Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Story from the Kitchen Garden for my 100th Blog Post

In any journey, I believe milestones are more important than the destination. Destination indicates the end of a journey while milestones indicate its progress.  Therefore, I am happy about reaching this milestone of my 100th post in this blog!

I must thank all the readers, especially my friends from Twitter who have not only visited and read my posts but also commented and gave me feedback at all time. It is these visits and feedback that makes blogging an interesting activity.

For this post, I have chosen a subject that is not my usual areas of interest. This is about the kitchen garden that my wife Anitha and our children Uday and Jyothika (aged 13 and 7) cultivated in the small courtyard of our house, Ambadi. 

Like most of the houses in Kerala, Ambadi also has a small courtyard.  When we constructed the house we had lot of offers to convert this space into a landscaped lawn.  However, it was our choice to use the space for making a kitchen garden than for almost an artificial looking lawn.  

We were not sure of the success of such an idea. I usually staying away from home for most part of the month, on my work, and Anitha being busy with her official duties as a revenue officer, neither of us had much time to spare. The type of soil was also not considered good for cultivation.   It was also our opinion that there would be no fun in getting any work done by the labourers on hire. 

So we decided that whenever I am at home, I will finish all the works that are tougher, like readying the land and digging etc.  Anitha decided to dedicate at least half an hour each in the morning and evening for nurturing the garden and my mother promised to take care of watering the garden whenever neither of us are around for doing that. Both the children also agreed to adopt specific areas of plants and maintain them as their own.  With these understanding we set out to undertake the task.

Initially our neighbours laughed at us. But when the garden began to take shape some of them got interested and began replicating the efforts in their houses too.  The dedication of Anitha and our children was complete and evident in the various kinds of vegetable plants that began to grow with all their splendour.

It gave a reason for all of us to physically work together and believe me, there is enough fun and bonding in those activities! I was so happy to see the interest of kids and to see them spending time in the garden religiously, on their own, instead of wasting it all in front of the TV.  Even when I was away, I used to get regular updates on all the developments in the garden and it was real fun to listen to the stories told with much enthusiasm.

 Very soon we began to get the benefits from what was started as mere curiosity.  The quality of the produce was excellent as we never used any chemical fertilisers or pesticides.  We soon stopped buying vegetable at home. There were enough for our use and much more to gift to friends and relatives. 

It was merely coincidental that when the first set of our produce was ready to harvest, parts of Kerala were bearing the brunt of a road blockade by Tamilnadu politicians who were protesting against Kerala’s demand for a new dam in place of the over a century old Mullaperiyar dam.  Though the prices of vegetables had sky rocketed with the blockade, we were not affected at all.

It was an eye opener for me as to how, with little bit of effort from the family members, we could ensure self sustainability of our requirements.  It is also possible to make it a source of additional income, with some extra efforts and dedication.

wouldn't prolong this post any further.  Let the Garden speak for itself through the photos that I clicked from there.  I will just say that for the last seven months this small garden is taking care of over 90% of our vegetable requirements.  It also gives up immense pleasure when we watch the garden grown and when we proudly share the produce from there with our friends and relatives.

While we all gave whatever support we could, I must say that the credit for this successful experiment truly belongs to Anitha and her dedication.

Once again I thank all the readers who honoured me by making the effort to read and comment my posts.


  1. Wow, a family that does gardening together, has fun and enjoys the fruits and vegetables of their efforts together!

  2. Awesome !! Am spell bound reading and going through the pics of my favourite vegges especially this Vellarikka, Kumbalanga and yesss the Mathanga..pavaakka..growing so very bountifully in your garden nurtured with much care and love..I love and relish these vegges a lot !

    So very nice of your wifey and kids to take care to detail and what vegges..am watching the pics now and then..
    Lucky family to get all the required vegges in their own garden with their own sincere effort..Joys of cooking & relishing such vegges is beyond words can explain!

    May the Garden of vegges and fruits grow and prosper every day with lots of love..

  3. Congrats.. Very inspiring.. - Reena Satin

  4. Inspirational stuff!! Some days ago I had tweeted about my wish to see lots many more ppl cultivate gardens atop terraces in bldgs in Mumbai, so that eventually the city cld b self sufficient and enjoy quality produce. Your post justifies that my wish can indeed come true- if there is a will, there is a way:)))

    In addition there are so many tiny tiny learnings in this post tucked away for those who'd like to adopt the good things in life.

    I truly wish you ALL THE VERY BEST ALWAYS:))

  5. Hi Jay,

    So nice 2 see your Kitchen Garden with full of vegetables. Congrats 2 all of u. This also a very good example of TEAM Work and dedication.
    Pl convey my regards 2 one and all.... Adv.P Syamlal

  6. Chettaa.... Enikku ee garden onnu kaananam. Adipoli aayittund. And congrats for your 100th blog :)

  7. the family bonds with gardening ... is the best .. wish i could take some tips from you :)
    And indeed housewife if able to produce veggies from her own garden ... is fanta fabulous ....( kitna ghar kharch save karti hongi wo ???? )
    and ofcourse use of no pesticides .. since at the time when ground water is contaminated with nitrates...
    but only one problem ..not many have such big spaces .. thoda critic bhi hona padta hai :P
    THis indeed is an inspiration for so many :)

  8. Lovely page of subject. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in extension money to insist that I get really enjoyed record your article. Anyway I'll be registering for your feeds as well as I achievement you get access to repeatedly speedily.

    1. Thank you for all the encouraging words :)

  9. very nice...its so nice to see how a whole family as put in their time & effort & achieved such wonderful results...Wonderful Job!!!
    Pls do visit my gardening space when you get a chance..