The title of this blog is funny in a sense, with a forthcoming loathsome meaning to it. Yet, my blog focuses not to the least on any “Double Meaning” joke. My decision to start “Organic Terrace Gardening” (OTG) was definitely not as funny as the question in the title. Before going into how the situation demanded me to ask such a chucklesome question, I would narrate from the beginning my story of “Terrace Gardening”.
It all began with the scorching heat of the summer. With a house at the top floor and with the terrace above the head, even the fans were emitting “Hot Air”. Phew…… even getting a good night’s sleep was demanding the highest resolve. Naturally, we had the team meetings, the board meetings, etc. in the family. With the help of the tip of some outsiders, we got the idea of placing ‘gunny bags’ on the roof and pouring water on them. After 2-3 days of “Successful Implementation”, the roof and the house was 50% more cool than before. Yet, two things came to my mind particularly about this:-
- It was not 100% cool.
- Too much water was being wasted on the gunny bags, for no reason.
Then the time was to think ‘out of the box’. Having the reputation of being “The Google” of my office, the next thing that I did was “to Google”. I had in my mind to search this – “How to keep the Terrace cool”. With the help of Google’s auto-suggest, my journey started on a funny note. No sooner had I typed, “How to keep……”, then I got the suggestion “How to Keep husband happy”. I mean, I was looking for Gardening and being a male myself, there is no reason why I must be keeping my “Husband Happy”. Well, I even wondered why people even search for this stuff on Google. Nevertheless, focusing on our theme, I got 3 results out of my Google research (to keep the roof cool):-
- Painting of the roof (Some kind of Paint, it is said, will cool the roof)
- Watering the roof.
- Terrace Gardening.
What interested me the most was the third one!
I made up my mind that this must happen – Terrace Gardening; that too an organic one. I had the first round of discussions with my “Agro-Enthusiast Brother” and “Ayurvedic Doctor – Sister-in-Law”. The idea of growing plants in the pots came up. We thought of growing “Creepers” and “Leaves’ that bear veggies for daily use. So, it is a double benefit:
- Cool Roof
- Organic Veggies for the family.
All of us wholeheartedly embraced this idea. It was never like my idea. Everyone brought in their ideas and it was a “Team Plan”.
The next thing I did was to go to “Lal Bagh”. This time, around I took the right person with me. My Uncle, “Puttanna Kavi”, is “Botanical Scientists”. He is an encyclopaedia on plants. I took my cousin Raghunandan Kavi, an all-time “Travel Enthusiast” and “Techno Geek” and my Scientist uncle along (to the Lal Bagh). As I was about to enter Lal Bagh, I asked the gentlemen at the ticket counter, as to where the seeds (for planting) are available. He said, “ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಹತ್ತಿರ, ಕಾರ್ ಪಾರ್ಕಿಂಗ್ ಇದೆಯಲ್ಲ ಸಾರ್, ಅಲ್ಲೇ” (It’s near the parking lot next to the hill). We travelled on a hot day. We were all soaked in sweat by the time we reached the hill. Being thoughtful of the destination we had to reach, I asked the gardener (who was using a machine to cut the grasses nearby), “ಸಾರ್, ನಿಮ್ಮಲ್ಲಿ ’ಬೀಜ” ಎಲ್ ಸಿಗತ್ತೆ?” The next leer of the gardener gave me the Goosebumps. With the red eyes, a cleanly built body, and the exasperation of having worked tireless without a rest, I thought the machine will not be on the grass now, but on me. I quickly realised the lack of proper communication from my side. I then turned to “Kanglish”. I said, “ಇಲ್ಲಿ Plants grow ಮಾಡಕ್ಕೆ seeds ಎಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿಗತ್ತೆ?” It was then that he promptly showed me the destination.
My uncle helped me a lot in purchasing the rights seeds. The right kind of “Creepers” and “Leaves” that can be grown in pots on the Terrace. I purchased the “coriander”, Palak”, “Menthya”, “Bitter Gourd”, Cucumber”, Beans”, “Tomatoes” etc. It was around 12 varieties of Veggie plants and 3 flower plants. Thanks to my uncle and my cousin, the shopping was done very well.
The most difficult part to the start of “Organic Terrace Gardening ” was to carry 50Kg Load of Soil in 3 gunny bags each, from the car parking area of my house, up through the 2 floors, and to the terrace. It was a good weight-lifting exercise and all the muscle in my limbs were saying “I am ‘Out of Order’.”
Well, I am happy I have made a good beginning to my little garden on the roof. In a month, the roof must be perfectly cool (At the hottest times of Mid May) and the first set of “Organic Veggies” may be ready for domestic consumption. I hope this story of mine will motivate you to take up to Terrace Gardening. It is always good to have more plants and trees, it is a lovely feeling to have a “Cool Roof” on the top, and it is most satisfying to eat the veggies grown by your own hands. Pray, try it! The hot sun will not diminish the energy in your body (while shopping for seeds, pots, shovels, etc.); the sand bags that you carry will not make your bones fragile; neither the hardships that you undergo contract your spirit. The only thing that stands as an impediment in your way is the “Mind”. All that you need to do is to make up your mind! Will you?