E C Moideen Koya has four children to look after - a daughter, two sons and his medicinal plants which cover most parts of the frontage of his house. For Moideen from Kozhikode, they are the result of a lifetime of nurturing and love.
Standing 4 ft tall and 68 m long, the medicinal plants are growing around his compound. With money plant as the base, around 18 varieties of plants are grown in an ‘L’ shape, which includes medicinal plants such as adalodakam, parvathy and thecchi. “I have been growing them for 25 years. I believe what makes them grow is the human touch. When our palms touch them they grow faster,” says Moideen, slowly fondling his plants.
Raziya, his wife looks on from inside their cozy little home and takes pride in the fact that her effort too is involved in the growth of these plants.
“He has always loved plants and started planting these medicinal plants after our marriage. I help him water it every day,” she says.
Moideen has never used any artificial fertilisers for the growth of the plants. “I water them twice a day during summer and once during other seasons. We don’t have a well here, so we use the water collected after washing vessels. The plus point of using this water is that food waste acts as a natural fertiliser. Moreover, I don’t water them using a hose. I take water in a mug and pour it over the plants using my palm.”
Moideen is a painter by profession, but his love for plants is a source of inspiration for his neighbours as well.
K Balachandran, a retired headmaster of CMT School, who resides in the neighbourhood, is full of praise for the efforts taken by his neighbour.
“Moideen spends a lot of time looking after his plants as if they are his own children. More than just watering the plants, his love is also a major factor in their growth.”
Sulekha, an agricultural officer, who has visited Moideen’s garden, says, “All the plants are not medicinal, but what is commendable here is the years of effort he has put in maintaining them. Such a culture should be promoted. People don’t have the time for such healthy activities now.”