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Vijay Sharma's Home Garden
Vijay Sharma & his mother have always been fond of cluster beans. But, in the last few years, they noticed that the quality of market-bought vegetables was deteriorating.
He says that “The quality of vegetables in the market was not good. So, in 2017, I decided to plant the cluster bean seeds in my home garden”. Their small experiment sowed the seeds of the home gardening project at Vijay Sharma’s house.
He is a swimming coach by profession in the SP College of Bikaner, Rajasthan. He was motivated by the project’s success & expanded his home garden. “Our quality of cluster beans was far better & fresh than the market produce. Inspired by results, I started growing okra, spinach, chilies & other varieties of vegetable” says Vijay Sharma.
Spent Most of his time in Home Gardening
During the time of Covid-19 Lockdown, he spent more of his time in expanding his home garden, which today has over 150 different varieties of vegetable & medicinal plants spread across 1,500 sq. ft areas. He explains that “The college activities came to a standstill owing to the lockdown restrictions & I was confined to my home. To keep busy & alleviate stress, I started spending more of my time in the garden”.
He started increasing his plantation with more fruits & vegetable varieties. “I have started learning with the help of social media to plant radish, cauliflower, carrots vegetable along with fruit vegetables such as pomegranates, mandarins, mangoes & oranges,” says Vijay Sharma.
Besides, he also started growing medicinal plants such as Giloy, holy basil & others.
He used Drums, Broken Plastic & Tyres to Grow Plants
When the lockdown imposed more limitations on the accessing resource, He then started using the drums, broken plastic containers & discarded tyres to grow the plants. When those fell short, Vijay then created the moulds using cement & a towel to build the pots. And, eventually, he managed to source environmentally-friendly pots, which are made of Pokhran & Red Soil.
Vijay says that he used a mix of 50% cow dung manure or coco peat along with soil for his plants, this is a practice he continues till date. He also installed a drip irrigation system to ensure different watering of plants. He then adds that home gardening has brought him so many benefits apart from having a source of fresh vegetable produce.
“My day started with spending time in the garden tending the plants. It helps me relieve the stress as I surround myself with the greenery. The plants, creepers & other vegetation create a microclimate that helps to reduce harsh heat during the summer season.
when the temperatures peak close to 50 degrees Celsius. The creepers protect plants from the direct sunlight by sheltering & cooling the temperature in garden.”
“My dependency on market has now reduced & I save about RS 1,500 every month on the vegetables,” says Vijay Sharma, while adding that he plans to lease 2.5 acres of land to practice organic farming.
For the beginners, he advises to start with the seasonal vegetables & says that “The vegetable plants need occasional trimming. Watering plants is equally important for their healthy growth”.
Vijay suggests that the gardeners grow fruit plants during the monsoon. “The plants tend to develop the stronger roots during the rainy seasons,” he says.
Vijay Sharma is so glad that he learned & expanded his garden during the lockdown period & adds that “I have learned many new skills and now I grow my food, which gives me immense pride & satisfaction”.
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