Meet Latha Reddy from Hyderabad, India

“I am a teacher working in a school for specially abled. I am young at heart and love spending time with nature.

My love for plants grew with me and I chose do my Masters in Science with specialization in Botany. The more I learnt, the more I loved it and I decided to start growing veggies at home. I started by watching You tube tutorials for Rooftop gardening. And once I started seeing the results, I added multiple varieties of vegetables and fruits.

My idea is to use organic waste from kitchen as a compost for the plants and keep that cycle going on. My sisters who are also my neighbors started to share organic waste from their kitchens which is helping me in compost preparation.

Our growing area is 1200 square feet. I grow multiple vegetables which we use in South Indian day to day cooking like tomatoes, eggplants, green chillies, pumpkin, drumstick, lemon, leafy vegetables like spinach and amaranth leaves. I also grow fruits like mangoes, chikoo and guava.

I feel natural remedies are the best. I make vermi compost at home. I use fermented buttermilk , neem oil and I also culture my own LAB(Lactobacillus). I also grow lots of flowers and herbs which help me with pest control.

I had started my garden initially by purchasing seeds online but now I have my own seeds saved from the garden which I am able to use and also share with my friends and family.

I feel maintaining a Terrace garden is very different from a regular garden. We needed a special coating to be applied on our roof to make sure water doesn’t leak. Also we had to set up huge cement rings to contain the roots within that area. With increase in water scarcity, I started using coco peat to retain moisture and limit water usage. In addition, moving all the required material to the top of the three story building manually is a challenging task.

But there is nothing better than eating self grown food. It gives immense pleasure knowing that the food you feed your family is home grown and pesticide free. And the effort that goes into growing food also increases the respect towards it which reduces the wastage.

Love the nature and it will protect you. After all the best gift for future generations is better environment and in turn a better world.”