A Garden Only Makes You Grow

 

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”- Alfred Austin

On a hot Tuesday morning in busy Bangalore a group of energetic ladies from JITO (Jain International Trade Organisation) arrive for a gardening workshop. Clad in calming greens, the ladies re-iterated the idea behind the workshop; Living in sync with nature. The president of the association Mrs. Madhu Jain addressed everyone on the importance of healthy living and the need to grow plants. After an initial welcome note the session started.

The workshop began with understanding various easy greens that you can harvest in a matter of weeks; Like spinach, coriander, lettuce and diving into that steel spice box common in all Indian kitchen households. The magic of microgreens in packing a punch in terms of nutrition and health. What does it take for us to grow this? Just good quality soil, sunlight, water.

Many points were discussed in detail on how to keep soil healthy and nutrient rich. In fact sustaining soil health is played by little friends of the earth called microbes. Nature has already designed a sustainable replenishment system that takes all the dead matter like dry leaves, fruit and vegetable peels and convert into compost or manure. The workshop spoke about how forests and jungles do this over and over again with the help of dead leaves, climate and a churning earth, the reason for rich top soil found in these regions. Recall how lightening in the air fixes nitrogen in the environment making it usable for soil. This in turn gets transferred to plants through the root system. Similarly, micro-organisms nurture our plants by creating vitamins and nutrients using a mix of carbon, potassium, calcium absorbing this from the atmosphere and creating first class soil plants need to grow strong and sturdy.

The workshop’s next topic was indoor plants which are great for air quality and known as ‘Oxygen bombs’. Issues like pollen and worsening pollution aggravate common respiratory issues like asthma and allergies. Moreover, exposure to Formaldehyde, a substance present in disinfectants, textile industry and even in the automobiles’ pollution causes. Easy indoor plants like hardy snake plant or Sansiviera absorbs excessive amounts of carbon monoxide and emits oxygen in the night. Spider plant another versatile, attractive indoor species with super-easy propagation keeps air purified though filtering toxins like benzene, xylene. Other plants like Golden Pothos, Ferns, Palms are great to keep where there is bright light, lowers temperature and makes the atmosphere feel great. Try keeping plants in the living room and bedroom to reap in the maximum benefit!

They say ‘Prevention is better than cure’, so we seek Ayurveda for strengthening immunity, maintain positive health and leading a fuller life.

Giloy, also known as Amruthabali that grows as a creeper has its uses in many forms. Its stem, for instance, when boiled into a water decoction helps fight viral fever. Brahmi or Indian Pennywort is a memory enhancer, positive health booster and good for hair too.

For diabetes, plants such as Ashwagandha, Chirayata and the Indian sweet bitter a.k.a. Gudmar are the knights in shining armour. The trick to gain the maximum health out of these plants and use little  (start with a leaf or a small cut stem depending on the part you’re using) Another herbal plant is the Ajwain or Indian Borage plant which is a boon for cough, cold and congestion for children, relief for the regular cough and sore throat. Mixing cut Ajwain leaves and mixing with curd is a healthy way to consume this slightly pungent herb. Eating the plant raw is the best way to derive all the benefits of the plant.

Always ensure all plants are incorporated together when you start a garden. This way you end up harvesting different things every day and each day gives you a new surprise and learning.

We believe that growing plants is a beautiful journey and synergy that comes naturally and possible in just about any kind of space. Transform your balcony or open spaces will rejuvenate not just yourself but the family and an entire community as well.

Start your home-gardening journey now!

Message us to know how, or to conduct a Gardening workshop in your community. Drop us a line on a.green.venture101@gmail.com or contact 9886400312.

Dhanushree Bhanawat

A Green Venture team

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