Meet Ramji from Chennai, India

“I am an avid nature enthusiast and a barefoot runner who believes in the idea of minimalism. When the lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19 were taking a toll on my mental health, I decided to take up farming and now we are able get at least 30% of our weekly need for veggies from our terrace garden.

Growing food gives me immense sensory satisfaction and having organically grown food on my platter makes me feel healthy and happy.

Our current garden area is 350 square feet and I plan to expand it further by 400 square feet. We grow seasonal veggies, leafy greens and some other veggies that grow on creepers.

I add homemade compost to soil. I also cover the soil with dry waste to retain moisture as it acts as a mulch for the soil. I add cow manure, panchgavya (solution made from 5 different by-products of cow) and vermicompost sourced from nearby villages. For pest management, I use neem cake and neem oil and 3G (ginger, garlic and green chili) solution.

My city faces cyclonic storms sometimes. Such extreme weather is a great inhibitor for terrace farming. Other than that, when we try to simulate natural conditions in our terrace there are high chances that there could be a bunch of pests that lead to crop damage.

I am involved in regular training sessions on terrace and urban farming to encourage other people to take up gardening within the space they have. Nature always gives, we need to believe in it and enjoy the rewards of gardening.”