I grew up in Quezon City. Our regular leafy vegetables on the table were kangkong (swamp cabbage), ampalaya (bitter gourd) leaves, talbos ng kamote (sweet potato tops), and pechay (pak choi). I don’t remember eating malunggay (moringa). Maybe because it is not common in our place. Even if we live in rural Quezon City before, where life is really provincial, malunggay is not common.
Now that I have my own kids, I made sure that they eat plenty of malunggay. This is because of the many nutrients that we can get from it.
Do you know that…
1 cup of malunggay is. . . . . . . .
equal to 7x the Vitamin C in oranges
equal to 4x the calcium in milk
equal to 4x the Vitamin A in carrots
equal to 2x the protein in milk
equal to 3x the potassium in bananas
(information based on Tree for Life website)
It is just so sad that many Filipinos doesn’t know that. If only each Filipino home has at least 1 malunggay tree, and everytime a branch matures, they plant it again, in no time, they will have plenty of malunggay trees. Malungay can even thrive in half drums, in areas where there is no available soil to plant it. And for those who wanted to discard extra branches, they can even give it to others whom they think would benefit from it.
Although based on my experience, some people prefer to ask from others who were able to plant lots of malunggay instead of trying to grow the tree themselves. The reason they give is they just cant grow the plant. It eventually dies. The secret here, is to sacrifice for a while so that the malunggay tree would be able to establish good root system.
You must avoid shaking a young malunggay tree. If you must get its leaves, do not remove all. Leave the shoots and at least 2 sets of young fronds(?). This way, you give the tree a chance to regenerate.
I think a project like giving away planting materials of malunggay is a viable idea. The giver must make sure that the branch is planted. The only requirement is for the receiver to give away to another family one mature branch of malunggay tree. If that branch lives and matures, the second family gives another family a malunggay branch suited for planting. And it goes on and on. As simple as that. Remember the movie “Fast Forward”? I just copied the idea from that movie.