Well-known fact about Assam: It produces one of the best tea varieties. Less-known fact about Assam: Every family that can call its terrace its own, has a garden on the top. After relocating to Chennai after a seven-year stay in Sibnagar in Assam, Sumithra Sundarajan wants to ‘raise’ a piece of Assam on a terrace in Chennai.
To find out how she could go about this, she attended Madi Thottam, a terrace gardening workshop organised by Eastern Condiments in association with The Hindu (Tamil), on Sunday at L&T Eden Park, a gated community in Siruseri, for the benefit of residents there. The Hindu Downtown was the media partner. The event was organised for the benefit of its residents.
In the evening, Madi Thottam was organised at T. Nagar and this event was meant for the wider world.
“Kitchen gardening is common across Assam. During winter, people grow cauliflower, cabbage, palak, mustard leaves, chillies, groundnut and onion. They grow brinjal through the year. In their backyards, residents grow fruit-bearing trees and shrubs, including pineapple and lychee,” says Sumithra, a resident of L&T Eden Park. For three years, residents of L&T Eden Park have been disposing of waste in a responsible way and through this new initiative, they are seeking to take their commitment to a new level. The event showed residents the “how-to” of growing fruits and vegetables on a terrace or a balcony.
A programme to mark the launch of the new initiative was organised last Sunday at the amphitheatre in the gated community and it was well-attended.
Sumithra says, “I would first try green chillies, tomatoes and coriander as they are required to prepare most of the dishes.”
Another participant, Suresh Radhakrishnan, says, “I’m a resident of Mumbai and have come to my relatives house here, and I plan to practise terrace gardening when I return home.”
Talking about the earlier initiatives at the gated community, T. Senthil Kumaran, secretary, Eden Park Residents Welfare Association, says, “The families at the community are already into source segregation and composting. The compost is used to grow ornamental plants at the community. Now, we will be focusing on creating community kitchen gardens.”