Women complaining about their mothers-in-law should visit Thazhe Nedumpurath Radhakrishnan's house at south Pantheerankavu in Kozhikode district.
Here you can see a rare bonding between his mother Kamalakshi Amma and his wife Shyni, which has benefited the family a lot. The women have been reaping success in vegetable farming for the past two years.
They began the venture last year, when Shyni expressed interest in cultivating snake gourd in a 10 cent plot adjacent to their house. Kamalakshi Amma made full use of the experience she gained by working with her husband Sankaran Nair, who is a farmer, and stood by Shyni. “We spend many fruitful hours together in the field by watering and looking after the plants,” says Kamalakshi Amma, 73.
"According to me, agriculture is the most rewarding career", says Shyni while thanking her husband for helping them with levelling and ploughing the land. “The support of our family is remarkable in our joint venture. Without my son and grandchildren it would not have been possible for us to focus more on the endeavour", says Kamalakshi Amma. This year also snake gourd is the main crop. The longest snake gourd they produced is 152 cm long. People from nearby areas approach them for seeds. Tomato, long beans, cucumber and bittergourd are the other vegetables that are grown in their farm.
"To prepare sadya (feast) for this Vishu we mainly used our produce. We were able to give vegetables to my sisters-in-law too", says Shyni.
“Whenever we get free time we prepare fertilisers and pesticides,” says Shyni. "From the very beginning itself we decided to avoid chemical fertilisers in our field. We are fully aware of the ill-effect of chemicals on vegetables", she says.
"They cultivate vegetables not with an aim to market them. They just want to make use of their time and facilities in an organised way", says Radhakrishnan. Most of the vegetables required for a house are being produced in the farm.
According to the proud farmers, cattle manure is the best fertilizer when it comes to vegetables. To meet the requirement, they nurture cattle too. Kamalakshi Amma's husband, 82-year-old Sankaran Nair, is still active in plantain cultivation.
At times he visit their farm and gives suggestions to increase the quality of crops. Lower primary students Athul Krishna and Athulya find pleasure in helping their grandmother during vacation holidays.