Farm Varsity Promotes Terrace Gardening For Kitchen Needs

By TheHindu on 05 Aug 2016

GOING ORGANIC:Students of TNAU Horticultural College and Research Institute for Women at Navalur Kuttapattu near Tiruchi undergoing a training on terrace garden.— PHOTO: A. MURALITHARAN

Horticulture research institute offers training to women

Help is at hand for those who wish to raise terrace gardens in their house. The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University’s Horticultural College and Research Institute for Women has plans to impart training for city residents on raising terrace gardens.

Although the terrace garden is mainly intended to benefit women students of the college, it seeks to motivate the residents in the city, particularly women who aspire to cultivate vegetables.

The concept of developing terrace garden has been going down well with the residents, particularly those residing in the apartments in various parts of the city.

A number of individuals and institutions have been taking the initiative to impart some training or other to the residents, particularly women, of the apartments to develop terrace garden.

For instance, Women Entrepreneurs Association of Tamil Nadu (WEAT) about a year ago, launched a training last year to benefit women members of self-help groups.

Now, the TNAU Horticultural College and Research Institute had taken up a project by fully utilising its sprawling area of about 3,000 square feet on its premises for raising the garden. Fifteen tubs had been set up using hollow-blocks.

“Water-proof paint at the base prevents seepage of the ceiling,” says P. Pandiarajan, Dean of TNAU – Agricultural College and Research Institute, indicating the initial steps to be taken for setting up a terrace garden. The college offers a variety of vegetables so that residents can choose the crop suited to their building or apartment.

“Lack of awareness about the advantages of terrace garden has been a handicap among the residents. We suggest three types of crops – shallow, medium and deep-rooted plants,” says M. Jawaharlal, Special Officer of the TNAU’s Horticultural College and Research Institute for Women.

Varieties such as greens fall under the shallow-rooted while tomato, chillies, brinjal, and lady’s finger have medium roots. The deep-rooted varieties include West Indian cherry which has the richest Vitamin C, ‘chakurnanis’ (thavasi keerai), which has multi vitamin, he says explaining the salient features of the 15 tubs displayed at the terrace garden in the college.

Training for women

The college has planned to impart training to developing terrace garden not only to its students but also to the members of the public.

The garden, in course of time, will be thrown open to those interested in setting up terrace gardens in their houses or apartments. To start with, a couple of resource-persons A. Nithyadevi and R. Jagadeesan, both Assistant Professor of Horticulture, will explain the basic principles to be adopted for setting up the garden. In course of time, a day-long training will be imparted to the interested persons.

Mr. Jagadeesan could be contacted by dialing 9750566600. More than men and women, schoolchildren would be motivated to understand the importance of developing terrace garden using bio-fertilizers, say Mr. Jagadeesan. Rani Muralitharan, president of WEAT, said that terrace garden would be a gift for women residents. It was more popular in metropolitan cities where there was serious dearth of space for developing gardens at the backyard.