To make organic food affordable and accessible, residents of Ranga Reddy Garden Colony in Neelankarai are promoting the idea of kitchen gardens.
Ranga Reddy Garden Residents’ Welfare Association conducted a workshop on kitchen gardening based on the ‘Do It Yourself’ model, recently introduced by Urban Horticulture Development Scheme, which shows urbanites how to cultivate vegetables and fruits in their houses.
“ In keeping with the name of the locality, Ranga Reddy Garden, we want to convert it into a garden.” says V. Karunanithi, the Association’s president.
“The Horticulture Department is selling a kitchen garden kit at a subsidised price of Rs.1,325. At the workshop, the use of the kit was demonstrated. There response to the programme was good. Nearly 45 to 50 people took part in it,” says Karunanithi. “Our neighbourhood has 80 households; as of now, 20 have bought the kit. Our aim is to make more residents raise kitchen gardens in their houses. Hopefully, by this the end of this year, we will be able to bring in another 50 members,” says Gomathi Nayagam, Association’s secretary.
He also said that in the long run, they would be identifying common spaces to plant fruit-bearing and vegetable-bearing plants.
“Many in our colony are retired and so they will have time at their disposal to tend to the gardens. Already, a few households have lush green gardens but we want each and every family to come forward and show a keen interest in kitchen gardening and make our neighbourhood a pleasant place to live. We have also plans to plant tree saplings on either side of all the 12 cross streets and three main roads,” says Mohammed, the Association’s treasurer.
“We have placed bulk orders for kitchen garden kits. The Horticulture Department will deliver them at the Association.
Resource persons in horticulture will come and train our residents in this regard,” says Palanisamy.