Glory of Delhi-NCR’s kitchen gardens: Green thumb at work
When there’s a nip in the air, the sight of fresh produce in the kitchen garden lends warmth to the soul. And Delhiites growing their own produce are loving the look and taste of fresh herbs and veggies as they stay indoors to keep themselves safe.
For Delhiite Ritesh Gandotra, it’s work from home that has given him a chance to spend more time in his kitchen garden. “We’re growing onions, coriander, mint and many seasonal flowering plants. I hope to be able to do organic farming one day. Until then, I’m living my dream like this,” says this MNC employee.
Sonia Puri Dhillon, a businesswoman from Phase-1 Gurugram, grows herbs such as rosemary, thyme and basil as well as veggies including tomato, broccoli, cauliflower and bok choy, among others. “I work on my soil mix which is totally organic. I dig up a vegetable bed about two feet deep, fill it up with kitchen and garden waste. The top cover is of dry leaves that acts as mulch, and lastly, a mud cover is given. As and when the veggies grow, the soil level keeps going down. The waste keeps composting and hence, slow fertilisation takes place. The dry leaves mulch helps in composting and keeping the soil hydrated,” she says.
Karan Tripathi, a community manager from Vasant Kunj, Delhi, managed to take his love for gardening a few notches higher thanks to WFH. “It became my escape amid all the chaos. Thanks to winter and the bounty of greens that it heralds, I have Romaine lettuce, chillies, spinach, mint, capsicum, ajwain (carom), garlic and mustard greens adorning my terrace garden. Methi, my favourite winter green, is what I harvest often, owing to its quick growth. Simple methi subzis and paranthas are a common sight. Spinach shows up in a lot of stir fries, lettuce gets tossed in dressing to make a quick salad and chillis get transformed into mirchi ke pakore,” he shares.
Nancy Singh, who runs a home decor venture in Noida’s Sector 4, says initially, it was plants and flowers that drew her to gardening. “Gradually, I got inclined towards growing my own food. In winter, I grow spinach, lettuce, chillies and lemons, using which I make pickle. The taste of pesticide-free home-grown veggies is 10 times better than what you get in markets. The trick is to understand the need of every vegetable one grows, and the sowing season,” says Singh.
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