Monday, May 25, 2020

Chandigarh

Kitchen gardening interest arises from a visceral understanding of the truth

April 25, 2020 11:43 AM

CHANDIGARH: A microscopic virus has done what the government could not do so. People during the pandemic crisis start realizing to connect themselves with their roots. While supply of vegetables is a concern for some who have been maintaining kitchen gardens have a sense of relief with availability of vegetables on their rooftop or backyard.

Gone are the days when kitchen gardens was a passion among majority of urban residents in Chandigarh, says Mr R.P. Singh who is maintaining kitchen garden on rooftop. He is sharing best practices about kitchen garden in informal way. One can see people are composting and promoting kitchen gardens in their backyard or rooftops.

G.C Dhadwal, a Himachali based in Chandigarh said that in Himachal Pradesh more or less household has its own kitchen garden. Every type of seasonal vegetables were available in the backyard through out the year. “I have vacant land in his backyard and concept of kitchen garden there was always on the back burner, ” revealed he. Life was so full that there was little time for this hobby. But lockdown taught us a lesson to develop kitchen garden in the backyard planted saplings of daily use vegetables. He along with his family can make their own manure from food waste, leaves for the plants.

They are among many of those in Chandigarh who during pandemic have imbibed passion about developing kitchen gardens as they witness the relief of those who already have kitchen gardens around them. People with kitchen garden said that they have a good supply of vegetables from their kitchen garden.

Countrywide lockdown was announced by the Indian government to control the spread of COVID-19. It was initially announced by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 (starting from March 25) for a period of three weeks but on April 14, he extended it till May 3. During the three weeks of lockdown, there have been some reports of people facing trouble with securing some vegetables and fruits. However, on the other hand, for people growing vegetables and herbs at home, it’s a time for them to sit pretty in their homes as a significant share of vegetables consumption usually comes from kitchen gardens.

Bhuwania, an investment advisor, holistic health coach and medical tourism professional, credits her love for the kitchen garden to her upbringing in Chandigarh where she said having a lawn in front and a kitchen garden in the backyard is a usual thing. She also stressed on composting of kitchen waste and a series of steps to conserve nearly 200 litres of water every day by using water released from washing clothes to mop the house and then water the plants. She also collects water used in the kitchen for washing vegetables to water her plants.

 “I motivated people in my own locality and over the years more than 100 families have started similar practice. The lockdown is a gentle reminder for many of us that we have to go back to our basics. It has also made people realize the importance of sustainable consumption. She underlined that during the lockdown she has received scores of queries from her family, friends and others who wanted to understand the concept and do something similar.

Meanwhile, for some, who used to maintain such gardens as a hobby, lockdown is the time when they are reconnecting with it. Now, during the lockdown, I have started taking care of my kitchen garden again and I hope to continue it and plan to expand it,   said  Mr Singh.
The new kitchen gardens not just earn praise from family, friends and strangers, these also act as a catalyst for many who have been waiting to do something similar but needed the motivation.

In the blind race for life many had lacked of time and mind space, many people were still sitting on the fence about doing something about their kitchen waste or wanting to grow at least some of their own food. This lockdown has pushed some of them back to follow through the ideas.

Recently, the government of Himachal Pradesh has conceived a plan to encourage kitchen garden concept among women kissan which in turn strengthen the economy of the state. Hopefully, this gardening interest of the government arises from a visceral understanding of that truth.

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