Some people are sharper than most others in spotting opportunities when they see one.
Just like Ronald Costales, the poor boy who made good in organic farming and agri-tourism. He is the owner of Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, Laguna.
When he saw the picture of the big and tender leaves of the saluyot cultivar that we posted in our blog, he was really excited because it is a variety that has commercial possibilities.
For one, the Japanese saluyot selection produces really big leaves that are tender. The big leaves could be presented beautifully in a styropor pack and sold through the supermarkets if grown commercially.
Saluyot has its own good selling points as a vegetable. The Japanese love the saluyot because of its reputed health benefits. Aside from vitamins and minerals, it is also rich in fiber.
Saluyot can be easily grown the organic way. It will easily grow in the open. Given enough water and organic fertilizer, it can be grown even during the summer months when supply of saluyot from the wild is not available.
Saluyot is well liked by Ilocanos and other ethnic groups. Tagalogs who have tasted our own cooking of saluyot adobo style like the dish very much and the market could be developed among traditionally non-saluyot eating groups.
A favorite soupy recipe is saluyot cooked with finely sliced shoots of the ‘kawayan tinik’ and broiled dalag or catfish. Our favorite recipe adobo style consists of half kilo fresh saluyot leaves, 8 pieces eggplant sliced into four, 10 pieces okra, 10 pieces of sweet finger pepper if available, and one-fourth kilo bagnet or its pork equivalent, and two whole bulbs of native garlic. Cook the same with just two cups of water, vinegar and bagoong or patis to taste. Cook well.
Saluyot has long productive life. One plant can grow into a big bush with a lot of branches that bear harvestable tops when it is given ample fertilizer and moisture. It is best grown in the open although it will also produce good leaves in partial shade.
by Zac Sarian