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Updated: July 23, 2013 09:25 IST

Don’t just go green, grow green

Tania Singla
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Jayanagar resident Vijay Satish admires his handiwork. Photo: Niharika Hema Raj
Jayanagar resident Vijay Satish admires his handiwork. Photo: Niharika Hema Raj

Many Bangaloreans are turning to gardening to beat stress and veggie prices

Do tomatoes, instead of onions, bring tears to your eyes? Are you uneasy about all those chemicals in your veggies? Do you ache to bring a green relief from the concrete eyesores that hem you in? Perhaps a solution could be turning a corner of your home into a kitchen garden.

Garden City has always had gardening enthusiasts. But, as gracious homes with vast backyards make way for glass-and-chrome edifices, Bangaloreans are looking at more modest spaces to have a go at gardening. So today’s green thumbs have a go at it through vegetable and fruit patches they grow in their backyards, terraces and even balconies. Kitchen gardens don’t cost much and don’t require a lot of time too. Depending on the varieties you want to grow, just an initial investment of Rs. 2,000 can get to started.

Jayanagar resident Vijay Satish says his organic garden meets 90 per cent of his kitchen needs.

He is proud of his brinjal, cucumber, chillies, coriander, fenugreek, tomatoes, beetroot, turnip, carrots and radish. “I go to the market only for potatoes and onions!”

He even experiments with exotic varieties of vegetables like broccoli, Chinese cabbage, brown zucchinis, purple capsicum to name a few. He minimises the costs of his terrace garden by recycling almost everything he can lay his hands on — plastic sheets, disposal barrels, even noodles cups. Ask him if having green fingers is a prerequisite, he replies: “It’s not rocket science: anybody can do it. But gardening certainly requires patience and self-motivation.”

Online communities

Social networking sites like Facebook are proving to be a great boon for enthusiasts who want to make their house greener but don’t know where to start. Members of online groups share their experiments, pictures and techniques, creating a pool for newer members to learn from. Mr. Laxminarayan, an active member of the group Organic Terrace Gardening on Facebook, has been terrace-gardening for almost four years now. “I started it to reduce job stress.”

His Facebook group boasts a membership of more than 5,900 — almost 3,000 of them are from Bangalore — members from across the country and even abroad.

B.N. Vishwanath of the Garden City Farmers’ Trust observes the trend really picked up after 2005 with a number of young doctors, engineers, BPO employees and working couples wanted to experiment with greenery in their homes. His NGO, which conducts workshops in Bangalore to teach budding gardeners about the basic techniques involved, can be contacted on 9845627217.

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