Getting fresh vegetables is becoming more and more difficult day by day. We all are now left with overripe tomatoes and droopy spinach by the time we get to shop. In this seeningly distressing times, it has become a reality that the most of the aspects of human life are food and health care facilities.
In this lockdown period the government has asked people to “learn to live with the virus” urging people to make COVID- 19 prevention guidelines a part of their lives as a behavioural change. In these days questions that arise in mind include will there be sufficient food for everyone if lockdown has to be continued. Government are also trying to take measures to make sure there is no question of food insecurity.
Meanwhile, World Health Organization (WHO ) has given clear instructions to the food industry to maintain strict hygienic practice to avoid transmission of the virus through food or packaging. Hence, there can be fears associated with the purchase and consumption of packaged Food. One way out of this can be kitchen gardening.
What is Kitchen Gardening?
Any small space can be used to set up garden, for example windows sills; balconies; vertical walls and any such area can be used for setting up kitchen garden. Start by planting things you eat usually for example, Curry leaves ( Kadi Patta); Coriander leaves ( Dhaniya); tomatoes ; Chillies; Fenugreek (Methi). A small kitchen garden reduces waste and grow fresh edible at home.
Any place that receives some sunlight, and any container for example, earthen pots, old bottles, plastic cups etc. Take any type of these with hole for aeration and then it can be used for growing vegetable. Green leafy vegetables can be grown in shallow pots.
In addition to these there are numerous environmental benefits of having a kitchen garden. This kind of backyard gardening can provide partial but important solution to the issues of polluted water, parasites, the added advantage of the kitchen garden is that since it is grown on a small scale to meet the family needs, organic practice can be done and this is beneficial for one’s health as well as for the plant too.
Kitchen Garden is a growing trend in urban areas. Moreover during the Coronavirus period. If one wants to have the fresh vegetables then he can go with this. This kitchen garden can be done as a hobby too, as the resources are getting depleted at super markets and also that much exposure to fruits and vegetables may increase chances of coronavirus through the surface.
This as a professional is also very good because it keeps one calm and occupied in work. And this is the perfect time to start with it. Kitchen Gardening is a practical, cost effective and sustainable solution for multiple issues that we are facing. A pandemic like COVID-19 can help us realise the vital components of human life and work for a more sustainable future.
How can we grow
As we all know, it may not be possible to source seeds due to the lockdown. But we can still grow many plants with things that we find in our kitchen. “Microgreens are rich in nutrition”. So put a handful of mustard, fenugreek, Ragi, groundnut into the soil and add enough water before adding a thin layer of top soil. It will sprout in next two days. Once they have their first set of leaves, it is ready to be harvested. Cut them at soil level , with the pair of sharp scissors.
What Vegetables can be grown in Kitchen Garden?
Here are some tips:
If you want to grow mint, than take a fresh mint with thick green stem and place it in glass of water. Change the water everyday. After a couple of days, thin white roots starts sprouting. Take the stem out of water and place it in a pot that has hole for drainage. Place the pot in a sunny spot and water it regularly. Once the foliage increase you can start cutting for culinary purpose.
You can even grow garlic in your kitchen garden, garlic is used in most of the Indian dishes and also have advanced health benefits.
Benefits of the Kitchen Garden
Now let’s start with the benefits of kitchen garden, this kitchen gardening not only gives fresh food but the farming process is also a therapeutic in nature, especially during this crisis. It can also be a great family activity to help children deal with boredom and enhance their motor skills. One can also be creative and can colour pots, paint them and decorate them accordingly.
If you want to eat healthy food, start cultivating by yourself
(The author is pursuing Bachelor’s in Hons of Agriculture From Sher-e- Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu )