A slice of mother earth!

A slice of mother earth!

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 homeΒ  — 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.

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methi, brinjal, radish, bak choy! The beds have been made by my husband.
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Aloe vera! You can grow a lot in narrow spaces.
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Capsicum/green pepper
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Spinach and coriander
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Myriad veggies
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Pak choy/Bak choy
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Basil
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Tomatoes, cucumber and others
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lemon
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You can see the Christmas tree in the background
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ajwain leaves and basil
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vertical garden
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73 thoughts on “A slice of mother earth!

    1. You grow so many things on your own which is an inspiration for all of us! I can’t take any credit for this. It is hubby’s painstaking effort all the way. I just enjoy cooking with the fresh produce :).

  1. I love homegrown vegetables and fruits, the taste is unique. Till last year my mom and sil would grow a lot of vegetables in Vizag but then they shifted to another place and that was the end of fresh vegetables.
    I lke it that u take care to recycle. Here my son and myself walk for about a km to throw our papers in the recycle bin as we do not have one in our area. We get milk in cans and every time I throw it, I get visions of piles of cans lying somewhere.

    1. You are absolutely right about the freshness and taste. I have never tasted such fresh spinach. Even the green beans were awesome. It is hard work though and there are pests that one has to protect against since no insecticides are used. My husband is very dedicated to his garden. We try to do our bit, but there is much more we wish to do for recycling. Just have to connect with the right agencies.

  2. Hi Rachana nice to be here again
    What a lovely pics and the idea of
    Terrace gardening is really good
    For the people who do not have a space to do cultivation.
    One of my blog friends brought out a book on this subject. Sorry its in the Malayalam language. And I have posted a review too in this regard. Here is the link it will be helpful for the Malayalam knowing people. http://pvariel.blogspot.in/2013/08/do-you-love-to-do-cultivation-on-you.html This concept should spread to the people so that they can start doing and at least obtain their needed vegetable without any pesticides LOL
    I have a small suggestion the pics are so good but the inscription inside the pics really reduces the beauty or the original pic, you can keep the writing at the side or the bottom of the pics not inside the pics. Its already there at the bottom β€œcopyright Rachan” I think that is well enough. This is only a suggestion.
    Keep going.

    1. Thank you so much, Philip! Actually I deliberately keep the watermark in the center so that the pics cannot be reused without my permission. Thanks for sharing your inputs.

  3. THAT is walking the talk, Rachna! The solar, water conservation and plastic thingy I also do BUT I, unfortunately, am no good with green things. The moment I try my hand at it, it goes yellow and withers away πŸ™ The exact opposite of the green thumb is what I have.

    1. You have a lot of space, Suresh, to indulge in terrace gardening. I think it is about interest and finding out how to grow in the right manner. We could not grow anything earlier, but now G is actively reading up and researching and has been able to find new ways of growing food. I, on the other hand, don’t have any interest in gardening. This is all his effort.

  4. Excellent way of going green! I’m also interested in terrace gardening and home grown veggies but have no experience whatsoever…I wish I could find such group in Delhi/NCR….right now my balcony has tulsi and coriander…wish to extend the list! πŸ™‚

    1. Aditi, do send a request to join this group on FB. It is open to anyone based in India and elsewhere. They easily add people and you can get some wonderful insights there.

  5. I think I should take from lessons from you and G. My husband loves gardening and he is the one who takes care of our wee garden. I just cook whatever is harvested πŸ˜‰ I shall soon inbox you, dear Rachna. This post was truly a delight. The fruit of the work of our hands is very sweet indeed!

    Joy always,
    Susan

    1. There is something special about growing your own food! It makes you so connected with the process including the toil. I hardly know anything; this is G’s baby. You are welcome to inbox me and I will forward your questions to him. Meanwhile, ask your hubby to join the FB group I mentioned. It is really very useful.

  6. Good effort to keep things green in whatever little manner you can including carrying cloth bags when buying sabzi or grocery.Credit goes in larger measure to your hubby!!!

  7. I am not just impressed looking at your terrace garden, I am inspired to recycle, reuse the way you and your family does. It takes will power, and patience. But I am inspired and that’s a good thing.
    Me and my husband come from small-town homes which have kitchen gardens, flower beds and fruit trees by the dozen. You can imagine how a government flat feels like. Pots and pots are the only things that I can hope for.
    Kudos for this, Rachna!

    1. Thank you, Sakshi! Observing my husband, I realized that it is not very difficult to grow your own food with the right techniques suited for urban spaces. Yes, he invests time and hard work into it. I guess, it is relaxing for him. Pots even with flowers are nice and cheerful for our homes. Hope you get them. Thanks for reading!

