Lockdown exchange Homes and gardens

City exchange: meet the home gardeners sharing their produce with neighbours during the lockdown

Priya Gopalen’s harvest from her garden

Priya Gopalen’s harvest from her garden   | Photo Credit: Priya Gopalen

Keep an eye out for these home gardeners and once the crisis ends, reach out to them for seeds, cuttings and saplings to start your own garden

Terrace and home gardeners are having their time in the sun, literally. With the ongoing Lockdown making access to basic essentials tough, especially in smaller cities, these individuals are not only enjoying their summer bounty, but also sharing them within their neighbourhood. So keep an eye out for gardening enthusiasts in your cities who are willing to share seeds, cuttings and saplings. Our favourites:

Priya Gopalen, co-founder and partner, The Magic Bean

I have a terrace garden, ground garden and a small banana patch in the backyard. Native greens like spinach, mustard greens, basil, tomato varieties, radish, corn, zucchini, etc, and even medicinal plants like betel leaves and adathoda are grown on the terrace. Papaya, banana and mango are all grown using permaculture and natural farming methods. It is the beginning of drumstick season, and I am continuing to get brinjals, amaranth greens, and mudakathan keerai.

The seed savers of India
 

I usually share with family, friends and colleagues, and now given the crisis, with my neighbours and house help as well. I save tomato, brinjal, papaya, gourds, okra, gongura and radish seeds and I am always open to exchange and sharing saplings/cuttings. E-mail themagicbeanchennai@gmail.com

Manikandan Pattabiraman, founder, Hyperfarms

Manikandan Pattabiraman, founder, Hyperfarms   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Manikandan Pattabiraman, founder, Hyperfarms

I have been gardening for the last 12 years, and have always shared the produce from my rooftop garden with neighbours and friends. Only palak is grown at my farm, which my neighbours buy from me and I also supply to local aggregators. For gardening assistance, saplings and cuttings, people can reach out to me post June on geekgardener.in

Lynn Pereira, founder, Bespoke Nursery

I grow fruits like water apples, mangoes, and herbs like oregano, mint, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, garlic chives, etc., and oyster mushrooms. This season, the focus is on hydroponic microgreens, drumstick, colocasia, Malabar spinach, brinjal, star apples and mangoes. The harvest is always shared with several families, and I often send my friends seeds via post. Reach out on bespokenurseryindia@gmail.com

(left) Anita Tikoo and (right) greens from her terrace garden

(left) Anita Tikoo and (right) greens from her terrace garden   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Anita Tikoo, landscape architect and co-principal of Vinyas, a design firm

I have my own challenges with gardening in the city due to the monkey menace. Instead of growing fruiting vegetables, I primarily grow greens and herbs, and the occasional tomato and brinjal plant. Spring crops will sprout soon, coriander was sown recently, along with spinach. Pumpkin vines are coming up; I cook with the shoots. I have always shared my bounty with neighbours and house help, especially when there is a huge crop of spinach, poi saag or amaranth. As the greens are yet to begin sprouting, I plan to bake and share sourdough bread with my neighbours. Strangers who have messaged me on Instagram have also received seeds from my garden. On April 5, I will be conducting a live session at 10.30 am on ‘How to plant a chutney garden’ on my page @a_madteaparty

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 6:13:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/home-gardeners-who-are-sharing-their-produce-with-neighbours-during-the-lockdown/article31250121.ece

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