Dine in the hands of Nature

In the last few years, we have heard the spread of lot of diseases due to consumption of some or the other vegetable. One of the major reasons behind the fruits and vegetables being contaminated is their growth process. From the selection of location where they are grown to the chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc that are used, are injurious to a man’s health. Therefore, the concept of Kitchen Gardening that was quite common in the traditional form of lifestyle is being promoted again.

Kitchen Gardening is small scale farming with less restrictions and requirements. It refers to the growth of one’s own fruits and vegetables within his/her residential premises. It is organic and thus healthy for consumption. Fertilisers are considered to be hot because they are loaded with energy and fire, whereas manure from natural sources is cool and nutritive like mother’s milk, it is natural. And Kitchen Gardening encourages the use of this natural manure; therefore it prevents any infection or disease from attacking the human body.

To begin with the process of Kitchen Gardening the biggest challenge that has to be faced is the space constraint. However, if one has some free space in the backyard it is most ideal, however, it can sit on any free space you suggest, on the compound wall, window-sill, balcony, or pathway anywhere you can spare a little space without inconveniencing anyone. If open space is the problem, you can always go for container gardening, using the available material that is easily available in and around the house – the planter boxes, troughs, hanging baskets, barrels, clay pots, ceramic pots, paint tins. Containers always have the added advantage of being portable as they can be taken to the garden area for creating the appropriate effect.

It is sensible to divide the available space into three parts: Seed and Stem crops, Root crops, and Greens:

Seeds and Stems; Beans, Capsicum, Cucumber, Lettuce, Peas, Sweet Corn, Tomato, Spinach

Root crops; Beetroot, Carrot, Onion, Potatoes, Radish.

Greens; Cabbage, Cauliflower, Knolkhol,
By rotating the crops you will enrich the soil, reduce the continuity of pests and diseases considerably as the new plant may not be a good host for the existing pest in that plot.

After ensuring that you have found the right place to grow your crops, you need to ensure that the soil that you use is pure and pesticide free. Therefore, the best option is to make your own soil and for that you do not need to buy earthworms or any other stuff, simply convert your kitchen waste into resource and keep sprinkling some red earth in the pots from time to time. This home-made soil is also referred to as Amrut Mitti (nutrient-rich soil), which has abundant and diverse microbial life that support healthy plant growth. It is also essential to mulch this soil by covering it with a layer of dry crushed leaves or sugarcane baggies. In-case the waste becomes too wet, add newspaper, dry leaves and soil to cover it. This helps in reducing loss of water due to evaporation. It insulates microbes and organisms in the soil from direct heat and also provides food for them. Adding a dose of Amrut Jal which is essentially a liquid solution comprising cow urine, fresh cow dung (available outside temples), organic black jaggery and water, is also healthy for the soil.

Kitchen gardening does not command a lot of your time. If you can devote 30 minutes every day or even alternate days to check whether the plants are healthy, it will ensure you a healthy diet. The feeling of having a meal that is cooked with freshly plucked vegetables is extremely contending.

 

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About Shreya Arora

Media Trainee at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, final year. Aspiring to be a Journalist.

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