There is something seemingly aberrant about a sizeable vegetable garden in the middle of a city. But that is exactly what Green View, a collective of organic farmers from Kozhikode is promising for the city folks. The collective, led by its president M.P. Rajul Kumar, has started the groundwork for the project after the district administration agreed to grant a piece of unused revenue land on contract for the purpose.
Right behind the Food Safety Commissioner’s office, opposite the Government Women and Children’s Hospital Kottapparamba in the city, around 50 cents of land under the hospital was lying unoccupied with wild undergrowth for the last several years. The spot is just a stone-throw away from Muthalakkulam, an important landmark of the city.
“When we identified the land and sought permission, District collector C.A. Latha straight away gave us the nod,” said members of the collective.
Ms. Latha inaugurated the project Monday morning along with the farmers and members of the hospital staff. The land was offered to the collective as part of the Haritholsavam project, being undertaken by the district administration to spread vegetable cultivation among people.
A five-member team of the farmers’ forum promptly began the ground preparation works at the site immediately after the inaugural ceremony. The entire area was covered with wild bushes, garbage and numerous other throwaways, including empty liquor bottles. “It will take at least a few days to clean the entire area and prepare it for farming,” said Mr. Rajul Kumar, who is planning to grow spinach, ash gourd and cowpea as the initial crops. An unused well with ample water in the compound is expected to provide for irrigation.
In addition to farming, Green View has plans to set up an outlet to market the organic vegetable they produce in indifferent parts of the district at the entrance of the vegetable garden. “Its accessibility is a big plus,” says T. Sasidharan, a member of the collective.