By Harshal Khade and Kantilal Gite
Growing a kitchen garden gives one easy access to fresh and organic vegetables to meet nutritional needs of the family. WOTR is promoting kitchen gardens to make rural communities resilient during crises. Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, this activity is benefitting rural households across India. As of May 10, 2020, WOTR has facilitated 8,995 kitchen gardens and 396 multilayer farms benefitting 23,719 households.
Alka Brahmadev Munde of Karjat village of Jalna district, has grown her own kitchen garden and proudly displays bottle gourd
Kamal Lohkhare from Naliwadgaon village, Osmanabad with ridge gourd grown in her vegetable patch. The project is supported by IndusInd Bank. Currently 450 women in 25 villages are part of ‘kitchen garden in sacks’ initiative in Osmanabad.
WOTR organised an exposure visit of team leaders from the 25 project villages of Osmanabad district in Marathwada to Karjat, Ahmednagar. The team observed how empty cement bags could be used to grow your own vegetables.
Rupali Khosre (right), a Wasundhara Sevika in Walwad village, Bhoom block, Osmanabad district, learnt the technique during the exposure visit. Here she is seen demonstrating to other women in the village, how to manage a kitchen garden. Ashwini Megde (left) is also seen in the image.
Nikita Karale, Mahila Samaj Sevika (right) with Wasundhara Sevika (Shahista Shaikh) and Aaruna Pawar, Samyukta Mahila Samiti (SMS) member (right) are seen sharing tips on the kitchen garden. In the bag, there is a mixture of sand and soil mixed with shenkhat. This helps in better percolation and requires less water. So that each kitchen garden sack can be maintained easily.
Village Development Committee (VDC) secretary Bai Navnath Pawar (left) with Wasundhara Sevika Ashwini Mangle (right) in Nagewadi village, Bhoom block, tending to the kitchen garden. WOTR has provided nine types of vegetables – brinjal, ridge gourd, okra, chilli, tomato, cluster beans, etc. in the form of seeds or saplings for this initiative.
450 women contributed 25% of the cost of buying seeds and saplings. 75% cost is borne by the project. Here three distinct vegetables brinjal, chilli and tomato are seen.
The initiative has proved to be extremely beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic to the families of these women as well as their neighbours. Samyukta Mahila Samiti president Rasika Misal’s kitchen garden in Patsangvi village, Bhoom.
Kitchen garden is a source of perennial greens.