Roxie Baeyens campaigns vigorously for urban agriculture

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    MISS Philippines Earth Roxanne Allison Baeyens is getting ready to represent the Philippines at the Miss Earth world finals which, like the national search, will be conducted online with initial plans to hold it by regions or by time zones and then select the top finishers per groupings who will advance to the virtual world finals sometime in November.

    At the same time, Baeyens, who is half Belgian and whose mom is a native Cordilleran, is campaigning vigorously for her chosen advocacy which is urban agriculture, encouraging everyone to grow their own food at home in their backyards or whatever space is available to promote sustainability especially in this time of the pandemic.

    “Urban gardening is having an ornamental plant that is edible too at your doorstep. Looking at them entices me to eat more veggies and greens,” Roxie shared. “What can be fresher from picking chili from the bush and towards the kitchen!”

    Roxie grows chili pepper, among other plants, in their home in Baguio. “Chili pepper is beneficial to health. They are packed with vitamins and minerals for wellness,” said 23-year-old Roxie, who is a BS Tourism Management graduate of St. Louis University in Baguio. “Studies show that they’re rich in Vitamin C and lowers blood pressure, among many other benefits. The red or ripe fruits can be dried and powdered to be used as spices, paprika. The fresh green fruits which are not as spicy as the red ones, and the leaves can be mixed with many dishes. I love it as a cocktail finger food, lumpia chili pepper filled with minced beef and cheese!”

    Roxie stated that she has been exposed to environmental responsibility since her childhood as she is the daughter of an environmentalist. She further explained that she was certain that urban agriculture as an eco-activity is very relevant and timely amid the ongoing pandemic.

    “I inferred that if we grow our own organic food, then we can have a sense of security during this crisis, and at the same time get the nutrition we need to boost our immune systems and stay healthy against the virus,” Roxie added. “I wanted to share with people the potential benefits of growing their own food in improving their physical and mental health and the condition of the environment.”

    Baeyen’s original advocacy was re-greening the urban landscape in line with the thrust of her native Baguio to vigorously plant more forest trees including 40 percent pines to recover the ones that are incessantly lost to real estate development, and subsequently reverse the stigma of urban decay and increase canopy cover and greenery throughout the city. That was before the COVID-19 pandemic started when Miss Philippines Earth was already ongoing.

    Her advocacy transitioned into urban agriculture which was very timely and relevant during the lockdown in order to promote self-sufficiency in food particularly fruits, vegetables and other edible plants.

    Baeyens also believes that the agriculture sector is one of the biggest hopes for the country’s economy. In fact, she was glad to have visited the office of Director Cameron Odsey of the Department of Agriculture – CAR to further discuss with them their goals for

    September and collaborate with projects that will highlight her chosen advocacy.

    In addition, Roxie’s love for all living things was instilled in her since she was very young.

    She has pet bunnies at home that feeds on hay and greens. Also, part of her daily routine is feeding stray cats and dogs in their neighborhood.

    Roxie is reigning beautifully for Mother Earth and promoting that “a green life is a better life!”