Lack of area is commonly a limitation for individuals, 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 at all times been enthusiastic about farming.
“It’s not obligatory that you simply want numerous area to begin rising one thing by yourself. Be it greens, fruits or decorative crops, one can at all times discover at the least a small nook of the home to make it occur. Like I’ve accomplished, 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 forms of greens.
Sowing the seed early
Mini grew up in Kayamkulam in Alleppey. Her father, a authorities worker at all times 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 at all times planted one thing or the opposite within the accessible area in each home I stayed. It gave me immense happiness. However I at all times felt unhappy for leaving my crops behind after 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 at all times made it a degree to develop at the least just a few 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 after I found numerous on-line teams for farming fans 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 methods by way of the social media teams.
The 4 sides of the home are actually occupied with develop luggage, drums and plastic tins rising greens and fruits. Moreover, 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 just a few fruit timber like jackfruit, mango, guava, pink 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 through the lockdown days.”
“Among the many fruit timber, the jackfruit tree shocked me when it had fruits final 12 months. Even the guava tree gave numerous fruit,” she says.
Moreover, turmeric, black pepper and ginger are a number of the spices that she grows in her residence backyard. “I’ve been rising bush black pepper for a very long time. It yields at the least twice or thrice a 12 months giving me half kg every,” she provides.
One of many challenges attributable to 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 luggage 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 take advantage of 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 individuals with freer areas or terraces can develop,” she says with a smile.
Edited by Yoshita Rao