CHENNAI : Fresh, clean and green — these are the words that pop into your head when you walk into Prathima Adiga’s rooftop garden in Rajajinagar. She is a freelance cookery expert who started the garden around three-and-a-half years ago. She grows all her fruits and vegetables here and sees no need to buy any of it from the market. She was inspired by her father who grew roses and hibiscus flowers. Attending a one-day gardening workshop about organic farming changed her life. Through Facebook, she met numerous friends from across the world who shared seeds with her.
Adiga likes to puts her plants in paint drums rather than pots because they are more sustainable and don’t get damaged during bad weather. She grows around eight varieties of sweet potatoes, 10 varieties of brinjal, and a few varieties of chilli, melons, turmeric, tomatoes and beans.
“My plants are like kids to me. Every morning, the first thing I do is just touch the plants and be with them; they can understand and I think they are very sensitive. I can see the number of harvest I get regularly. Every two-three days, I harvest because I am blessed by nature,” Prathima says about her daily ritual with her plants.
She is a part of a composter group whose main intention is in composting the garbage. If people can start composting and growing their own food, it will make a lot of difference. She recycles her kitchen waste in a khamba, which is a composter. When asked about how people can be more conscious about the diminishing green cover, Prathima says, “Lately, people have started realising the value of trees and plants. I request each and everyone to not chop them off as they are a gift from nature. Start growing trees on your own terraces.”Like Prathima says, our motivation should be, ‘start growing what you eat and eat what you grow’.