How kitchen gardening increased Nipo's income!
With increasing interest in home-based farming, and awareness on organic farming the concept of kitchen gardening is starting to gain recognition in rural areas. Benefits of kitchen gardening or home gardening include a reduction in expenditure along with less usage of chemicals on the food that is to be consumed resulting in a fresh yield of vegetables. For kitchen gardening, fertilizers comprise materials like kitchen waste leading to faster growth of the plants along with chemical-free vegetables. A strong misconception that follows kitchen gardening is that the farmer needs a sizeable amount of land for farming. Kitchen gardening can be done in a small space. Approximately 600 women farmers have adopted the practice of kitchen gardening that is carried out within the 15x12.5 feet area. Similar to other interventions by LDF, kitchen gardening is done with the aim of increasing income along with producing enough chemical free and organic food sufficient enough to feed the family members. Through this, expenditure on vegetables and fruits is expected to reduce thereby increasing savings in these families. Members of the family can easily take care of these vegetables. For irrigation, wastewater from the bathrooms and kitchen can easily be diverted to the vegetable beds. Introduction of this practice aims to increase savings of these women farmers by Rs. 15,200 annually. Okra, ridge gourd, bottle gourd, tomato, and chili are few commonly home-grown vegetables. In March 2020, few members from Shivshankar SHG from Prithala Village of Tohana Block, Fatehabad, Haryana had undergone training on kitchen gardening. Inspired by this, Nipo, one of the women who underwent the training, initiated this practice in the space outside her house. Vowing to not buy hybrid seeds from the market, she used seeds from vegetables that she cooks. Planting these in the beginning of April, she had never expected the seeds to be ready for consumption by the end of the month. “I have bottle gourd, tomato, chili, and bitter gourd growing right outside my house!” she exclaimed. Continuing on how cost effective this process is, she says “I did not buy fertilizers from the market and instead used cow dung, cow urine, and neem leaves. I made a spray out of them that was used for fertilization for these vegetables.” Not only does she have access to healthy and organic food, but her expenditure has also drastically lessened. Saving approximately Rs. 2500 each month, Nipo hopes to increase her savings by increasing and adding more variety of vegetables in her garden. Our interventions extend to Bhiwani and Karnal districts in Haryana.
Written by Christie Maria James, Asst. Manager, Communications