Schoolkids learn to grow their own food

Terrace gardening

Schoolkids learn to grow their own food

Students of St Joseph’s Girls High School were in for a pleasant surprise when they entered their school on Saturday. The campus was decked up as though for a festival, but this one was with a purpose.

The Garden City Farmers inaugurated their exhibition-cum-workshop ‘Oota From Your Thota’ at St Joseph’s Girl’s High School in Fraser Town to raise awareness on the importance of organic terrace gardening among students and gardening enthusiasts. The event promoted gardening on terraces and balconies for urban dwellers who crib about not having space to grow plants in their homes.

The programme revolved around the idea ‘Grow what you eat and eat what you grow.’ Vegetables such as tomato, green chilli, cabbage, bitter gourd, drumstick and greens can be grown on rooftops. Even fruits such as grapes and sapota can be grown with the pruning method which helps the plant bear fruits even when it is not growing vertically.

Dr B N Vishwanath, president, Garden City Farmers, said, “I will not stress on the word ‘organic’ because it is has lost its meaning. People have started calling anything and everything organic. I would rather say that we need to try to grow plants naturally in the best possible manner.”

As many as 68 different stalls were put up to showcase different types of enterprises related to organic terrace gardening.

Accessories such as high densitypolythene bags which can be used as makeshift flowerpots instead of heavy concrete flower pots, seeds of flowers and vegetables, pots made of coir and sprinklers with timers were also available.

N Ramakrishnan (65), a resident of Basaveshwaranagar, who has been growing plants on his rooftop for five years, said, “The quality of the vegetables and greens that you grow by yourself is very different from what you get in the market. You can feel a difference in the taste.” Ramakrishnan has grown vegetables such as tomato, brinjal, French beans and all kinds of greens.

Anitha, a resident of Shivajinagar, was intrigued by the idea of using vegetables which could be grown in the garden. She said, “I never knew we could grow vegetables like drumstick and cabbage on terraces. I am surely going to try it in my house. The workshop which was conducted has been helpful to know the proper procedures.”

The programme was inaugurated by BBMP corporator Abdul Rakeeb Zakir who announced that he would request the Horticulture department to allot a space of 20,000 sq ft near Coles Park in Fraser Town to Garden City Farmers to encourage their initiative.

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