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Young Farmer Grows Strawberries in the Lowlands

A New Chapter in Lowland Agriculture

In the fields of Pampanga, James Raymond Cruz, a young agriculturist in the making, is rewriting the story of lowland farming. A 21-year-old student at Pampanga State Agricultural University, James has embraced the challenge of growing strawberries hydroponically—a feat often deemed implausible in the lowlands. With an academic study that explores deep into this venture, he commenced his hydroponic journey in November 2023, not just cultivating crops but also cultivating determination and resilience. Hydroponics isn’t just a scientific endeavor; it’s a form of serenity that allows him to disconnect from life’s daily hustle and connect with the serene rhythms of nature. This balancing act between his academic responsibilities, hydroponic passion, and personal life is not a juggling act but a synchronized dance. His family’s unwavering support has played a pivotal role, transforming what began as a solo expedition into a collaborative family venture, rich with shared learning and collective growth.

Management Approach to Innovation

James’s approach to hydroponics is methodical and innovative. He employs an NFT system to trial three promising strawberry cultivars: San Andreas, Sweet Charlie, and Albion. Among the three varieties trialed, Sweet Charlie demonstrated the least adaptability to the lowland hydroponic environment. This finding contrasts sharply with the performance of San Andreas, which emerged as an exceptional berry variety. Notably, San Andreas distinguished itself with rapid runner formation and an early flowering date, with its first bloom recorded on December 24, 2023. Albion, the third variety in the study, presented its unique strengths. It was the earliest of the three to bloom, marking its first flowering on December 16. Additionally, Albion produced larger fruits compared to the other varieties. It is complemented by the Kratky method, which he uses for growing lettuce. Despite the disbelief beforehand, his experimental greenhouse, accommodating 150 plants, has yielded impressive results within just two months: a lush spread of over two hundred strawberries and numerous runners. James’s hydroponic setup is a testament to his innovative spirit. With a 100-liter aerated reservoir and strategic use of UV plastic and mesh for protection, he has created an environment where delicate berries thrive in the challenging lowland climate. His methodical approach includes regular monitoring of pH and PPM, ensuring his plants receive the precise nutrients needed for optimal growth. His engagement with NutriHydro, a prominent brand in hydroponic solutions, began at the onset of his agricultural journey. NutriHydro’s Commercial Farm Formula (CFF) for Berries and their precise pH adjusters have been instrumental in his success, providing the balanced nutrients and stable pH levels essential for robust berry growth. James’s methodical approach to maintaining the health of his crops involves careful monitoring of environmental factors, such as temperature fluctuations that impact pH levels. His dedication to precision agriculture is rooted in the belief that it is the key to addressing the challenges posed by diminishing arable land and growing food demands. Through hydroponics, James leverages the efficiency and space-saving benefits to produce bountiful strawberry yields in the lowlands. His successful cultivation is a significant step towards realizing larger aspirations in sustainable agricuture.

A Call to Embracing Research and Growth

James’s message resonates with clarity and motivation: the joy of producing food is unmatched, and the road to success, though often fraught with challenges, is worth the pursuit. He underscores the importance of research and taking informed risks, assuring that with the right knowledge and resources, previously unattainable goals can i

ndeed become achievements. As James continues to push the boundaries of hydroponic farming, his story is not just about personal triumph but also about igniting a passion for sustainable agriculture in others. He demonstrates that with determination and the willingness to learn, every step—whether a victory or a lesson—contributes to growth. His advice to fellow students and growers is simple yet profound: delve into research, for it is the foundation upon which successful cultivation rests.

Keep an eye out for the exciting revelations from James Raymond Cruz’s groundbreaking hydroponic study! The potential insights and techniques emerging from this study could revolutionize berry farming, offering new opportunities and inspiration for hydroponic enthusiasts and professional growers alike. Stay tuned as we eagerly await the impactful results of this pioneering exploration into the future of hydroponics!     

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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