Many Filipino households have been severely affected by the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis. The Pagkaliwagan family from Lucena City, Quezon Province is familiar with this situation. When the pandemic started affecting their livelihood, Jaquilyn Pagkaliwagan, 33, a former OFW in Taiwan, and her husband Ronniel Pagkaliwagan, 32, who works as technical support personnel in a factory, had to find an alternative source of income to make ends meet.

Seeing the opportunities and potential market for vegetables, the couple decided to venture into hydroponics farming last March 2020.

It has been a dream for Jaquilyn and Ronniel to build a greenhouse in their backyard for food production, but it was only recently that they have finally turned that vision into reality. Their greenhouse measures 60 ft in length, 21 ft in width, and nine ft in height. They called their farm Nawawalang Bukid (lost farm) because aside from being distant from the town’s center, many of their customers often get lost when visiting the greenhouse.

Nawawalang Bukid’s main crop is lettuce. The lettuce varieties that the farm produces include lollo bionda (green) and lollo rosa (red leaf), Red Rapid, frillice (a variety mixed of the iceberg and curly endive lettuce), batavia or summer crisp, and romaine varieties like Tyrol romaine. Jaquilyn said that customers mostly avail of the lollo bionda variety for its crunchy texture.

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