Pune housewife cultivates 3,500 sq ft farm using dry leaves as compost
Sujata Naphade, a housewife and an ardent gardener who believes in living a natural life, has successfully turned her 3,500 sq ft area plot on Pashan-Sus road into a farm using dry leaves collected through the Brown Leaf group.
“I am studying ‘Madhyastadarshan, a study about living sustainably,” she said. Naphade’s plot had a lot of weeds, which have also been used along with the dry leaves that she collected from Brown Leaf to make natural compost.
According to her, she cultivates vegetables for three families in her plot, which once used to be a dumping site for construction debris. “The season is changing and soon it will be time to plant new seeds,” she said. Most of her daily intake of vegetables, fruits, condiments are home-grown on her terrace, the plot as well as the courtyard.
“I started around eight years ago when we shifted from Bhosari colony to this place. This bungalow has lot of space surrounding it and I began planting trees, but without using any chemicals. I believe in letting the plants grow naturally at their own pace. Using dry leaves, we can balance the ecological cycle as the plant takes nutrients from soil to give it back in the form of dry leaves.”
She along with her husband, a software engineer, who took voluntary retirement, have adopted a sustainable living. On her plot, she also cultivates her own fruits for fresh juices, be it passion fruit, strawberries and sweet lime. She also extracts pure oil from groundnut, castor seeds, coconut and sesame seeds. She even grows her own herbs like galangal, thyme and basil to make the family’s favourite Thai cuisine. She has over 100 varieties of plants and her focus is on creating a seed bank of indigenous and local vegetables and fruits.