This IITian grows his own food through Organic Terrace Garden Farming.
Have you ever thought about growing your own veggies?
I did. I am sure those who love gardening would also say ‘Yes’.
But usually the thought of growing your own food never becomes reality, if you are staying in a city.
Two major challenges for people living in urban cities are – 1. Lack of space. 2. Lack of knowledge.
But trust me, the first point ‘Lack of Space’ is not even a challenge. Even if you are living in a city. How?
The golden word is ‘Terrace Garden Farming’.
Can we really grow vegetables in our terrace/balcony?
Prabal Mallick says YES. Prabal grows his own food in his organic terrace garden. And he has been doing it since 2016.
He did it and now he is inspiring and teaching lot of people to grow vegetables in their terraces garden.
To address the second challenge ‘Lack of Knowledge’, Oh Desi invited Prabal for a brief interview.
Prabal Mallick is an IIT Kharagpur Graduate of 2002 batch. He grows his own food and has a model Organic Terrace Garden at his residence in Bhubaneswar. About his journey He says,
“I worked in Bangalore for some time after I graduated from IIT. The quality of vegetables and greens available there always bothered me. Back in my hometown Bhubaneswar we had access to Organic vegetables grown by small farmers locally. But with rapid urbanization since last ten years availability of fresh and safe vegetables also became an issue. So when I shifted back to my hometown Bhubaneswar in 2014, I started to explore and experiment with growing fresh vegetables on our terrace, in a sustainable and organic manner.”
For Prabal, growing vegetables and greens in his organic terrace garden has become ‘A way of life’.
“With the help of my family, especially my father we have a full-scale garden on our terrace and most of our vegetables and greens comes from our terrace garden,” says Prabal.
Basics of Organic Terrace Garden Farm.
Prabal shares with us the basic requirement to start Organic Terrace Garden:
#1. The first requirement for starting a basic nutrition garden is space that gets at least 4-5 hours of sunlight every day.
#2. A balcony is good place to start. If you have an independent house with a terrace there is nothing like it.
#3. Then all you need is a few containers, some basic gardening tools, good potting mix (It is better if you make your own mix), good quality seeds and you are good to go.
#4. As your plants grow you’ll need some good quality compost to supplement plant nutrition.
#5. You’ll also need to prepare some basic soil conditioners and amendments once in a while to keep your soil and plants healthy.
#6. Other than this the most important ingredient you need is loads of love for plants and gardening.
Prabal runs a successful blog ‘Organic Terrace’ where he write articles about growing various types of vegetables and greens in the pot. In just two years, his blog has become one of the most popular gardening blog in India. Organic Terrace was selected by Feedpost as one of the top 10 gardening blogs in India for year 2018.
Through his venture ‘Organic Terrace’, he conducts workshop for small groups (12-15 people) which includes interactive class room sessions, demonstrations and terrace garden tour.
Talking about his Organic Terrace Farming workshop, Prabal mentions,
“We conduct two sessions per week for a period of one month. We discuss:
- Introduction of Urban Farming
- Things to consider before starting Organic Terrace Garden.
- Container preparation
- Potting soil mixing
- Water Management
- Wind and Sun Management
- Seed Sowing in Containers and seed trays
- Organic Fertilizer
- Soil Management
- Pest Management”
We also conduct one day program – crash course in Organic Terrace Gardening.
Prabal is keen about conducting short programs and crash courses, anywhere in India. He says,
“The response to the workshops has been good. We get a lot of request for conducting training outside Odisha and Online, which we still have not been able to do. To close this gap I released a book recently (both printed and e-book version) and the response to the book has been great.”
Prabal’s e-book – ‘Organic Urban Farming, The Indian Way’ is available on his website Organic Terrace.
When asked about his favorite part of Terrace Garden Farming, Prabal has a humble answer:
“I think seeing a seed germinate and the seedling peeking out of the soil in the morning is a great feeling. I also love to take a walk around the garden and just check on the plants.”
For workshop enquiry, contact Prabal at email@example.com
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