Terrace gardening keeps Thane residents occupied during Covid-19 pandemicUpdated: Oct 16, 2020, 23:50 IST
Ranjan Yadav, 47, a chef by profession, starts his day by visiting the terrace in his society, where more than 200 potted plants are growing.
Yadav spends more than an hour to water the plants and checks the yield for the day. His neighbours also join in watering the plants. These include a variety of vegetables and seasonal fruits. The terrace garden started by the residents has been a boon to the residents during the lockdown.
The garden is on two buildings – Lily Co-operative Society within Vijay Garden Complex at Kavesar. The society decided to develop a terrace garden in 2017 and the results are showing now.
“With everything shut down for six months, this was the best way for us to spend hours, experimenting and learning more about farming and gardening. We made the most of the lockdown and understood about the vegetables that can be grown across seasons and also tried growing fresh herbs and bell peppers, which were a success,” said Yadav.
As the yield from the terrace garden is distributed to all society members, it’s helpful for at least one meal in every household during the lockdown.
“There are a few of us who take a lot of interest in gardening and farming process. We share the yield with our neighbours as well. This was a collective initiative and we are using only certain parts of the terrace for the same. During the lockdown, we get to consume healthy organic vegetables,” said Thankiah Nadar, 50, another resident.
When the society underwent renovation in 2017, they had many paint buckets that were lying unused. They decided to use them as planters in their terrace to set up a garden and cultivate organic fruits and vegetables. The initiative started with 20 paint buckets. It has now crossed 200 pots and is yielding good results.
“From fresh herbs to turmeric and tulsi, we have tried growing different plants. There were a few failed attempts that helped us understand better. The terrace has two different spots of natural light, one area that gets the early morning sun rays and the other spot with the evening mild sun rays. We will be planting strawberries for the upcoming season,” said Reny Varghese, 44, another resident and an avid gardener.
These vegetables are not sold commercially but distributed among the society members. “There are some vegetables like egg plants and ladies finger that yield year long. Some fruits are seasonal. We are learning all of these through our experiments,’’ added Nadar.
“This organic farming is a key element to my profession as a chef, the results of our amateur experiments are amazing, and we even have herbs like fresh basil. This can be easily started in one’s home or society terrace. It is great to keep one occupied. Moreover, we did not have to worry about the difficulty in going to the market to get daily groceries during the lockdown,” added Yadav.