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From farm to plate

Basket with ripe organic vegetables carrot beetroot and zucchini  

One Sunday, accompanying my wife to the vegetable market, I was shocked to know that drumsticks cost 150 a kg. Giving me a disapproving look, she said, “Since you always got good reasons to avoid coming to the market, you don’t know what the prices are.”

Of a few things which we had in abundance in our childhood were drumsticks as we had two trees in our backyard. Hence it was difficult to digest that they cost so much now. We had many fruit trees too — varieties of mango, papaya, passion fruit, jackfruit.

Most of the times, my grandmother would be in the backyard exercising her green thumb. Every season, the family would grow beans and as children, we would happily engage in all activities from sowing to harvest on the small patch of land.

The freshness and taste of home-grown vegetables still lingers in me. Every morning, it was my grandmother’s practice to go for a walk around the backyard and pick up ripe mangoes and other fruits that had freshly fallen to the ground. She would give it to us to cut and distribute, and mangoes never tasted better than that. The taste of home-grown fruits and vegetables was special.

After we moved to a city, my wife filled the little available spaces in the veranda and the balconies with pots and plants. But my interest in growing fruits and vegetables lay dormant.

Finally looking at the vacant site by the house, we decided to make use of it, helping also to keep it free of bushes and insects. Within weeks, we were happily harvesting leafy vegetables, beans, chillies, bottle gourds and tomatoes. It felt great to grow them and cut down on purchases from the market.

It’s good to find a small patch to grow vegetables and have freshly grown produce in the kitchen, avoiding the need to go to the market and buy at high prices. Self-sufficiency should begin at home.

ashokbbalakrishna@gmail.com


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 6:54:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/from-farm-to-plate/article34456727.ece

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