The fruits of labour are said to be sweeter. Nowhere is this truer than in gardening. Many of us look forward to the unmistakable taste of fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits, and those that come from our own soil taste even better.
But space constraints in urban settings barely give one the place to grow vegetables in the little available space with erratic sun exposure, but surprisingly, many vegetables tolerate partial shade, and a few could even be considered ‘shade vegetables’ as they don't tolerate full exposure to the sun.
MB Nirmal, founder and chairman of Exnora International says, “Even in homes, there are multiple ways to create a home garden, terrace farming, indoor farming, compound wall farming, sun-shade farming etc. These farming techniques restrict entry of polluted air from city. It is a myth that plants cannot grow without light. If it is really a problem, one can rotate the plants from terrace and balcony every two days”.
The options for vertical gardening are vast and require only some creativity. “One can also build a vertical garden inside their apartments with a 12-ft tall ceiling”, explains Nirmal.
It is possible for urbanites and apartment-dwellers to take part in the grow-your-own-food movement, even in a balcony. “Farming and agriculture went down when the IT boomed 13 years ago. Therefore I came up with the idea ‘Hi-Tech Drip Box’ and started launching it in houses. With this setup, even children, physically challenged people and senior citizens can do farming inside their houses,” says Shibu Alexander, a naturalist.
“The water will not be wasted in this process and recycled within the system. People can execute this plan even in 80 square feet space. We can grow plants in any dry land, whether it's inside the house, the balcony or the terrace”, he adds.
People have also started gifting a plant to their friends and relatives. Rashmi Sunil, who owns a garden shop, says, “People are approaching us often for customised plants to gift to their relatives or friends.”
They also offer a method called bio-breathing walls in home farming for people who think they have a lack of space at home.
“This method is a success among customers. We have created farms in kitchens, terraces, near bathroom sinks etc. Herbs like alovera are being sold like hotcakes in the city,” Rashmi elaborates. “Corporate offices also request for table plants for each employee to reduce work stress since the plants produce more oxygen. People are going more natural and eco-friendly now for a better tomorrow,” she concludes.
Like Nirmal says, “Greening your home is greening your mind"....