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Our food and vegetables largely come from farms that use chemical fertilizers and pesticides which leave a toxic trace on what we eat. There is a certain perception that we eat has much poison. Many campaigns have been launched to popularise organic and natural farming.

Outlets purportedly selling products of organic farming are coming up at various places. These outlets claim that they care for the health of their customers. Yet, they are yet to make a significant impact on people’s food habits.

Organic produce firms seem to be keen on cashing on this opportunity to increase their profits. Unfortunately, many fake organic food firms are also flooding the market. The reason is the people, despite their awareness, are ignorant of what makes farm produce natural and healthy.

There are only two options to solve this problem:

  1. To practice natural farming.
  2. To buy naturally grown products from trustworthy farmers.

The third option could be growing our own food with the help of terrace gardening or utilizing the free space available near our houses. Though many have heard about the terrace gardening, several are not yet fully familiar with the methods. One may wonder how an individual cultivating veggies, fruits etc. on a small scale in his/her own initiative will be able to sustain. A small step taken in complete faith, after all, leads to a long journey and we can grow our food on our terrace or home gardens.

The third option could be growing our own food with the help of terrace gardening or utilizing the free space available near our houses.

What does it take to do terrace gardening? A little amount of work and trust would be sufficient. Here are some tips on terrace gardens.

–          Choose the empty spot on the terrace with sufficient water availability and sunlight.

–          Grow plants in earthen pots, plastic bags and buckets. For fertilizers, you can use waste coconut fibers,    worms, cowdung etc. which are anything but artificial. Coconut fiber has the power of retaining the moisture in the plant container.

–          The pot or bucket should have holes in its bottom so the surplus water percolates down for too much of water will affect the roots of the plants.

Here are more do’s and don’ts regarding terrace gardening:

–          Avoid making new terrace garden during summer.

–          Do not choose shady spot.

–          Do not place bags of plants directly on the floor; rather put them on plastic plates.

–          You can use kitchen waste such as garbage, fruit waste, egg shells as fertilizers for vegetables, fruits and herbs grown on the terrace. They are, after all, natural fertilizers.

Terrace gardening, apart from giving fresh veggies, fruits etc., provides an opportunity for manual labour. Such physical activity gives respite from stress and strain of the hectic lives we lead now. Terrace gardens can save on electricity used for air-conditioning of the houses.

Terrace gardening, apart from giving fresh veggies, fruits etc., provides an opportunity for manual labour. Such physical activity gives respite from stress and strain of the hectic lives we lead now.

Realizing the value and importance of terrace gardening, the Horticulture Department of the Tamil Nadu government sells inputs at subsidized rates.

The package it sells contains the following:

Waste coconut fibre – 2 kg

Bags for growing plants – 6

Seeds for vegetables – 6 packets

Azospirillum (bacteria for plant growth) – 200 gram

Phospho bacteria (natural fertilizer) – 200 gram

Bio-control agent – 200 gram

Castor oil pesticide – 100 ml

Apart from giving the package at subsidized rates, the department also issues a guidebook on the methods of terrace gardening. The package worth Rs. 850 is sold at Rs. 510 with a subsidy of Rs. 340. The package can be bought in big cities such as Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai. At Chennai, they can be bought at Tiruvanmiyur (Phone No: 82200 56056), Anna Nagar (88258 07250), at Madhavaram (88705 62306) and Semmozhi Poonga (96771 40624). Carry Aadhar card for the proof.


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