” PLANTS ARE THE SOLUTION”
This is one of the best solutions to all of the environmental issues we currently face: having more green babies. Things would have been different if we had a larger green cover on earth, but some people use the justification that “we live in a concert jungle, we don’t have enough space for plantation or gardening in an apartment culture”
We met a plant mom who, by practicing terrace gardening, had turned her backyard into a jungle in order to refute this justification.
Agriculture assistant professor Sakshi Bharadwaj has grown plants that have therapeutic properties, produce a lot of oxygen, and absorb radiation. The young gardener has transformed her 850-square-foot backyard into a miniature forest.
An environmentalist from Bhopal, Sakshi has grown about 4,000 plants of 450 species, including 150 rare ones. And the catch is – she is upcycling kitchen waste and household plastic trash while growing her green babies.
Sakshi Bharadwaj’s environmental initiative is classified as “creating an 850 sq ft sustainable, urban, vertical, & overhead mini jungle” in the 2021 OMG Book of Records.
She is not just a gardening enthusiast but is also a creative innovator of a brighter greener future.
A New Look To The Old Idea Of Terrace Gardening
Recall the garden your grandparents had in their youth. Back then, they would plant oxygen-emitting trees like neem, pipal, and banyan. Today, however, we live in bungalows, flats, and studio apartments that are severely space-constrained. From housefront gardens to terrace gardening, the concept of gardening has undergone a significant change due to our lifestyle change.
As a result, Sakshi, who also conducts online workshops on gardening and horticulture nationally and internationally, wanted to plant lesser-known species that could replace these traditional large plants and serve the same purpose.
Although there may not be much room for horizontal greenery, Sakshi, a Jabalpur native, claims to be working on the concept of a sustainable urban forest and believes that one can always have plants in vertical (wall) and overhead spaces. While creating her backyard garden in 2018, Sakshi had already started utilising jungle cultivation techniques.
Sakshi started terrace gardening as a mental stress reliever but quickly discovered a pure form of love for it. Along with terrace gardening, Sakshi eventually began to show concern for the planet’s future.
All households have organic kitchen waste like leftover vegetables, fruit skins, empty bags, single-use boxes, and the list goes on, which takes a while to decompose, so she started using it in unique ways and converted kitchen waste into vermicompost and bio-enzymes.
To reduce urban waste, Sakshi believes that recycling non-biodegradable household waste in creative ways is a good idea. Newspapers, plastic bottles, cans, milk pouches, and other items we sell are a few examples of such materials. She consequently planted flowers in milk pouches, bottles, cans, and dried and empty coconut shells.
Spread The Love For Green
In the year 2020, she stumbled upon a group of online gardeners who were cultivating rare and exotic plants. The young lady then got in touch with them, bought some of these unusual plants, and then got in touch with people who could help her expand her collection.
Sakshi decided to major in microbiology. The already intense interest grew even more intense as soon as she started working as an assistant professor.
She said, “As I taught plants’ genetics, I thought of having a first-hand experience of these theories in my own garden.” To satisfy this desire she decided to start her own space where she can experiment and grow her own jungle.
She has given the unusual garden she is growing as she practises terrace gardening the name “Jungle Vase.” According to Sakshi, a vase typically houses a plant, and the garden is home to a miniature forest, so she intends to use a small area to house an entire jungle.
She practises different methods at home. She claimed to have lost a lot of plants while conducting experiments, but she had always learned something new, which she later applied to her gardening skills.
She sourced from various places, explored a number of varieties, and has grown a mind-blowing space for herself. Just like a human child Sakshi believes that every plant has different requirements.
Some require black soil, while still others require regular tilling (gudai) to promote air circulation. Some grow best in soil that is mixed with sand. The young gardening expert went on to say that while some plants can withstand direct sunlight, others need shade.
A True Plant Mom
This plant mother is very concerned about raising her little plants, Sakshi has thoroughly experimented with terrace gardening and its science.
Based on her observations, she developed a soil with a charcoal mixture & coconut husk that can retain water for a longer period of time. The soil first-hand created by her is so reliable that she waters her plants once every two days even when the temperature soars to 46-48 degrees, and the green babies still thrive.
Among the rare species found in the garden are Albo monstera, Variegated Syngonium, Philodendron mexicanum, Begonias, Palms, Peperomia, Ficus, Philodendron Millettia, Epipremnum, Calathea, Sansevieria, Chlorophytum, Black JJ,and others.
Some of them—which are in danger of going extinct—were bought from authorized plant dealers in the Amazon Rainforest, Thailand and other locations. Their high capacity for producing oxygen, their medicinal qualities, and their capacity for radiation absorption is their true superpowers.
The young environmentalist hopes to connect with like-minded people and work to replenish the declining green cover in Bhopal, the state capital. In fact, she believed that the study of plantations should be a part of both school and college curricula.
Despite environmental science being taught in schools, the young environmentalist bemoans the fact that children still lack fundamental knowledge of plants. The 26-year-old asserted that it is impossible for any 10- to 12-year-old to understand how to plant a sapling.
Sakshi adds that this ought to be considered in civil engineering as well so that we can have durable, green buildings that incorporate vegetation into urban planning. This young woman thinks that change only occurs when we change our little steps.
If you too enjoy terrace gardening or wish to connect to this garden enthusiast – find her over her super cool, super green Instagram handle jungle_vase or explore more terrace gardening tipS with Sakshi over her website www.junglevase.com/
If you want to know more about sustainable farming or Organic Farming Projects, read about This Man From LEEDS Business School, who UK Left His High Package Job To Start Sustainable Farming
Feature Image Source: Veg Roof-Organic Farming Project
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