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From Courthouse to Greenhouse: The Leafy Venture of Halauy Hydroponics

In the bustling life of Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, Don Eugene Gara stands out as a unique figure. Concurrently managing his duties as a Regional Trial Court employee with his passion for hydroponics, Don Eugene has found a perfect harmony that energizes both his career and family life. Their hydroponic farming began in 2021, a time when the world slowed down due to the pandemic. The farm employs the Deep Flow Technique (DFT), an efficient method that has proven effective for their lettuce and kale cultivation. Don Eugene quickly realized the profitability of growing lettuce in his region. Their hard work paid off handsomely with harvests of up to 280 heads of lettuce per week. However, adapting to the challenges posed by the local climate, particularly the high temperatures, they strategically adjusted their production to about 210 heads weekly, yielding approximately 30 kilos.

Like several farmers, Don Eugene faced a share of challenges within their controlled environments.

  • Light Management: Don meticulously adjusts his lighting systems to provide the precise wavelengths and duration needed for each crop variety.
  • Water Quality Management: He prioritizes rigorous water quality testing and filtration to maintain pristine conditions, preventing impurities from hindering plant health.
  • Nutrient Solution Optimization: Analyzing the specific requirements of each crop and meticulously formulates a balanced solution to ensure optimal nutrient delivery for robust plant growth.
  • Disease and Pest Control: Implementing preventative measures and maintaining a vigilant watch for potential pathogens and pests, employing targeted strategies to safeguard his crops.

His approach to these challenges is a blend of faith, meticulous management, and a strong emphasis on cleanliness. By ensuring that all materials and equipment are clean, he believes he can guarantee the optimal growth and health of his crops. Resourcefulness in their greenhouse is crafted from readily available galvanized iron pipes. This innovation keeps their lettuce cool and insect-free. He meticulously monitors the daily climate, understanding how each shift impacts his crop. 

Balancing Roles of Don Eugene Gara

Between navigating the legal complexities of his Regional Trial Court duties and overseeing the verdant world of Halauy Hydroponics, he’s mastered the art of maintaining a harmonious work-life balance — a time management. Unlike a burden, Don Eugene embraces hydroponics as a family affair. It’s their shared haven, a refuge from paperwork and routine, where they bond over green dreams in the locale of Brgy. Bunga, Dauin. Mrs. Gara, his partner, meticulously nurtures the young seedlings, while his mother-in-law ensures the greenhouse shimmers with cleanliness. Don Eugene himself acts as a conductor and this teamwork has transformed Halauy into a thriving family business. By adopting a weekly harvest schedule, their crisp lettuce has become a local favorite, finding its way to tables in neighboring homes and resorts. Friends and acquaintances become eager customers, drawn by the freshness and the story behind each leaf.

The Power of Patience and NutriHydro

Don Eugene is a firm believer in its effectiveness. He witnesses the vibrant growth of his lettuce firsthand, fueled by NutriHydro’s Lettuce Concentrate Grow and Bloom Solution. And to ensure perfect nutrient absorption, they meticulously adjust the pH of their spring water, maintaining a steady 6.0-6.5 range despite Negros Oriental’s fluctuating climate.

But Don Eugene isn’t one to follow the script blindly. His curiosity led him to an unexpected discovery.

  1. August 2021: He defied convention by letting a Batavia lettuce grow past its usual harvest time, venturing beyond 60 days. Sharing his gamble with the “Next Generation of Growers” online community, he garnered an awe-inspiring 8,496 views and 115 reactions. 
  2. January 2022: He repeated the challenge with a Concorde lettuce, letting it stretch to an impressive 20-26 inches. 
  3. October 2023: Their virtual participation in the NutriHydro Show Off Contest catapulted them to victory with being 4th place, a crowning achievement for a family that usually shuns competitions. 

With two greenhouses and a dedicated nursery, the Gara family’s expertise extends beyond Batavia and Concorde. They’ve mastered Lalique and Limambo lettuce, and even dabbled in Kale and Jonction, all without a permanent greenhouse after Typhoon Odette ravaged the area.

Insights in Nurturing Success in Hydroponics 

Don Eugene Gara, beyond cultivating his farm, extends a helping hand to fellow hydroponic enthusiasts. He stresses the need for adaptability, urging growers to understand their crops’ unique needs, considering water pH, weather, and location. He believes successful farming requires dedication, hard work, and a deep understanding, comparing it to nurturing a relationship. Highlighting Filipino resilience, Don Eugene inspires hope and self-reliance in facing agricultural challenges. His message, encapsulated in the word “Halauy,” encourages the adoption of hydroponics for a sustainable and self-sufficient future in farming.

Author

Jehsa Pelagio

Jehsa Pelagio

Jehsa Pelagio is a distinguished graduate of Batangas State University, where she earned her degree in BSBA Marketing Management. As a provincial scholar, Jehsa has consistently demonstrated academic excellence and a keen interest in the field of marketing. Her expertise lends a unique perspective to her writings, blending scholarly insights with practical applications in the business world. Jehsa is in charge of NutriHydo's marketing affairs focusing on the embodiment of the Next Generation of Growers.
Jehsa Pelagio

Jehsa Pelagio

Jehsa Pelagio is a distinguished graduate of Batangas State University, where she earned her degree in BSBA Marketing Management. As a provincial scholar, Jehsa has consistently demonstrated academic excellence and a keen interest in the field of marketing. Her expertise lends a unique perspective to her writings, blending scholarly insights with practical applications in the business world. Jehsa is in charge of NutriHydo's marketing affairs focusing on the embodiment of the Next Generation of Growers.

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.

Lazada: bit.ly/3asMYXN
Shopee: bit.ly/3nRJX6Z
Basilyard: bit.ly/346Kklw
NutriHdyro Website: bit.ly/434MoY6

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