Indian Express: With vegetable prices going through the roof, some city residents have found a unique way of cutting down on the household budget. Some Puneites has taken to growing vegetables in their houses with help from the Abhinav Farmer’s Club based in Hinjewadi.
“Over the last four to five months, we have helped families across the city to set up kitchen plots,” said Yogita Gawas of the Abhinav Farmers Club. The Club has over 150 clients for whom they have set up vegetable patches in balconies or terraces. Only recently they have begun promoting vegetables in pots.
For Prerna Jawalkar, who recently converted a part of her parking lot at Swargate Bunglow into a kitchen plot, the initiative is a way out of the daily haggling with vegetable vendors. Prerna has sown several plants like tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, green chillies, green leafy vegetables like spinach, coriander and other vegetables. These plants are expected to start bearing fruit in another fortnight. “Soon we might be able to eat home grown vegetables. As we are only three people at home, we do not require large quantities of vegetables,” Jawalkar said.
“These days vegetables are priced at around Rs 40-Rs 50 per kg. Some vegetables like potato and garlic needn’t be bought everyday, but we require other vegetables on a daily basis,” she said.
In Warje, Meghna Zuzam already has a grown cherry tomato plant, tomatoes from which she has been using in her meals. Other plants like brinjal, cauliflower, beans, carrots, cabbage, and leafy vegetables have already began growing shoots. “My family is very fond of gardening. My son has been snacking on cherry tomatoes ever since the fruits began sprouting,” Zuzam said.
Aundh-based Retired Army Officer Brigadier H G Garge already has several plots in his balcony. But with the club, he intends to adopt a more streamlined approach. “Generally, Army houses accommodate such gardens. In flats it becomes a little difficult to earmark such places. I am hoping to grow these plants in two balconies in my flat,” he said.
The Abhinav Farmer’s Club has also set up a stall at the ongoing Bhimthadi Jatra that will continue till Monday. “The response has been tremendous. People mostly are unaware that such vegetables can be grown in pots as well. Many people have also shown interest because of high vegetable costs,” Gawas said.
“They say that these seeds will last for the next seven to eight months. Till then, families would be able to reap several kilos of vegetables. After that we will send women working with our Self-Help Groups with fresh seeds,” Gawas said.