Atog was already farming a 20-hectare farm in Manay, Davao Oriental before transferring to Davao City. Used to organic farming, he engaged in small-scale organic urban gardening which covered 40 sq. meters of his home.
Before the quarantine period, he used to sell produce from his urban garden at Rizal Park every Tuesday and Thursday, and the Market Basket in Damosa every day. He was able to sell 10-15 kilos of lettuce and 6 kilos of pechay on a weekly basis. He also sold vegetable seedlings, and packs of potting soil and vermicast, selling approximately 100 packs in a week.
Maxey S. Atog Jr. is an advocate of organic gardening. He is the chairman of the Association of Davao Organic Advocates. He is also the 2018 Lunhaw Awardee on Organic Urban Agriculture and was a judge of the Lunhaw Awards for 2019.
He makes use of aquaponics with soil for his urban garden, and 80% of their household waste is recycled and converted into vermicast or regular compost for his plants.
When asked why he’s an advocate of organic farming, Atog said that he wants to produce chemical-free, healthy food for his family. "I am also helping in protecting the environment by recycling waste and converting it into fertilizer,” he added.
Atog said that during the quarantine period, the demand for organic produce has increased, with clients visiting him at his house since the stalls in Rizal Park and Damosa were closed down temporarily.
He mentioned that his income has increased during the quarantine period. “The thing is, there is a higher demand now for organic food. People want to be healthy, so they turn to organic. However, there is a low supply of organic produce, that is why even the supply from my garden isn’t enough to cater to everybody,” he said.
The GKK St. Anthony de Padua of St. Anthony Village has also started their communal garden, with some of the seedlings provided by Atog. Buhangin MAO Godofredo Rangas said that the garden can earn as much as P25,000, with the income being divided between the caretakers and the chapel. I Reicza Olojan, RAFIS XI