Kitchen Garden of Spurti
by Vaman Acharya
(Bengaluru, Karntaka, India)
People gathered in the public meeting held by the Town Municipal Council, Pavanpur were continuously clapping. The reason for this overwhelming enthusiasm was due to the inspiration and dedication of Spurti, a little girl of 12 years. Her kitchen garden was adjudged as one of the best kitchen gardens in the whole town.
The meeting was held on the elevated platform under the big banyan tree. The public was assembled in the open area. It was adjacent to Town Municipal office. President of the TMC Dayananda was most enthusiastic and always encouraged innovative ideas put forth by the public. During his tenure of presidentship, he had implemented a number of new projects.
The suggestion of kitchen garden was given by none other than a little girl Spurti. In the beginning, he did not take it seriously. Spurti did not give up her efforts. Her repeated meetings with the President and convincing him the advantages of developing kitchen gardens in the town, influenced him to change his mind. He gave green signal to the scheme and instructed his staff to work out the modalities.
Everything was ready after six months before the onset of the monsoon. However, it took another year to develop individual kitchen gardens. In the meeting, apart from the TMC President, local horticultural officer and head master of the Model Higher Primary School were in the panel.
About fifty persons having kitchen gardens in their homes were participated in the contest.
While announcing Spurti's name, the panel members on the dais told that it was she, who had fulfilled all the parameters fixed by the committee. Spurti was called on dais to receive the honor. She was garlanded by the oldest man of the town. President gave her trophy and Rupees ten thousand as a cash award. One of the panel members put a question to her.
"Spurti, how did you get the inspiration to develop the kitchen garden?"
"Sir, two years back during the summer vacation, I went to my aunt's place Ganeshgaon. In this place, you find kitchen garden one in every three houses. My aunt was also developing a kitchen garden for the last three years. Out of curiosity, I asked several questions and got the answers. I thought at that moment, Ganeshgaon being a
dry place had kitchen gardens, whereas, our Pavanpur being wet area situated on the bank of Triveni River and fertile land, kitchen gardens would be most suitable to develop. Moreover, you need not invest more money. Not only you will save money for buying vegetables, but you will have satisfaction." She said.
Again there was a clapping from the public.
Dayanada asked her, "Spurti, can you explain in brief about your knowledge in kitchen garden?"
"Sir, if you have adequate place in the backyard of the house, it is sufficient to develop kitchen garden. In our place Pavanpur, there is a vast open area in the backyard of every house and being very near to river, there is no problem of irrigation. Substantial sun light is a must for growing vegetables. Leafy vegetables need shade. Buy seeds according to season. At the time of purchase, enquire about sowing, spacing techniques of the seeds. Organic fertilizers or manure will improve the growth of the plants. Regular watering to garden is essential for growth. Kitchen Garden needs vigilant weeding and proper care to stop bugs and insects. Remove the ripe vegetables immediately to avoid rotting. This process needs patience. The best thing in gardening gives me my involvement in the beautiful nature. Main vegetables in my garden are brinjal, cucumber, and carrot and lady finger."
It was a happiest moment for Sanjay and Sandhya, parents of little girl Spurti. The only person, who was upset in the meeting, was whole sale vegetable vendor. He was worried about the loss of his business. The President TMC assured him to provide alternate job.
In his presidential address, Dayananda said, "Kitchen Garden is a place of pleasure in the midst of beautiful nature. It is a source of joy and delight. Gardening will inspire everybody to work in the leisure and keeps away from the madding crowd of the city. You don't feel bored, while you are in kitchen Garden. Spurti deserves all kinds of appreciation. I advise all of you to follow the example of Spurti."
The TMC President had also announced on this occasion subsidy and all kinds of assistance for those who develop kitchen garden. He also said even in deserving cases, he was prepared to provide entire cost by adopting the kitchen garden.