Asparagus grower gives away bundles of rich man’s veggies to neighbors

COTABATO City (MindaNews / 04 April) – A farmer-businessman in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat has been receiving praises on social media for giving away bundles of asparagus to residents who want to avail of healthy food to boost their immune system while the  community is under quarantine to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Runny Fabale, owner of Runny’s Asparagus, a firm supplying the “rich man’s vegetable” to malls in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon, has been giving away bundles of asparagus harvest from a one-hectare portion of his plantation site, to anyone who wants to avail of the healthy food.

Outside his restaurant, Fabale laid out his bundles of with a note addressed to the passersby: “We will fight until COVID-19 ends.”

“A little help to alleviate the crisis we have,”  Fabale wrote. “Get one for free.”

The note also listed  top ten health benefits of asparagus, a nutrient-packed vegetable, a rich source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

Asparagus costs 240 pesos per kilo at farmgate price but when it reaches the malls in Luzon, the price varies from 793 to 1,200 pesos per kilo.

He said they could harvest around 40 kilos a day, “so we decided to harvest every two days to have enough for distribution.”

Fabale has been sharing his asparagus harvest with his community since March 28.

“It’s hard to think that I am the only one earning while my neighbors are starving,” he said.

The asparagus farm of Runny Fabale in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat province. Photo courtesy of Mr. Fabale

Despite the lockdown, Fabale  still supplies Metro Manila as food vans could still operate. He still has another 10 hectares planted to asparagus, aside from the one hectare site whose harvest he shares with his community.

Earlier, Fabale gave away packed meals for frontliners. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)