Mumbai residents convert terrace into garden, grow 15 kinds of veggies, herbs organically
Adding to the growing list of environment-conscious citizens are residents of a Bandra society, who have embraced organic farming and converted their building’s terrace into a garden.
Since last December, Piya Reddy and four residents of Monisha society in Bandra stared organic farming using their own compost which the society creates by recycling wet waste. Their endeavour is now supported by rest of the society members.
“Recycling and caring about environment is almost a habit now. I have been personally segregating waste for more than eight years,” Reddy said.
The building terrace holds a variety of vegetables, ranging from chillies to tomatoes and herbs such parsley and celery. “There are around 55 baskets of 15 different vegetables on the terrace,” said Reddy.
Other vegetables and herbs such as brinjal, Romanian spinach, mint, lime, basil , rosemary and curry leaves are part of the terrace garden.
“We are also planning to plant green garlic, cherry tomatoes and other seasonal vegetables during their appropriate seasons,” said Manoj Jain, another resident.
With all of the 24 households in the society uniting for the cause, it was easy to the experiment, said other residents.
Besides planning to add more variety to its terrace garden, the society also has a unique way of making compost. “We call it ‘Amrit Mitti’. It is a mix of cow urine, cow dung and neem leaves, which adds to the fertility of the soil and helps get a better produce. It also acts as a pesticide, albeit a natural one,” said Pappu Mehra, another resident.
The residents said, though small, the terrace garden needs total commitment and round the clock care.
Commenting on the society’s initiative, resident Kevin D’Silva said the primary aim was to tackle the waste generated. “Handling wastes at individual-level is the need of the hour.”
Many residents joined the initiative to experience the thrill of home-grown vegetables. “Everyone benefits from it. People can consume these vegetables without fear,as they are free of adulteration and chemical fertilizers,” said Madhu Reddy, another resident and a committee member.
Start Upcycling Now (SUN), a waste management company, helped the society to start on the terrace garden.
“Mumbai has an awesome climate and has favourable conditions throughout the year. You just think about something and you can do it. You don’t need to have a land. One can be owner of their own vegetation. People are not aware about it,” said Natasha Dcosta, founder of SUN.