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Updated: January 31, 2014 19:32 IST

ABCs of organic home gardening

hema vijay
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How do we tackle pests without synthetic pesticides? How can we get a huge haul of vegetables without resorting to chemical fertilisers? A workshop series teaches us organic gardening step-by-step

Most of us love the idea of urban farming and growing our own organic vegetables, fruits and flowers, or just simply to have a patch of green around the house or on our roof. But the trouble is, we don’t know how to get started on it. And then, sometimes, we do feel helpless while encountering the gardening hiccups that may crop up occasionally.

Well, this series of monthly organic gardening workshops conducted by The Offshoot in collaboration with Ashvita Bistro and Eco Alternatives on ‘How to start and sustain an organic garden’ might help you in establishing organic home gardens. With horticulturist Hariesh of The Offshoot as the resource person, the workshops address various aspects of organic gardening on a step-by-step basis, taking up one aspect of gardening every month. The first of the workshop series was held in December and focused on sowing seeds and preparing soil mixture for growing plants.

Meanwhile, the second workshop of the series, which was held last Saturday was on pest management, wherein Hariesh taught wannabe gardeners how to identify the various pests, counter pest infestation, and of course on how to prevent pest attacks on our plants, in the first place.

The participants were educated to distinguish between insects that cause economic damage and those that don’t. Alongside information, various methods and products used in organic terrace gardening were discussed and demonstrated at the workshop. For instance, in this month’s workshop, use of organic pest control mechanisms like pheromone impregnated funnel traps to trap insects was demonstrated.

It helps that Ashvita Bistro has a small but functional terrace garden on its terrace that allows the workshop to host a few practical demonstrations too.

Judging from the fact that over 70 persons of assorted ages and from diverse walks of life turned up for this month’s workshop, it looks like the city is slowly, but surely warming up to urban farming. These gardening workshops are held on the second Saturday of every month at Ashvita Bistro on Bawa road, between 4 p.m. to 6.p.m in the evening. Entry for the workshop is free.

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