From Flower Gardens to Vegetable Gardens

In the midst of the Lockdown, most of us spend our time inside the comfort of out homes. One of the advices that medical experts give to fight against the Covid-19 is by building a healthy immune system with different kinds of healthy food. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has assimilated the ten different kinds of food, out of these five of them are important to be eaten on a single day for a healthy metabolism. The question however arises from where will we get these green vegetables, especially when we do not have the space to plant them?

Through NESFAS, we have tried to impart the awareness to the people how to go about it. Since the lockdown of 2020, many households have started to plant varieties of vegetables in their little gardens. Some of them have even tried to plant wild vegetables at domestic gardens. The reward is reaped at present, particularly during this time where markets are closed. More rewarding is their organic element remaining intact.

Flower garden at Cathedral Shillong turned to Vegetable Garden

In conversation with Fr. Bernard Laloo, Director, Social Service Centre, Cathedral Shillong, he said, “Most of us especially in the urban areas do not possess a land big enough to be used as a vegetable garden. In this hour of lockdown, we have come to the realisation of the importance of the garden at home (Kitchen garden, supplying our basic vegetable needs). Without a doubt all of us have a backyard or front-yard that we use to plant flowers or paths to walk on. Even on concrete floors we can build small columns to plant creepers on flower-pots, in tin pots or plastic bags. In the middle of this house, I plant these vegetables with seeds that I got from my village, and wild vegetables that I got from the periphery of my house. The vegetables that I plant consist of: daikon, mint, shymprong kthnag, salads, Jaud, Jamyrdoh, Kawang, beans, Jhur-thliem and cucumber”.

We also had an opportunity to converse with one of our colleagues Bah Rudolf Mawlieh, who stays at Lumjingshai, Shillong who is extremely excited to share with us how his household is enriched with fresh vegetables courtesy to the small garden that they have. Rudolf shared, “Every single day, I spend a few hours in the garden along with my mother and this has really enhanced my work productivity at NESFAS to restore and to reinstitute the art of preserving traditional vegetables”.

Urban kitchen garden of Rundolf Mawlieh

I hope this short story will tickle a new perspective in each of us to start from the gardens of our own homes.

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Pius Ranee
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