Not so long ago, when the current flat-system of residential properties was not that famous in Indian lifestyle, every family used to reserve a small area of their housing plot, more specifically referred to as ‘verandah’, for kitchen gardening. Families used to grow all sorts of utility vegetables and medicinal plants in these kitchen gardens. Ranging from a tree fruit like ‘Sapota’ or ‘Jamun’ to small medicinal plants like ‘Tulsi’, different geographical locations within the country were famous for its varied localized types of plantation. Sadly due to the growing urbanization, which came with a promise of a better lifestyle, our city spaces started becoming crammed by the day.
Real Estate is now worth its weight in gold or maybe even more than gold itself! In such a scenario, the housing, educational and public utility based real estate needs of such humongous populations have squeezed out the concept of a ‘Kitchen Garden’ from our lives. But, as they say, necessity is the mother of inventions, there are unique solutions coming up to tackle this problem as well. Best among them is the advent of ‘Rooftop Gardens’. This concept is not new to the world at large, and has of-late made its mark on Indian culture. Members of any housing society or even a family with a self owned row house can make up a nice and rich rooftop garden. Terraces which are largely unused in most cases can be best utilized for this Rooftop Garden.
They have all the advantages to them. Firstly, this space does not need any additional capital costs to be procured. Secondly, there is no dearth of good sunlight and reasonable space, for most plants, as compared to private balcony plantation within the confines of a flat. The residents do not need to invest their precious reserves of municipality provided potable water on their gardens, since plants can easily make do with harvested rain water or a bore-well water resource. Most importantly, these rooftop gardens can help protect you from the pesticide and other chemical induced eatables. You may go for your own organic styled techniques by using ‘Neem’ or ‘Garlic – Chilli’ or other known organic pesticide combinations and be safe about the food consumed. Though there are certain limitations in terms of space for growing a large variety and quantity of common consumables, as well certain costs like water proofing of these rooftops, this activity is worth its efforts. It would help you do your bit for the ecology by helping improve the oxygen quotient in your micro-environment, provide you with a more nutritious diet and who knows, it may even give you the chance of perusing that hobby or passion you were searching for all the way!
Ashish L., is a Mumbai based and loves writing about business, finance, economics, travel and social causes out of his passion.