  8. love the post rachana…i am such a lover of terrace gardens, got it from my mum and have been quite successful in growing flowering and ornamental plants…but stumbled when trying to grow veggies and herbs (only success has been basil thanks to sangeeta khanna)….so this link to the group will be helpful for sure….

    love your garden and the wonderful ideas to grow greens in small spaces.

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

    1. Thank you so much, MyUnfinishedLife! Indeed, it is not difficult to grow veggies. Just like you, we used to find it difficult to grow veggies, but with the great tips that one gets in this group apart from the information on the net, it is not so difficult. Hope you are able to grow more of your food. Good luck!

  9. This looks beautiful. πŸ™‚
    Unfortunately I have little or no interest in gardening but I can definitely appreciate a good garden when I see it. My mother is completing into gardening. She has what I call the magic touch. All the plants she looks after seem to do very well.

    1. How nice with your mom! I am not much of a gardening person and like you love to see the plants or cook with veggies. It is entirely my husband’s baby who tends to them like little children.

    1. Thanks Pattu! You know that you are among one of the inspirations for us when it comes to terrace gardening. Am glad that G’s efforts are paying off.

  10. Rachna felt fresh and fragrant after having a look at your terrace garden.It is unique. We too have a terrace garden but it does not come any where near this pretty one.

  11. Wow! I’m impressed. I too have a small garden on my terrace though it’s just me who has an interest in gardening. I got it from my father. I’ve grown turmeric, basil, chillies, curry leaves, ajwain, tomatoes, beans, and lots of flowering plants. It feels good to see them bloom. Another set of kids I have. πŸ™‚

    1. And that’s wonderful, Rekha! It really feels nice to see the plants grow and flourish. In my family, it is the husband who does the gardening. And he is quite passionate in that regard. Thanks for reading!

  12. I am in love with your garden. I grow my own herbs, almost everything under the sun but nothing compared to your garden and I am really impressed with all the efforts you are putting in!

  13. Nothing to beat the pleasure of gardening, Rachna:) Am sure the satisfaction of seeing home grown veggies, fruits and flowers is incomparable as I too have a blooming, Lemon, Mango, Pomegranate trees besides many herbs at home:)

  14. My grandmother had a green thumb. And my Father got it from her ! I don’t have one but I love to see greenery around me πŸ™‚ But there is nothing like growing your own veggies !

  15. Never had a green thumb. Loved all your pics. You took me back home before mom moved to the city. My father had a fertiliser business and we got the best seeds that could produce and the best pesticides/urea for any bug that infected our plants. We grew almost all vegetables and remember mom would pluck fresh greens every day for my son’s baby meal..And there was a time when the people in our colony were fed up with the bottle gourds we distributed..:) Here, I have tried only methi once and it was a sight to remember forever. Now, my friend’s dad is here and uncle is growing a whole lot of veggies and giving us some too..of course they have a patch of land in their own home..what..am I writing a story here? Never mind..you got used to my longg comments by now..lol

    1. I love long comments especially when they come from you :). Wow, it was nice to know about your father and how you grew so many vegetables. We don’t use any pesticides and only vermi compost so in that sense we are growing organic food.

  16. Great Rachna ! Kudos to you and your husband for taking the effort. For recycling, you can check out if ITC will collect from your neighborhood. We recycle all dry waste through ITC.

    1. That’s great, Ash! Can you share their helpline number with me or PM it to me. I would love to use their services if they offer it in my area. Many thanks!

    1. Ah thanks so much, Indu! All this inspirational work is done by hubby. I have absolutely no credit to take here :). Just wanted to share this so that others know that it can be done in small, urban spaces.

  17. Mom does a bit of a gardening and we have home grown veggies at times but it is getting rare now. I think I have a green thumb. I wish I had more time at hand.
    Your garden looks great.

  18. This was a virtual tour in your kitchen garden Rachna. Though I did my Msc in Plant Physiology, I don’t have any plants in my apartment. I used to but some pigeons laid their eggs in the pots and it became very messy. Love the spiffy Logo. Your son is as gifted as you are.

    1. Thanks Alka, for all your warm words. I am sure, Sid will be thrilled to read your comment. You must try and get plants. They have a nice, soothing effect on us too.

  19. It is nice to know how one can utilize an open terrace of house. we do not have a open terrace but my son has greenery fondness & does it in balcony of our flat. It is not possible for me since I am always on move for construction projects. I am forwarding to sons email id for his infromation

    1. I understand! If one travels, it is very difficult to grow anything. We also lose our plants when we are away. Thank you for visiting and glad that you found the post useful.

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