Benefits of uncultivated greens

August 27, 2022 09:38 pm | Updated 09:38 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Medak,Telangana,27/08/2022:Festival of Uncultivated Greens organised by DDS near Zaheerabad on Saturday in Sangareddy District.Photo: MOHD ARIF  / The Hindu  (Stringer)

Medak,Telangana,27/08/2022:Festival of Uncultivated Greens organised by DDS near Zaheerabad on Saturday in Sangareddy District.Photo: MOHD ARIF / The Hindu (Stringer) | Photo Credit: MOHD ARIF

For many people, it was a first-time experience when they came to know about greens that are not cultivated but fulfil all the nutritional values.

Medak,Telangana,27/08/2022:Festival of Uncultivated Greens organised by DDS near Zaheerabad on Saturday in Sangareddy District.Photo: MOHD ARIF  / The Hindu  (Stringer)

Medak,Telangana,27/08/2022:Festival of Uncultivated Greens organised by DDS near Zaheerabad on Saturday in Sangareddy District.Photo: MOHD ARIF / The Hindu (Stringer) | Photo Credit: MOHD ARIF

The Deccan Development Society (DDS), an NGO based in Pastapur of Zaheerabad mandal, organised the “Annual Uncultivated Greens Festival” at Machnoor village in Jarasangam mandal of Sangareddy district on Saturday.

About 100 people took part in the event, including enthusiastic souls from the city, Sangham women farmers, agricultural scientists, and health experts. National executive member of Nutrition Society of India Janaki Srinath participated in the programme.

People visited two villages, Tekur and Potpally, and toured around bio-diverse farms with around 15 crops and interacted with women farmers. Sangham farmers showed 20 different orphan greens and explained their properties, medicinal benefits, and details on how they can be cooked into delicious curries, to visitors.

“I did not know about these greens. We see these on roadsides usually and ignore them as useless weeds. But these women recognised their invaluable benefits. I am so glad they are able to share this knowledge with us,” said Lakshmi, a visitor from Hyderabad.

After the field visit, participants gathered on Pachasaale campus, Machnoor village, for an exhibition of 50 live orphan greens and found about their nutritional benefits and cooking uses. A millet lunch with 22 varieties of orphan green curries stood as a special highlight of the event.

Later, people shared their experiences. “Uncultivated food is a relatively new discipline. People generally consider only crops as foods and pollute the soil with chemicals to grow them. However, women at DDS have valued biodiversity in fields and saw the benefits of these orphan greens, which in conventional farms are considered weeds. Food must include this dimension of uncultivated greens and their nutritional properties,” said DDS director P.V. Satheesh.

“I use only farmyard manure in my field and do not spray any kind of pesticides or weedicides. Due to this, anywhere from 20 to 80 varieties of greens grow naturally. We use this as food for our health and nutritional well-being,” said Mogulamma, recipient of Nari Shakti Puraskar.

Dr. Janaki, also a nutrition expert, said: “India has a rich and diverse plant kingdom and every green is unique in its composition. For good health, we cannot depend on one or two staple foods. We need a diverse and balanced diet. This implies that for our healthy well-being, biodiversity should be protected on farms in both cultivated crops and uncultivated greens. We are grateful that DDS women have preserved this diversity and are able to share their knowledge with urban people like us through this festival”.

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