Today, many years later, I have my own small kitchen garden and am proud to say that I use no fertilizer. Just lots of good soil, plenty of sunshine, water and tons of love and great vibes- I have a rich harvest of curry leaves, mint leaves, tomatoes and many more in the pipeline… It’s a small step, but I believe it makes a difference. No fertilizers, means that the soil doesn’t get rancid and barren. It also means that I can replant and still yield a good produce (even if in a small pot). Plants in my balcony mean I am green. I am ecofriendly and in sync with the times. It’s a fashion statement in its own right and surely works to beautify my home’s interiors. Herbs that I grow mean I can garnish my cooking with well, garden fresh herbs! It also means that in case of a cold or a sore throat, I can pluck a few leaves of tulsi or holy basil, brew it in steaming water and ward away the illness. Plants in my home mean a dash of music every day, a smattering of love and lungs full of fresh air. It also means a smile on my face as I tend to nature- flourishing right in my backyard.
Laughter had tinkled across our classroom when in class 6 when we were taught about JC Bose and his experiments with plants. I laughed too yet, from that very evening I stealthily crept into the balcony and sang to my rose bush every day. Voila! It grew better than all the other plants in my sunny little balcony. This was amongst my best kept secrets until of course my brother caught me singing a lullaby and ridiculed me for being such a baby. It’s a vivid image- that healthy plant which I believed swayed to my cacophony. Sensing my interest in gardening, my mother and I slowly began our small kitchen garden- beans, mint, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots- you name it, we grew them. I noticed again, that if we spoke to our dear plants they grew better- healthier, yielded better produce. Not to discount the absolute necessity of good soil and great manure.