A friend dropped off fresh vegetables

A friend dropped off these carrots, along with salad greens, arugula, Swiss chard, and spearmint from Papaya Tree Farms. This friend was the first friend I made in the agriculture industry, back when I was a food writer who wanted to focus on food security but didn’t know how to go about it. How we met is the epitome serendipity.

I was having dinner with our common friend and was telling them about the need for more focus on food security and agriculture. They look up and says I’m in luck, because their friend who is a farmer just wandered by. We were introduced, and we’ve kept in touch ever since.

It’s weird because who becomes friends with someone you were introduced to randomly in the middle of a mall? But I guess like calls to like, and both of us could sense the passion for helping farmers and the desire for a food secure world in each other. It’s been many years since that evening. We don’t see each other a lot but we sometimes keep in touch. I certainly didn’t expect them to drop by with vegetables in the middle of the quarantine, though I’m very grateful that they did.

It’s very important to stay healthy during this crisis, and one of the best ways to do it is eating a lot of greens. I’m glad that LGUs have started including vegetables (and sometimes fowl) in their relief goods, as this helps both farmers and citizens. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of access to fresh food, as well as the difficulties farmers have in growing corps and livestock and delivering them to market. We call ourselves an agricultural nation but for the longest time have always been food insecure.

Now, more than ever, we’re seeing the importance of growing our own food if possible, and also valuing the people in our food system. I hope more people go into farming. But more than that, I hope more people realise that you don’t have to be a farmer to care about agriculture. All you have to do to have a stake in how our food is produced is to eat.


Yvette Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and a lifestyle writer for major local and international titles.