"It all began when I quit my job of more than two decades due to changing priorities and became a homemaker”, says Jeevna, a successful farmer who has created her own niche in rooftop farming.
She started it with a few bags of greens on her rooftop and slowly extended to few veggies like radish, chillies, tomatoes, aubergines, beans, gourds etc. “Some days, my garden looks fresh, sometimes it seems tired due to the attack of pests or disease. This doesn't deter me; I look for remedies on the web, get advice from experienced persons and search for local resources for growing food organically and successfully”.
Now, she expanded to grow a few exotic varieties of watermelons, passion fruit, squash, mandarins, cucumber, grape vines, cherry tomatoes etc. She also has few trees like custard apple, lemon, banana, gooseberry, moringa and papaya. She has added a couple of coconut trees too in her rooftop garden.
She makes her own compost from kitchen scrap with Bokashi bin and Bokashi composite and procures organic vermicompost from a cattle farm. She has used recycled materials like a swimming pool tub to mix the potting mixture, paint cans to hold trees, and even converted a treadmill box into a big veggie platform used for mint, coriander, yam, greens, potato etc.
“My garden always welcomes sparrows, squirrels and a few birds and predatory insects helping in pollination of my veggie plants along with my collection of floral plants like roses, hibiscus, Passion flower, Jasmine flowers, adeniums etc. A few tubs of lilies with molee fish add life to my rooftop garden,” says Jeevna.
Jeevna likes to share with people around her knowledge on kitchen gardening and also shares the yield from her rooftop. “I would like to engage with our community. I sell excess produce to my neighbours and share seeds with my friends”.
Recently, on Republic day, she executed a "Go green" project in her neighbourhood by planting trees and saying no to plastic bags. She also conducts workshops for children on organic gardening.
“I took the first step recently by conducting a workshop on organic gardening for 30 students. My dream is to make Tiruppur, my native place and the country better place to live with residents growing their own organic food”.
Her on-going project is creating awareness on "Kitchen Scrap to Black gold - odourless solid waste management and promote kitchen gardening in the maximum number of households in the country.
“With the overwhelming response I have started receiving from all over the country and abroad, I do wholeheartedly hope to give back to our Mother Earth what best we can adapt to transform it as a wonderful place to live for our future generations”, she shares her expectations.
She is giving all the credits of this successes to her family and friends especially, her cousin Deepak Jagdish, who encouraged her to create a Facebook page “Jeeva's Urban Organic Garden” where she used to share her everyday garden stories and learnings.
She is also passionate about creating awareness among other farmers and wants to work with a focus to build stronger, self-reliant and better citizens for tomorrow.