During the lockdowns, many have become plantitos and plantitas to de-stress or have a pastime indoors. But for some YouTube content creators like Red Costales, Ben Baguio, and Princess Ann Marcos, having a green thumb is much more than that. It’s about practicing sustainability, starting a livelihood, and appreciating our local farmers more.
Reden “Red” Costales, a young farmer from Majayjay, Laguna, started his YouTube channel “The Agrillennial” in 2019. His channel aims to spark interest in the youth about farming and encourage more people to produce their own food given the recent concerns on food security.
“There is a forecast of food shortage by 2050. But as long as we work on educating the youth as early as now, we can look forward to a future where people are well-informed with how they can properly and sustainably allocate their food resources,” he said.
His videos talk about the basics of farming from tilling the soil to the latest agricultural techniques. Less than two years after posting his first video, The Agrillennial now has over a hundred videos and a community of 120,000 subscribers.
One of his most popular videos is him teaching how to make Carbonized Rice Hull which can be used as soil conditioner and as potting mix for budding or seasoned gardeners which currently has more than 400,000 views.
The popularity of his videos showed Red that there is a growing interest in farming among millennials since the pandemic started. Life under lockdown, he said, opened the eyes of many to the benefit of growing their own food.
“Many young viewers would ask me questions about farming — from Manileños interested in urban gardening to OFWs who want to grow their lands in the province,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Princess Ann Marcos of Millennial Bukid Girl uses her channel to showcase farms and fisheries around the country and shares agribusiness tips for those interested in pursuing a career or business in agriculture and fishing. Princess also actively utilizes her platform to collaborate with brands and partners to provide aid to local farmers and fishermen. Among her projects included providing fishermen with footwear, and putting up a community pantry with produce sourced from local farmers.
Ruben “Ben” Baguio, a 22-year-old from Nueva Vizcaya, through Gayyem Ben shows his viewers the beauty and richness of life in the countryside while preserving traditional Filipino cultural practices. One of his most viewed videos is a seed-to-table recipe of Pinakbet where he shows the whole process of creating meals including land preparation, planting, and harvesting before cooking and serving.
For Red, Ben, and Princess, having access to platforms like YouTube helps them greatly in creating an encouraging community for those in agriculture. Their channels also drive them to inspire thousands of young Filipinos to have a heightened appreciation for local farming as a sustainable, and rewarding lifestyle.