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Organic Lifestyle

Organic gardening ensures healthy and fresh food within easy access.

Arundhati Banerjee
Mon, Jun 2 2014

Photography: Arundhati Banerjee

About Arundhati

A vagabond at heart, love of travel has taken me places and made me a wiser soul with an open mind to learn and respect the people and cultures that I have encountered along the way.
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A container, some space under the sun, access to water and some mud under favourable weather conditions and you are good to go with your green garden.  A balcony or terrace, window sill, backyard or rooftop, any space will hold your green patch and you can proudly call yourself a gardener. You have the option to grow ornamental and flowering plants or grow vegetables. Whatever you choose, it is only a little disciplined effort that is required and you can harvest almost anything you want. No matter where you reside, the urban, semi urban or rural area, having your bit of connection with the land and soil can be an enriching experience. In today’s age, ‘Go Green’ is the mantra. That’s why a lot of urban gardeners are indulging themselves with a patch of green.

With sky-rocketing prices for essential vegetables and extensive usage of fertilisers and pesticides in modern farming techniques, a sizable population in the urban areas are looking for healthier and cleaner alternatives.  Most are turning towards growing their own food in small terraces, large balconies and backyards in a series of pots, pans, boxes, sacks, barrels, bottles, recycled tyres and wheels and anything that can hold the growing medium together. Those who have the privilege of backyards are going to a great extent to utilise every square inch of land. Multiple cropping, crop4 rotation, drip irrigation are all practised with complete independence from fertilisers and pesticides. Composting and recycling your own green waste is also effectively practised by many in their own green patches. Organic farming is the buzz word and these chic urban farmers depend on everything organic to grow their food.

Dr Vishwanath Kadur has redefined urban gardening with his pioneering work and has been accredited with inspiring most of Bangalore’s terrace and backyard gardeners in the organic way. India’s IT capital now boasts of numerous organic terrace farmers whose primary mission is to ‘eat what you grow and grow what you eat’.  These Bangaloreans are inspiring others all over the country and even the world with their Facebook page called ‘Organic Terrace Gardening’. The ‘OTG’ Group as it is fondly referred to, had its humble beginnings in 2011 in Bangalore and now boosts of more than 17000 members all over the world who are seriously practising organic farming. This group provides inspiration, support, advice, to all its members and is a great place to solve all problems related to organic farming. Remedies to germination, growing, harvesting and pest related issues can be sought in minutes. Members also actively share seeds and seedlings and post their targets and harvests thus constantly inspiring other novice members to grow.

Most newbies to organic farming are taking small steps while trying to grow green leafy vegetables like basil, parsley, coriander, and fenugreek, spinach both green and red along with chillies, tomatoes and brinjals which are easy to grow and may have a short harvest time.  Those who are more adventurous experiment with a variety of gourds, cauliflowers, cabbage, potatoes, onions, carrots, turnips, ginger, turmeric and many others. Even fruits such as pomegranate, mango, papaya, bananas, guavas and custard apples are grown with ease by many. Some have managed to become self-sufficient over a period of time with all their vegetable requirements while others are happy to grow a few they fancy.  No matter what they grow, it is all organic and fresh from the garden thus ensuring a healthy eating habit in their family.

Organic gardening may be practised as a hobby by most but it has far reaching impact in one’s life. One is ensured of healthy fresh food with a minimum distance and time required for the food to travel from your garden to your plate. The trip to the local market may be greatly reduced depending on what is grown. Spending a couple of hours or more every week tending the garden is a productive hobby which will help to be in touch with nature and natural surroundings. Often that will have a therapeutic impact on the body and mind. The whole family may be interacting with plants and insects and children will grow to love, admire and respect nature with first-hand practical environmental lessons.  Learning to recycle and reuse and composting one’s wet and green waste is a fascinating experience. It helps to know about giving back to nature and composting for a healthier garden.

Having one’s own garden will help in the reduction of pollution while increasing the oxygen production in our surroundings and one might even notice a drop in temperature.  Gardening also assures a healthy and productive lifestyle while discarding our sedentary urban life.

Indulge yourself in growing your own greens and see the difference it brings to your lifestyle.

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bullet Comments:

 
Arundhati Banerjee (Friday, Jun 27 2014):
Enjoyed sharing this piece Kajari as I believe that a contact with nature is for everyone to cherish.
 
Kajari Guha (Wednesday, Jun 11 2014):
Thanks for sharing with the best ways to abandon the sedantary lifestyle!
 

 

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