Lack of area is usually a limitation for folks, particularly these dwelling in cities, to arrange a kitchen backyard on their very own. However for Mini Sreekumar from Thrikkakara, Kerala, lack of area has by no means been a difficulty to not arrange a small vegetable backyard within the tiny area (approx 5 ft perimeter area) round her home.
Her 600 sqft home is constructed on three storeys, says Mini, who has all the time been obsessed with farming.
“It isn’t crucial that you just want quite a lot of area to start out rising one thing by yourself. Be it greens, fruits or decorative crops, one can all the time discover at the least a small nook of the home to make it occur. Like I’ve finished, round my home, with out even leaving a spot unused,” Mini tells The Higher India.
The home doesn’t have a terrace as the highest flooring has a sheet roof. “So I made a decision to develop my veggies round my home,” says the 50-year-old who at present grows over 50 styles of greens.
Sowing the seed early
Mini grew up in Kayamkulam in Alleppey. Her father, a authorities worker all the time discovered time to have interaction in agriculture. Watching him toil within the land, impressed her to take an curiosity in farming proper from her childhood.
After she misplaced her father, her household moved to completely different rental homes. Even whereas transferring from one home to different, she says, “I all the time planted one thing or the opposite within the accessible area in each home I stayed. It gave me immense happiness. However I all the time felt unhappy for leaving my crops behind once we needed to go away the place.”
Lastly after her marriage, Mini and her husband Sreekumar constructed their very own home in Thrikkakara in Ernakulam.
Although there have been spatial limitations, she all the time made it a degree to develop at the least a number of greens round her home. However it was the pandemic-induced lockdown that made her even extra engrossed in farming.
“I began utilizing social media platforms like Fb virtually across the identical time. That’s once I found quite a lot of on-line teams for farming fanatics like me. Being part of such teams motivated me to do extra and that’s how I expanded my kutty (small) farming enterprise,” says the homemaker, including that she learnt completely different farming strategies, suggestions and tips by means of the social media teams.
The 4 sides of the home are actually occupied with develop baggage, drums and plastic tins rising greens and fruits. Apart from, she nurtures crops on the staircases and even on the sunshades.
“I haven’t left any area besides a little bit to stroll round the home,” she laughs.
The house gardener now grows tomatoes, brinjal, okra, chillies, Chinese language potato, bitter gourd, spinach, moringa and extra. She additionally grows a number of fruit bushes like jackfruit, mango, guava, purple girl papaya, peanut butter fruit and ber apple.
“I’d say, besides potato and onion, I’ve been capable of develop all of the greens that we use within the kitchen,” she factors out, including, “A lot of the days we get sufficient greens from the backyard itself. It was a blessing throughout the lockdown days.”
“Among the many fruit bushes, the jackfruit tree stunned me when it had fruits final yr. Even the guava tree gave quite a lot of fruit,” she says.
Moreover, turmeric, black pepper and ginger are a few of the spices that she grows in her house backyard. “I’ve been rising bush black pepper for a very long time. It yields at the least twice or thrice a yr giving me half kg every,” she provides.
One of many challenges resulting from restricted area round the home was the dearth of soil, says Mini who does natural farming. “The area round the home was concrete, so there was no soil. I introduced soil from close by development websites and crammed it in develop baggage and drums. I additionally made certain that I recycled the identical soil by including natural manure earlier than rising the subsequent plant in it,” she elaborates.
Earlier than sowing the seeds or planting a sapling, she prepares the soil by mixing cow dung powder, neem cake and lime. “I’ve by no means used any chemical fertilisers or pesticides. As an alternative, I exploit to show my kitchen waste into compost and use it as natural manure for all my crops.”
In the long run, Mini reiterates that it’s doable to develop contemporary and wholesome greens even in a really restricted area. “If I can develop this a lot in a really restricted area think about how a lot folks with freer areas or terraces can develop,” she says with a smile.
Edited by Yoshita Rao