NATION

Vosarogo Channels Court Time To Gardening

So when the Suva lockdown was announced two weeks ago amid the COVID-19 restrictions, he closed his law firm and channelled all his court time to tend to his garden.
17 Apr 2020 12:51
Vosarogo Channels Court Time To Gardening
Filimoni Vosarogo at his frontyard garden. Photo: Filimoni Vosarogo’s Facebook page

If he’s not in a trial for a big case, or in court hearings or winning cases, prominent Suva lawyer, Filimoni Vosarogo is not only a family man but a gardener.

So when the Suva lockdown was announced two weeks ago amid the COVID-19 restrictions, he closed his law firm and channelled all his court time to tend to his garden.

The defence lawyer, with more than 20 years of experience on the bar, started his now flourishing front yard garden on his McGregor Road property two years ago to help feed his family of eight.

Mr Vosarogo has six children with wife, Sera, and often is assisted by his three boys whom he jokingly refers to as his farm assistants.

He said his garden was his “breakout zone” where he planted more than 20 varieties of herbs and vegetables.

“When I return from court, before I go to court in the morning, I wake up early and try to do some stuff and whenever I come back from court in the afternoon this is a breakout zone for me. Something I enjoy doing,” Mr Vosarogo said.

“Lucky for us these 14 days (lockdown) has been put to good use. We had to close down the law firm, but there’s a lot more time on my hands for me to do all this.”

Pointing to his greenhouse, he said he constructed it on day one of the Suva lockdown and has since potted and germinated seeds which would be distributed to friends who have shown interest in starting their own gardens.

“This is just one instance where we find on a global scale how international trade could shut down with the threat of a pandemic and I think this is one of the things that we should start encouraging all Fijians to do in their own backyards,” he said.

“It doesn’t have to be a big half an acre property. You can make use of any small piece of land that you have and provide for your own family.”

Exchanging ideas

Mr Vosarogo shares daily updates of his gardening journey on his personal Facebook page which has attracted attention from a small community of ardent gardeners who share gardening tips and ideas.

“We want to encourage them to do what we are doing, but what we also found is that when we started posting about this backyard farming a lot of our own friends began to do it too,” he said.

“They have begun to do farming on their own and then some of the things that I did not do I get to see it from them and I borrow their ideas as well.”

Mr Vosarogo commends the initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture to distribute seedlings to Fijians interested in starting their own home gardens.

“If you have space in your backyard, it should be used to plant vegetables and things that you would normally consume on a daily basis. It lessens expenses plus it gives you and your family something to do as pastime.”

Farming ideas

Mr Vosarogo shared that he got farming ideas from Wah Sing Yee’s Facebook page and tools from Vinod Patel and Hop Tiy outlets in Suva.

“When we go out to the market, we just go out to get things that we don’t grow here in the compound, which is very less. We only buy root crops because we don’t have space for that and we have just started to try and see if we can plant kumala, other than that we buy fish but otherwise when these things grow that’s all we need.”

Filimoni Vosarogo’s frontyard garden. Photos: Filimoni Vosarogo’s Facebook page

Filimoni Vosarogo’s frontyard garden. Photos: Filimoni Vosarogo’s Facebook page

Vegetables that Mr Vosarogo has in his garden include taro leaves, choysam cabbage, cucumber, long bean, sweet potato, dhania, lettuce, mint, carrots and rock melon to name a few.

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Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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