Success Story

Learn Profitable Terrace Farming Tactics to Grow 500 Plus Plants in 10 cents from This Dancer

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

An excellent Bharatnatyam dancer and an exceptional gardener with space management skills, Suma Narendra, have more than 25 varieties of plants in just 10 cents of land.

She had a passion for dancing and was an all-rounder prize at the Pathanamthitta District Youth Festival in 1990. Suma went onto start a dance school during her pre-degree days. She became the first rank holder in her Bachelor in Arts degree in Bharatnatyam from R.L.V College, Tripunithura and further took her Masters from the Tamil University, Thanjavur.

She also dreamt of having a small garden in her home, but when she built a house she didn’t have enough area for proper farming. Refusing to give up on her farming dreams, Suma started growing vegetables in grow bags.

In 2005, she started her organic farming career with 25 grow bags from the Krishi Bhavan in Adoor and grew vegetables like tomato and green chillies. By 2010, she had more than 500 plants in her home with different varieties like cauliflower, beetroot, onion, ginger, cabbage, and even a set space for a herb garden. She has won the Kerala State Award for the Best Terrace Farmer in 2019.

“Utilising the available space is really important. I have always dreamt of having a farm on my own and with this terrace farming, my dream came true. When I first started using grow bags on the terrace, I had to keep in mind that the water from the grow bags could affect the foundation of the terrace, so I had to think of a way to keep it intact and grow my vegetables parallelly,” said Suma.

After earning a pretty good harvest from her crops, she keeps aside some for their daily needs and the rest she sells in the market or the local Krishi Bhavan.

Even though Suma has less space to grow these vegetables, she makes sure that all the grow bags kept a bit apart from each other to place pest protective nets on the grow bags. And as for the ground level farming, Suma has set up a rain roof and grows many varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

Every little nook and corner of the land surrounding the house has been used to its maximum. It really narrows down to how much care we can provide and how patient we can be. With more than 500 plants in 10 cents of land, Suma has proven everyone wrong and has shown that land is not a necessity when it comes to farming.

Behind their home, Suma has also set up two-ring compost so that the biowaste from the kitchen can be converted into compost. This does not take up much space and is very effective. Suma also started growing creepers and climbers on the fence.

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