Urban Farming

Goans try backyard farming in the lockdown

The lockdown gave everyone enough time to do what they really like to pursue — especially those who wanted to test their gardening skills. Irfhan and Bhagyashree Shaikh have been supplying seeds to people who want to grow veggies. They tell us that the number of people approaching them to buy seeds has grown by 50%. “We have people from all age groups ordering seeds — kids and students to the middle-aged and even the elderly. The best part is that most of them have started growing veggies for the first time,” says Irfhan.

‘I realised the importance of growing veggies’

shilpa's garden in Mapusa

I was always into gardening and I realised the importance of growing chemical free vegetables and therefore shifted from ornamentals to vegetables. Currently I have grown brinjals, okra, cluster beans, pumpkin, ghosalim, chillies, carrots and leafy vegetables like radish, palak, red amaranth and dil. Shilpa Mense from Mapusa

‘Want my kids to value food’

Chhavi Goyal has currently planted some sunflowers in her garden in Benaulim

I’ve started growing veggies for the last few weeks. One of the main reasons for that is to educate my children about planting and consuming your own veggies. Sometimes, my children tend to waste food, but only if they know the effort it takes to grow them, they will value it more. I have started growing sunflower, the leaves and the stems of this plant are very nutritious
– Chhavi Goyal, Benaulim

‘I prefer to grow herbs’

Judith Abraham loves planting herbs in her kitchen garden

The feeling of eating what you grow is just beautiful; it’s like when you hold your baby for the first time. I prefer herbs because we use it mostly in our cooking, but recently I started growing palak and we consumed the first crop. It was such a delight to see my kids relish it.
I feel very satisfied
– Judith Abraham, Margao

‘I believe in sustainable living’

Alan dcosta planting chilies, ladyfingers and aubergines in his garden in chandor 3

I ‘ve grown vegetables earlier, but since the lockdown I have more time to engage in my hobby. I believe in sustainable living and during this pandemic, we have to take such measures to be safe. I am a marine engineer by profession, and I get my inspiration from the farmers in my locality. The first thing I do is visit my vegetable garden every morning
– Alan Dcosta, Chandor

‘I was worried we wouldn’t get veggies in the lockdown’

Anjali has used old trunk suitcases, empty paint buckets to make her veggie garden

When the lockdown was announced and people started saying that the vegetable supply might stop, or trucks might not ply, I thought of growing my own veggies. I started off with leafy vegetables like tambdi bhaji, palak and cluster beans. I haven’t bought pots but used broken buckets, paint containers and even a steel trunk to grow my veggies
– Anjali Panandiker, Margao

‘All you need is passion’

Maria Amaral with her kids Rachel and Louie harvested some veggies grown at home

I and my children Rachel and Louie grow everything we cook. When we eat home-grown food, we eat healthier, nutrient-dense food free of pesticides. During the lockdown, whenever we would harvest, we shared it with our friends and neighbours. We don’t sell any veggies we plant. All you need is passion.
– Maria Amaral, Curtorim

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