Jeacim Francis Adaya with his family. Pic: Salim Matramkot

Doha, Qatar: Can a country with a hot climate and limited water sources achieve food self-sufficiency all year round? Absolutely! And it all begins with the determination of one person or one family.

Let’s take inspiration from the story of Jeacim Francis Adaya, a Filipino expat who has transformed his yard and garage into a vibrant garden. From an array of lettuce varieties to snow cabbage, he grows a cornucopia of vegetables outdoors from November to April.

And his passion for gardening doesn’t end there. When summer comes, he takes his green thumb indoors, turning a part of his living room into an oasis of nourishing plants through the wonders of basic indoor hydroponics.

“Alongside my accounting career, I have nurtured a deep passion for gardening, especially in the area of growing vegetable. In 2020, I remember as the pandemic hit and families around the world were seeking ways to stay occupied, I stumbled upon a captivating video on YouTube about hydroponics. I got inspired by it and I saw an opportunity for my family to be engaged in a productive activity together. And that’s how my journey into hydroponics began,” Adaya told The Peninsula.

Admittedly, his first attempt at hydroponics was met with failures and frustrations. The lack of knowledge, combined with the challenging weather conditions and other unforeseen factors led to initial setbacks, according to Adaya.

Nevertheless, he persisted and sought knowledge from fellow gardeners in both Qatar and the Philippines, learning from his mistakes along the way and eventually mastering the art of basic hydroponics.

Pic: Salim Matramkot / The Peninsula

In Qatar, where the summer season poses challenges for traditional gardening, hydroponics farming proves to be an effective way to grow vegetables indoors.

By skipping the soil and cultivating plants directly in nutrient-rich water, Adaya found a game-changing solution and achieved remarkable results.

Adaya employs the Kratky hydroponic method, a passive technique ideal for beginners as it is easy to set up, requires affordable materials, and does not demand constant monitoring.

The setup requires readily available materials in Qatar: shelves for the hydroponics system, LED lights to replicate sunlight, styrofoam boxes and styrofoam cups.

“The nutrients, seeds, and detailed information await those who will join the workshop,” he explained.

Aside from the satisfaction of providing fresh, delicious, and nutritious food for his family, Adaya also finds joy in sharing his hydroponics skills with members of the Filipino community.

His goal is to inspire more individuals and families to embrace the sustainable farming practice of hydroponics, not only for healthier eating but also to contribute to a greener future.

Adaya at a workshop introducing hydroponics to community members. 

“By conducting workshops, I hope I can inspire members of the community to also pursue their passion for gardening and create their own flourishing gardens here in Qatar. And maybe eventually put up their own hydroponics business in the Philippines.”

To support his advocacy, Adaya has partnered with the Philippine Business Council in Qatar to provide hydroponics farming workshops to fellow Filipinos. Looking ahead, he aspires to extend these workshops to other nationalities, another one of his goals.

Pic: Marivie Alabanza / The Peninsula

In hydroponics, harvest times vary depending on the plant type, growing conditions, and desired maturity stage. Yet, for Adaya, witnessing his greens sprout from seeds to the bountiful harvest is just as enjoyable as savouring them with his entire family. Living in Qatar for over 12 years, the 41-year-old urban farmer is beyond grateful with how his humble vision has transformed into a beautiful reality, with his family relishing the joy of eating fresh veggies grown right at home.

“Imagine if every family in Qatar and the Philippines could effortlessly access fresh, nutritious vegetables within their own homes. With hydroponics, I believe this dream can become a reality. So, go ahead, start your hydroponics journey and savour the joy of abundant harvest that awaits you.”

*To inquire about hydroponics workshop, please contact: +974 3394 0329 or visit FB page: @HydroponicsGardeningFamily

Related Posts