Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, September 28
Till a few months back, Vandana Walia Bali, a former scribe, was working at a private firm but she finally chose to quit her job and take to what had been her passion over the years.
Residing at Ekta Vihar Phase-II in Mithapur, this ardent nature lover is now not just growing her own seasonal vegetables, but also maize, lemons, mausami, loquat, amla, guava, narangi, mangoes and medicinal plants such as tulsi, aloe vera, ashwagandha, moringa, kadi patta and stevia – all on her rooftop and through an organic mode.
“We all need safe and fresh vegetables to stay healthy and build immunity, especially in the ongoing pandemic situation. But most of us do not have space to grow them. I have myself experimented and found that rooftop kitchen gardening can be the best solution since it gives a lot of space and allows plants to trap more sunlight. So, I am spreading this message across to everyone in my circle by frequently posting pictures of my harvest on the social media,” she said.
She shares more advantages, “This is also the safest and the shortest food chain as we just have to pluck the vegetables and bring them to the kitchen ourselves. So no extra hands touch these vegetables and hence no chance of any contamination.”
Bali shared her experience, “I have been growing vegetables for almost a year now on my terrace. I use soilless medium which is highly nutritive for the plants and light in weight for my roof. The plantation is done in portable farming systems made of high density polymer which is UV protected. They have a proper drainage system fitted in them, a frame on which we can install a green net to keep our vegetables safe from too much heat during summers or frost in the winter. I use drip irrigation system to water the plants and save about 75 per cent of water. While I am saving on water, I am also sure that my vegetables are completely free from pesticides and are 100 per cent safe.”
Now an entrepreneur running franchise centre for Jaipur-based company ‘The Living Greens’, she added, “During Covid, my terrace garden became a boon for me. I could feed my family with these fresh and safe vegetables even when there were no vendors coming. I also did not need to wash my vegetables with soda etc and keep them untouched for a day or so.”
Attempting to do some eco-friendly things, she has also been trying to make use of household waste as planters. Besides using bottles for setting up vertical planters, she has also used worn out tyres, old shoes, broken cups, etc as planters and decorated various corners of her living area quite aesthetically.