Benguet vegetable growers to showcase giant veggie salad July 13

BAGUIO CITY -– Vegetable stakeholders in Benguet province will showcase their produce in the biggest vegetable salad event set on July 13 at the town’s trading post.

Agot Balanoy, president of the Benguet Farmers’ Marketing Cooperative, said the event is in commemoration of the establishment of the vegetable trading post on July 13, 1984 and aims to highlight the contribution and importance of the highland vegetable industry of Benguet and the Cordillera region.

She said the event is spearheaded by the stakeholders which includes the packers, porters, farmers, the buyers and even supporters.

According to Balanoy, they want to promote the industry considering the existence of imported vegetables that compete with the locally grown. She added that they want to tell the public that they have all varieties and kinds of vegetables.

The giant vegetable salad will use 1.1 tons of vegetables to include 160 romaine lettuce, 160 kilos of carrots, 160 kilos cucumber, 150 kilos sugar bits, 180 kilos tomatoes, 150 kilos marble potato, 30 kilos alfalfa and broccoli and cauliflower which will be placed on the side of the 20×32 feet by 35 inches deep of giant container made specifically for the purpose.

There will be three kinds of dressing – mango salad dressing, strawberry salad dressing and a honey balsamic vinaigrette to top the fresh vegetables.

Balanoy said the event is a partnership with the local government and the police with the biggest participation coming from the 14 organizations at the trading post.

She said they are gearing to make the event a yearly occasion like the Strawberry Festival which has attained an international stature. “If not vegetable festival, at least we want to improve the salad festival event for a more appreciation,” she said.

Jonathan Micua, SKD Academy La Trinidad Campus Director, said they have started with the preparation as early as Tuesday to meet the deadline. “Tomorrow (Wednesday), we will be working continuously with the volunteer students and staff of the school to be able to meet our deadline.”

The event will be held at the covered area of the trading post with the salad served for free to the public.

Aside from the highlight event to mark the foundation day of the trading post, there will also be a vegetable carving event and a vegetable landscaping event.

The municipal police office will also do its part in the preparations with the drug surrenderers undertaking the final flushing and cleaning of the place for sanitation purposes prior to the serving.

In 2001, the Baguio Association of Hotels and Inns (BAHAI) did the biggest toss salad event using 916.8 kilograms of fresh locally produced vegetables. The world record is held by Russia in 2016, using 20,100 kilograms of vegetables.

Balanoy said that they targeted to use 2.5 tons of vegetables but limited funds made them decide to go for less while they practice for the succeeding years. Liza Agoot/