During COVID-19, this community kitchen garden serves well

Vegetables from the community kitchen garden being distributed to the residents of Veppangudi village in Karur district

Vegetables from the community kitchen garden being distributed to the residents of Veppangudi village in Karur district   | Photo Credit: Handout

It has been set up on 15 cents of land

In a venture that could instil confidence in farmers to bring back arid lands into cultivation and producing vegetables organically, a United States based IT professional has set up a model “community kitchen garden” at Veppangudi at Kadambur taluk in the district.

The farm, which was set up with the expertise offered by Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in November, 2019, on about 15 cents of a public space has now started bearing fruits.

The village of about 200 households has become self sufficient for its vegetable requirements through the sustainable model.

The farm has everything right from brinjal, tomato and ladyfingers to greens.

There is no need for the residents to pay for vegetables. What they need to do is to chip in by way of doing some farm work such as watering, weeding and other chores for half an hour in the morning.

Upon completion of the works, they return home with the vegetables for cooking.

It does not have a well or tank for irrigation.

It mainly gets domestic water from a ‘water way’ connecting neighbouring houses. If required, they collect water from the public tap to irrigate the plants.

“Many residents think that arid land has no scope for cultivation. Nearly 30% of the village population has gone out in search of livelihood. We have now demonstrated that the vegetables for the entire village can be met even on a small piece of land with the effective water and weed management plan,” says K. Narendran, a native of the village and senior IT professional living in Arizona in the United States, who played a key role in the establishment of the community kitchen garden.

T. Kalimuthu, one of the volunteers, said that the garden produced all kinds of vegetables, except hill grown vegetables. It was meeting the requirements of the village from January. The importance of the garden was being felt during the lockdown.

J. Diraviam, Head, KVK, Karur, who visited the farm recently, said that it had become one of the best community kitchen models.

The residents, collectively and voluntarily, had been nurturing the garden with bare minimum water and without using fertilizers.

As it has a concentration of SC population, it has been decided to pass on the benefits of the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan of the Centre to the village.

“The KVK had adopted the village to promote it in all spheres of development,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 8:33:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/during-covid-19-this-community-kitchen-garden-serves-well/article31359675.ece

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