect involves using pH adjusters, maintaining the water’s potential hydrogen, along with pH and TDS meters. While this may seem a tad costly for some, Macapagal emphasizes its benefits. These tools provide crucial insights into the crop’s status and help diagnose potential diseases.
Reflecting on his earlier days without meters, Macapagal acknowledges that he thought everything was fine. However, using meters revealed a new dimension to hydroponics. It presented an opportunity for crops to flourish more quickly, enabling a harvest in just 32 days compared to the usual 45 days. This accelerated growth translates to increased earnings and a faster return on investment.
Overcoming Challenges: From Seedling Management to Disease Prevention
Arcie’s journey wasn’t without challenges. Seedling management, considered the toughest phase by many, once tested his determination. His resilience turned this challenge into a testimony of success. He experimented with various methods such as ‘sabog,’ direct sowing, and using foam, yet none proved effective. However, rather than succumbing to the difficulties, Arcie embraced the challenge, turning it into a testimony that ultimately led him to success in his unique journey.
Another pivotal factor contributing to Arcie’s success is his proactive approach to disease prevention. He adopted a strategy of swiftly removing leaves showing even the slightest signs of disease, preventing its spread to other crops. For Arcie, the number one secret to cultivating bountiful and vibrant crops is sanitation. He emphasizes that while nutrients and sunlight play crucial roles, an unclean greenhouse can attract diseases. He believes in self-reflection rather than pointing fingers at others, recognizing that an overlooked step might be the cause. Arcie emphasizes that sowing and nutrient mixing alone cannot guarantee success; continuous improvement is essential.
Throughout his three-year hydroponic journey, Arcie adhered to a principle of never leaving crops’ leaves displaced. When introduced to Bio Calmag, he willingly embraced it, experiencing positive outcomes by venturing beyond his comfort zone. Stressing the importance of proper management, he highlights that improper foliar processes, including incorrect timing, can lead to consequences such as dark spots and dry leaves due to over-foliar application.
Empowering Others: Sharing Success and Knowledge
Arcie King Macapagal takes great joy in sharing his accomplishments in the realm of hydroponics. His journey has been marked by noteworthy achievements, showcasing not only personal success but also a commitment to helping others thrive in hydroponic farming.
One significant recognition came when the Department of Agriculture in Zamboanga invited Arcie to speak at their program. This opportunity allowed him to connect with diverse individuals, fostering communication and interaction within the hydroponic community.
Arcie’s willingness to travel locally has not only broadened his horizons but has also become a means to assist those in need. His endeavors extend beyond hydroponics, as he actively contributes to helping people who might be struggling in life, aiding them in establishing a sustainable source of income.
A notable achievement stems from Arcie’s free training sessions. One of his trainees, initially starting with just two tuna boxes, now manages an impressive 90 boxes, a testament to the impact of Arcie’s guidance. Another success story involves a trainee who swiftly upgraded their system to Nutrient Film Technique within a month of training.
As a seller, Arcie adopts a considerate approach by pricing his products affordably. His aim is to support hydroponic enthusiasts on their journey, emphasizing that while he recommends using his products, he never imposes a purchase. This empathetic approach, stepping into the shoes of others, is what sets Arcie apart, making him an even more remarkable figure in the hydroponic community.
Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Growers
“To those venturing into hydroponics, Arcie imparts valuable advice: Embrace farming or gardening without hesitation. Never stop learning and asking questions. Step out of your comfort zone, for learning from mistakes is a path to success. Acknowledge that mistakes are part of the journey and represent opportunities for improvement. Finally, be strong and market-savvy, as lettuce needs proper disposal during harvest to avoid bitterness. Embrace new challenges with enthusiasm, and never shy away from trying something new.”
Arcie King Macapagal’s hydroponic journey is not just about growing crops; it’s a story of resilience, family bonding, and community empowerment. His commitment to simplicity, practicality, and continuous learning exemplifies the spirit of hydroponic success. Join Arcie and the thriving hydroponics community as they cultivate a future of sustainable growth and learning.
Grow with Arcie, where every seedling becomes a story of success.
Reach out to him through his Facebook Profile: bit.ly/3QR8r03
Connect with him on his Facebook Page: bit.ly/47HEaba
For any inquiries or to explore deeper into the world of hydroponic cultivation, you can also contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at 0961 384 2788.
NutriHydro is a manufacturer of plant nutrients based in the Philippines. They are known to grow the healthiest, heaviest, and largest lettuce in the country. NutriHydro products are available to purchase from the following e-commerce platforms.