Vacant plots often end up becoming dump yards for people.
Though they are an easy way out for those fumbling about to dispose of domestic waste, these mounds of decomposing garbage end up becoming breeding sites for mosquitoes and increase the risk of spreading communicable diseases, apart from their stench.
The same worry struck the residents of a locality near MG Road in Thrissur, where an empty plot was packed to capacity with garbage almost eight months ago.
Today in its place stands a fully functional organic farm that is laden with a variety of vegetables and fruits.
So how did a plot reeking of garbage and infested with mosquitoes get magically transformed into a farmer’s dream?
Irate by the rising amount of garbage in the land due to the lack of occupancy, the residents decided to approach the owner, Pradeep Kumar, who lived in Mullassery, around 18 km away from the town.
They pitched the idea of an organic farm to him, which was readily given the nod by Pradeep.
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According to the local daily Manorama, the land was leased out to the residents free of cost for the initiative. Plus, the benefits reaped from the farm were to be shared amidst the residents.
Under the supervision of association members Gopi, Sivadas, Madhu, and Manoj, the plot was cleared of weeds and rodents first. Following which, a bulldozer was roped in to remove the garbage, and the soil was given natural treatment with a mixture of cow dung and ash.
By the time the festival of Vishu came around, the 12-cent farm had sprouted its first round of crops that included amaranthus, ladies finger, green chillies, brinjal, and tomatoes, which was distributed among the households in the area.
From irrigating with their own wells to enriching the farm with organic manures, the residents have made time to take care of their little farm – nestled amidst the bustling lanes of Thrissur.
Following the initial success, the association members are now growing various varieties of plantains. They also plan on extending their initiative of identifying wastelands and turning them into productive farms in the vicinity.