Living near plants, taking care of them, it is very important not only for the environment, but also for our good health. Dr. Mohini Gadhia, who lives in Surat, agrees to this and has also experienced it. Dr. Mohini, 67, has been growing more than 15 vegetables of all seasons at home for the last four years. She also makes her own fertilizers and pesticides to grow vegetables by organic means.
A year ago, she had a brain stroke, after which her gardening took a big break, but it was her love for plants that today she is again active in gardening.
Talking to The Better India, she says, “There is a lot to learn while gardening. This is an experiment. Trees and plants in the garden teach something new everyday. I believe that trees and plants work as therapy for us.
After retirement, made ‘Gardening’ work
Mohini, Professor of Aquatic Biology, has been living in Surat since 1982. Her flat has a large terrace of 600 square feet, where she always used to plant some ornamental plants. In the beginning, her husband used to do more gardening. Mohini was unable to pay much attention to the garden due to paucity of time and busy routine. But it was only through college, that he came to know about agricultural university and terrace gardening workshops.
In 2017, he did a Terrace Garden course even before his retirement. After which he started with some easy vegetables.
She says, “Our flat has a nice large terrace garden. This terrace is facing east, so it also gets good sunlight. We always used to plant ornamental plants. After the workshop I thought why not use this space to grow some vegetables. I planted brinjal for the first time and my enthusiasm increased after the success in it. Now Mohini is growing more than 15 vegetables in every season.
She told that beans and brinjals grow so much that she often distributes it among her friends. Recently, he has grown fenugreek, soya, mustard, spinach, radish, coriander, tomato, turmeric, etc., for the winter season.
In his garden you will also see dragon fruit, mulberry, cilantro and plum. Mohini says, “I have planted bananas too, but the fruits have not yet grown in them. I grow vegetables more than fruits. It is my endeavor that instead of more varieties, plant more plants of any one variety, so that home grown vegetables can be eaten. At present, there are more than 600 plants in my garden.
She also makes fertilizers and pesticides at home. They believe that if we want, we can do good gardening in a very low budget. To grow plants, he has used all the waste bins, old toys etc. of the house. Instead of cocopeat, she uses dried leaves.
Mohini grows a lot of vegetables in a very beautiful way in multi layers. He told, “Vegetables like bottle gourd, turai grow in the vine during the summer season. At that time I grow brinjal, tomato and chilli under it. On the other hand, leafy vegetables grow comfortably in the pots of small plants. In this way we are able to grow more vegetables in less space.”
Gardening did therapy work after brain stroke
In October last year, Mohini had suffered a brain stroke. After which she was not able to walk properly, she could not even stand in one place for a long time. Since her living room is connected to the garden, she often visited the garden, but was unable to do anything.
Recalling those days, she says, “I was unable to do gardening on my own for a year, so I hired a gardener. But unless you take care of your own garden and plants, you will not get peace. For the past few months, I have been back in the garden work. Now I again do the work like composting, cuttings comfortably. It was during this time that I realized that plants really work as therapy.
Mohini was inspired by her family to rejoin gardening. Her family consists of her husband and their daughter. Apart from this, she is also associated with some gardening groups of Surat. From where they easily get the solution to the problem of gardening.
In the end she says, “It doesn’t matter whether your garden gets less sunlight or more. The biggest thing is willpower. If you want, you can grow anything, anywhere. We can grow some vegetables comfortably in our home. Once you taste the vegetables harvested from your own garden, you will forget to eat the vegetables outside. It also has a positive effect on our health.”
Hope you must have got inspiration from the story of Dr. Mohini’s gardening.
Editing – G N Jha
Also read – Neither place nor information, yet 15 types of vegetables and 8 types of fruits grown in just 400 sq.ft
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