Winnipeg upo festival celebrates Filipino veggies
So that people won’t just sit in their house during the pandemic, a group of Filipinos in Manitoba, Canada, is promoting vegetable gardening by holding an upo (bottle gourd) festival.
The gardening event is a counterpart to the Rural Manitoba Pumpkin Festival, explained organizer Leila Castro. It also celebrates Filipino culinary culture.
Castro helps manage a social media group with over 51,000 Filipino members in Winnipeg and she says people are offering seedlings to others so anyone can grow ethnic Filipino vegetables.
Aside from being eaten the upo when matured can also be turned into a utensil – a container or a ladle.
“It’s a vegetable that’s very common in the Philippines and, just like the pumpkin that can grow to be really big, the upo can grow very long,” Castro told Global News Canada.
Another vegetable event in the festival was a sitaw contest. Sitaw or string bean can grow more than 37 inches long.
She said that with only three months of the year available for gardening, the festival wants Filipino children to get to know their parents’ culture better by planting the vegetables they eat.
She hopes to have a much bigger event once the pandemic is over.