If you are keen to have your own vegetable garden but don’t know where to start, all you need to do is contact the office of the Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women.
The department has now trained women from across the State in horticulture, who will also impart their knowledge and help people in towns and cities set up their own vegetable gardens on their terraces and balconies.
The training began in December last year and so far 220 women, who already have expertise in farming, have been trained to set up urban vegetable gardens.
“We still have many applicants who want to be trained in vegetable gardening, as there is a growing interest. It is also an effective way to generate income, especially for those who come from marginalised backgrounds,” said a senior official.
After the training, the women are assigned projects, based on requests, to set up vegetable gardens in customers houses. Following this, they will help them set up their own gardens, for a nominal price and also help maintain it.
S. Mala is one of the trainees who came to the city from Thoothukudi two months ago. She has so far helped set up rooftop vegetable gardens in two houses and is getting more requests. She also regularly checks on the gardens to ensure that it is weed-free and well maintained. “By growing and consuming your own vegetables, you will be keeping diseases at bay and stay healthy. These vegetables are free of pesticide residue unlike the ones we get in markets,” she said.
Mala pointed to the various varieties of greens, brinjals, aloe vera, cauliflowers and other vegetable seeds, that are also being grown, in the terrace of the department. “The purple-fruited pea eggplants help treat throat infections,” she said.
Everything including the bamboo baskets, as Mala explains, have been made from scratch and doesn’t cost a lot to maintain. The soil has extracts of plants and are sprayed with a mixture of cow dung to avoid pests and diseases.
Those who want to set up kitchen gardens in their houses can contact 044 - 28173412