When I was growing up, I lived in mostly government homes, sometimes in colonies at other times rented houses. In the initial years, we never stayed in one place for more than a couple of years. And yes, I hardly had any exposure to gardens or gardening except what I got through already existing lawns or gardens in the houses we lived in. I have never been to a village. I have heard that my father belonged to a village but he never took us, as his father had moved out due to his own service postings. So my relationship with plants and food has been relegated to supermarket shelves and sabzi mandis. Till I met my husband, of course.
His family home has a garden with some fruit trees and every one in their family has an avid interest in gardening. In our Bangalore home, we have a small patch of land where we have planted a few trees and some ornamental plants read flowering ones. We did try growing a few easy-to-grow veggies but the monkey population that comes and uproots everything is a huge deterrent, and we gave up somewhere along the way.
Then I introduced my husband to a group called Organic Terrace Gardening on Facebook. This is a great group for information, questions and tips on growing your own food for city dwellers, and it is pan India. Do send them a request to join if you have a green thumb. Collaborating with like-minded folks has taken his passion to another level. We recently attended an exhibition about growing our own food where we got exposure to many organic and environmentally friendly methods of living including growing food on the terrace and in very small patches and waste segregation. Here are some pictures of the stuff he is growing. I am completely loving the organic fresh produce grown at home — bak choy, coriander, methi, spinach, cucumber, basil, tomato, curry leaves that have fruited and stuff like capsicum, brinjal, chillies, lemon that are being grown. It is on a very small level but wanted to share our slice of earth with all of you.
Apart from this, in our endeavor to live green, we use all our vegetable waste towards composting; it provides great nutrition for the plants and cuts down on the garbage we churn out.
Other things we do is use a solar heater for all our water heating purposes. That slashes our electricity bill apart from being environmentally friendly. We collect all the plastic bottles and milk and curd sachets and give them to the local raddiwala for recycling. And are currently on the lookout for someone who can help us recycle our other plastic covers like grocery covers etc. We take cloth bags along for grocery shopping. We also reuse all the water used in the kitchen to water our plants. These small steps help us in living green, but there is still a very long way to go.