It was within the late 90s that Rema Devi began natural farming round her home premises in Changanassery city in Kottayam, Kerala. It began as a small enterprise to fulfill her every day necessities. However over time, it has grown into one thing greater, incomes her a good month-to-month revenue.
She grew up helping her grandmother, who in response to Rema was a tremendous natural farmer. “She actually grew every part required for the complete household — be it pulses, greens or fruits, we had every part natural and recent. My youthful sister and I was her assistants. Due to this fact, I consider it was her affect and naturally, the expertise I gained that helped me excel in natural farming,” Rema tells The Higher India.
Over the past 20 years, she has been rising a wide range of greens and fruit bushes on the terrace and environment of her two properties.
Ultimately, Rema began her personal YouTube channel with the intention to information others to take up natural farming. She additionally started making high quality seeds out of greens and promoting them.
“Terrace gardening will be accomplished in probably the most sustainable method with out many bills. I attempt to educate my viewers the right way to preserve a backyard effectively by way of my channel,” says the 56-year-old.
Chemical-free greens for the household
Rema, who pursued her increased research in Botany says, “I’ve an emotional attachment to farming because it jogs my memory of my childhood and my grandmother. Although I couldn’t pursue a job after research, I’m glad that I might do what I really like probably the most.”
“When my kids had been younger. I purchased a snake gourd from the market and stir-fried it. However I used to be shocked to odor some sort of chemical compounds from it. That’s once I took the choice to develop clear greens for my kids,” remembers Rema.
Ever since she has been organically rising all of the greens for her household in her dwelling backyard.
Initially, she began farming within the house round her dwelling, which was constructed on 13 cents of land. Later when another home was constructed on the identical land, Rema moved her farm to each terraces, which got here to round 2,500 sq ft.
In line with her, although it appears simpler to nurture a terrace backyard than develop on land, there are specific issues that must be taken care of.
“Whereas sustaining a terrace backyard one must do not forget that it’s the highest layer of our home. We have to guarantee security. So, I painted my whole terrace with white cement to keep away from water leakage. And to keep away from holding pots and develop baggage instantly on the terrace, I used coconut shells as a substitute of costly stands” she says.
Rema began her farming enterprise with spinach and cowpeas as her household beloved these two greens. “I stored including extra to my assortment, and now I’ve completely different varieties of just about all of the greens together with the native veggies and seasonal ones,” she provides.
Among the many greens she grows are completely different types of chillies, okra, brinjal, tomatoes, spinach, peas, gourds, onion, air potatoes, beans, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, radish, cabbage, and lettuce.
Apart from greens, she additionally grows a couple of fruit bushes like papaya, Malabar plum, rambutan, guava, custard apple, sapota, and completely different types of lemon.
Along with rising recent greens for her household, Rema saves their seeds too. “Since I develop greater than sufficient for my household, the remaining have been used for making seeds,” she says.
The seeds are bought by way of social media farming teams. She additionally sells them to those that contact her on WhatsApp. “The seeds are priced between Rs 25 and Rs 40 a packet, relying on the variability and availability. At the moment, I make round Rs 60,000 per thirty days, simply by way of seeds,” says Rema who has been getting orders from throughout the state.
Formulating do-it-yourself fertilisers and pesticides
“Gardening ought to by no means be an costly affair,” says Rema who provides out ideas and methods on her YouTube channel — Rema’s Terrace Backyard — the place she shares the right way to preserve a cost-efficient and sustainable terrace backyard.
Rema additionally makes natural fertilisers and pesticides utilizing kitchen waste.
She says, “I don’t waste something from my kitchen. All bio-waste like egg shells, onion peels, espresso or tea grounds, and even objects like buttermilk, curd, rice water, coconut milk and so on will be made into natural fertilisers. Even fish waste can be utilized for a similar function.”
“Over the past twenty years, I’ve been in a position to make various kinds of natural fertilisers and pesticides utilizing simply obtainable elements. Now I’m making an attempt to assist others by way of my YouTube channel,” says the YouTuber.
She shares one such natural fertiliser she formulated, which is beloved by many on her channel.
“Combine some cow dung, cow urine, neem cake, groundnut cake, and inexperienced leaves collectively, and maintain it apart for 10 days. Then add 100 gm of lime powder to the combination, and let it sit once more for 5 extra days. You’ll be able to dissolve this combination in a 1:10 ratio with water. It makes an excellent bio-slurry which will be utilized to all types of crops.”
In line with Rema, everybody ought to develop a minimum of a couple of greens on their very own of their homes. “Greater than rising clear greens by yourself, there’s a sort of happiness and satisfaction that comes with it. You’d by no means comprehend it except you try this,” she says.
For seeds, you’ll be able to contact Rema Devi at 79077 87439.
Edited by Pranita Bhat; Picture credit: Rema Devi