How about running up to your terrace when you need veggies for lunch instead of purchasing from the vendor? To many of us, it may sound remote. But ask D Sridevi, a homemaker, at East Point Colony in Vizag, who grows an array of organic veggies, herbs, leafy vegetables, fruits and many more. On the terrace, you will find drums are converted into pot holders. And so are the thick plastic bags, buckets, tubs and assorted containers.
She has almost stopped buying vegetables from the market and insulated herself from the mercurial inflation of vegetable prices in the last six months. If at all, her market visits are for hunting used flexes, bricks, pots, manure and sand.
Using a simple technique, Sridevi has created wonders in her 1,250-sqft terrace garden which now gives her From tomatoes to ivy gourds, bottle gourds to bitter gourds, rig gourds to ladies finger, lemongrass to radish, pineapples to mangoes, pomegranates to sweet-lime, grapes to dragon fruits, guavas to chickoo and cascades of betel leaf, coriander, mint, spinach and fenugreek leaves.
She grows almost everything that she cooks and for her space is never a constraint for the homemaker as every nook and corner of her terrace area has been utilized to the optimum extent.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, Sridevi said “I eat fresh and fertilizer-free vegetables grown under my supervision. It is a pleasure everyone should experience,” she says and adds “gardens, however, small have therapeutic benefits.” “Even during the global pandemic, we had sufficient quantities of home-grown veggies and fruits that are not only healthy but also pesticide-free.
The ‘lockdown’ meals were made with fresh produce. Apart from our family, there is always sufficient quantity to share with other families as well,” elaborates Sridevi.
Stating further Sridevi said, “ If you have 650-square feet on your terrace, you can grow all necessary vegetables.” From pots and buckets to wooden and empty boxes, just about anything can be used for growing plants. Terrace gardens are known to have multi-dimensional advantages. They help fight global warming and the soaring inflation besides keeping the environment cool.” Explaining about the essence of growing a terrace garden she says, it has multiple advantages. “One, the vegetable bills can be halved. Two, it is a healthier option. Three, the risk of consuming pesticide-laden produce is zero,” says Sridevi.
She says the success of a terrace vegetable garden is in understanding the season of each vegetable. For example, if you are harvesting ladies’ finger, keep extra saplings so as to replace the fully grown plants for a continuous harvest. “For a self-contained garden all you require,” says Sridevi, “is a water hose and a composting unit on the terrace. “I collect vegetable wastes, onion peels and used tea leaves for use as manure in the garden.”
Besides neem oil, the kitchen gardener uses a concoction of ginger, garlic and green chili paste to guard her plants against the pest attack. Amid concrete jungle, the patches of green at Sridevi’s residence not only offer a visual treat but also plenty of choices to pick up from for the daily menu.
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