Downtown

Healthy eating begins on the terrace

The terrace hitherto unvisited, is now attracting cuckoos, squirrels, bees, birds and butterflies. Photo: R. Ragu   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

Holding cane baskets, pruners and scissors, Andal Aghoram, Mahalakshmi Ganesh and Meenakshi Suresh, arrive at their terrace. They have come to pluck vegetables for the next day’s cooking. They take a close look at all the plants. They are wreathed in smiles as they see a flower in a brinjal.

The three are part of the AGS Kalpathi family and they have raised a kitchen garden at their terrace.

“We are three families living together for close to 30 years. We have 15 members in our family. Through this garden, we are providing chemical-free food to our family. We wanted to make use of the space we had,” says Andal Aghoram, the eldest co-sister.

They grow green leaves such sivappu keerai, vendhiya keerai, palak keerai, vallara keerai, arai keerai and siru keerai. Besides, there are shallots, drumsticks, flat beans, mint, coriander and curry leaves. Before the onset of summer, the women expect a harvest of cauliflowers, cabbages, capsicums, carrots and beetroots. Basil, lemon grass and Thai ginger are also cultivated here.

“We have just begun. As of now, we are able to prepare only one or two dishes from the vegetables harvested from our garden. For the rest of the preparations, we still depend on the markets,” says Mahalakshmi Ganesh.

Thanks to the greenery on the terrace, cuckoos, squirrels, bees, birds and butterflies flock there. There is no space for a kitchen garden at our house on Thirumalai Pillai Road  as we have grown ornamental plants all over the place. So, we are having a garden here,” says Meenakshi Suresh, the youngest of the three.

“We find the exercise of growing and nurturing plants an exhilarating experience. The initiative is encouraging as some of our relatives and friends also want to give it a try in their houses,” says Andal.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 11:20:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/Healthy-eating-begins-on-the-terrace/article14028665.ece

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