A slow but steadily growing interest in organic food is making more people have their own kitchen garden.
Growing one’s own food may sound herculean task, but you can do it.
It all begins with the first seed or a sapling. Once there’s a harvest that meets at least a part of the household cooking needs, you will feel encouraged to add more fruits and vegetables to your garden.
Everyone can grow their own vegetables. It’s a lot easier than you think. Just imagine, a feast of fresh crisp salad leaves, juicy vegetables can be yours for the asking with careful planning and love. The vegetables cook faster and taste better. And gardening acts for some as a workout and a stress buster too.
Apart from having fresh produce available readily, there are multiple other benefits. Gardening acts for some as a workout and a stress buster. It also helps enable to make your home zero-waste. The wet waste — vegetable peels, old flowers, tea dregs — goes into a bucket for compost that keeps the plants glistening green.
Following are few easy to follow tips that can help you get started with kitchen gardening.
- Use containers with good drainage that make the best use of space.
- Try and understand the basics of soil preparation and composting. Soil used must be good and well drained.
- Vegetables must be planted per seasons. For instance, cabbage and cauliflower are ideal from September.
- Use shade to create microenvironment at home for growing plants.
- Start by growing something you use every day. A good choice would be to have a mix of greens, vegetables such as tomatoes, brinjals, bitter gourd, radish, chilies and fruits such as lemons and guavas. These grow throughout the year.
- Always start small and simple; then expand. You will soon acquire an instinct for the right things to grow as you gain experience. And your confidence will grow as you see success!
Curry leaves, coriander, tomato, green chilies, brinjal, methi, palak and other keerai varieties, mint.
If you are interested in growing some fresh fruits out of your kitchen scrap, have a look at this Facebook video widely circulated among users. It illustrates on how to grow fruits such as strawberry, raspberry, tomato, orange, lemon and many such fruits with simple kitchen tricks. (video courtesy – TastyVegetarian)
- There is a group ‘Intipanta’ started two years ago and has more than 5800 members on Facebook. It serves as a help group. Be it learning names of plants, how to tackle pests and sourcing seeds, members in this group help each another. The group also organizes meets from time to time.
- You may get starting-kits from any government aided horticulture department in your town.
A full-fledged garden for those who have space and a few pots to grow fresh herbs for others are small steps which, in the larger scheme of things, contribute towards reducing food miles, carbon footprint and tackling food inflation.
- Amazon has a dedicated page for those interested with the know-how of kitchen gardens, planting according to seasons and tools. It is a reliable marketplace for buying tools, compost, seedlings trays and ‘square foot garden’ for those who want to grow herbs and vegetables within limited space.