Kitchen Gardens Take Off

Jatapara Village, India


During the month of February, no major crops were cultivated in Jatapara Village. Farming here is generally focused on rice cultivation, which is done in the month of July. In the months of October and November, vegetables like potatoes, radishes and mustard are cultivated.


During October and November, there is more moisture content in the soil, but very few villagers understand this about the soil moisture. Through Transformational Community Development (TCD) lessons, people are awakening to the idea of cultivating when the moisture content in the soil is greater so that people do not have to work as hard providing irrigation for crops. With this knowledge, more people have started cultivating crops like potatoes and other vegetables during this time. This year, there was a decrease in the potato production, as the weather was not so favourable, but the knowledge is priceless.


After potato cultivation, many people are feeling motivated to make a kitchen garden and use it to grow vegetables on their own land. People are being taught about the importance of having land and using it for production and how kitchen gardens can be used for growing good quality vegetables, like brinjal (eggplant), tomatoes and chilies, for example. Through their kitchen garden, they don't have to depend on others for vegetables and, thus, can become self-sufficient. If a guest arrives at a home so equipped, the owner no longer feels compelled to rush to the market to buy vegetables; they can use the vegetables from their own garden. Everyone should plant kitchen gardens, as they do not require more water for irrigation. They can use the wastewater from their kitchens for irrigation.


Now, six families have made kitchen gardens and are growing two to three types of vegetables in them. Bablu recently planted his kitchen garden for the first time. He is cultivating tomatoes and chilies in it. He is very happy with the production of his kitchen garden, apart from his daily use, he even sells about 2-3kgs of tomatoes every day.


Another man named Rajesh has also made a kitchen garden and is working very hard on it. He has to bring water from about 200 metres away for irrigation. He brings water in two tin cans hung on either side of a bamboo stick using rope, carrying this arrangement across his shoulders to irrigate his garden. Now, tomato plants have started providing fruit so he doesn't have to work as hard anymore. He is very happy with his hard work and the production of his garden.


Thank you,