How to set up a kitchen garden & grow your own vegetables at home!
Growing your own food has always been a great option for those who have the space in Goa. Even if you don't have a garden, a few simple pots on your patio or even a window sill can work to get you started. Plus, with everything that is going on in the world right now, there has never been a better and more pressing time than now to start growing your own vegetables from home.
Thankfully, the good folks of Green Essentials are here to help make it that much easier for you to learn!
Of course the question of where to get seeds during a lockdown may be the first thing that comes to mind. But as you can see from the info-graphic above, one may not need to step out of the house to get them after all. Staple ingredients such as tomatoes, mint, chilies, pumpkin, mustard & methi can provide you with your first batch of seeds right away.
Some pointers on how to plan your summer kitchen garden:
Start with a space of 30 sq. mtrs. Dig 8"-10" deep to loosen soil. Sift out large stones.
Add 30 kgs compost, 15 kg cocopeat and 0.5 kg rock phosphate to this area.
Mix well, level out and cover the soil with dry leaves (mulch).
Make beds 3 ft wide, separated by a 1 ft wide walking path between adjacent beds.
Using the guide below pick your favourite, or available veggies, and plant them in your kitchen garden >>>
What vegetables grow the fastest?
If you're wondering which seeds to plant right now to get the quickest crop, try sourcing such leafy greens as red amaranth, malabar spinach, Brazilian spinach, and palak. All of which will be ready to pluck before you know it!
As for vegetables that give a good crop within the next three months, Green Essentials suggests you plant chilli, long / cluster beans, bhindi and brinjal.
You'll also find a ton of other great resources on Green Essentials' website, including the following article: Quick Start: Growing organic vegetables at home
Foraging for plants within your area can be another great option for those of you who might be limited on time & space.
Foraging, is the act of searching for food or provisions in the wild.
Several plants that grow around us might be edible, but we just don't know about these and so they remain a part of the ornamental landscape.
This is a great time to learn what plants we have been missing out on. They might be growing in your own gardens, or in the neighbourhood. Knowledge of these sources of food can ensure that we continue to get a variety of nutrients in our diet, even as we wait for regular food supplies to become available.
Some things to keep in mind as you forage:
- Be mindful of how much you harvest, so as not to kill the plant. Do not take more than you need.
- Make sure you're 100% certain you've identified the right plant (you could fall ill eating the wrong things) before you put it in your mouth
- Do not pick plants that you suspect might be growing in polluted soil (near drains etc)
- Take permission if you need to pick from someone else's garden, don't just help yourself.
- Never pick roots, as you will kill the whole plant
All information & imagery for this post was kindly contributed by Yogita & Karan of Green Essentials, a small business based in Socorro with the object to inspired, coach & enable people to grow their own food at home, organically.
Green Essentials not only has a store where you can find all the equipment, seeds & soil you need, but they also host regular workshops on organic kitchen gardening, offer an organic garden coaching service and will even custom design your kitchen, outdoor or balcony garden specific to your home & needs.