Walking through Sobhana Pushpangadan’s backyard in Ancheri, Thrissur, is like walking through a garden maintained by professional gardeners. However, the hundreds of flower and vegetable plants are all watered, maintained and grown by Sobhana herself.
The 55-year-old started with an observation that many of us might have seen in our own neighbourhood—the sidewalks were barren and could do with a little oomph factor. Taking her love of gardening beyond her fences, Sobhana started growing flower plants on the sidewalk too.
“A newspaper noticed the flowers that I had planted on the sidewalk outside my house,” she told Edex Live. “The land wasn’t being used, so I decided to add a bit of colour to it.”
Her home garden has been flourishing for three years now. The ample produce is not only enough for her family but is also distributed among the neighbours.
“I do it because I’ve always had a love for all things green since I was a child. There are a hundred things that I may be doing, but tending to a garden of my own has always had a special place in my heart,” she says.
Her passion for garden goes beyond being a hobby. She sincerely believes that in the fast-paced life of a city, going back to your roots and growing your own food has a lot of benefits.
“If we all go back to farming, we wouldn’t have to depend on so many people. My family hardly goes to the store anymore to buy produce,” she says, adding that, “I know we live in constricted spaces these days, but we must still try to attend to nature. If you manage to find enough land and time to grow at least two varieties of plants in your house, it will change the way in which you function.”
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The beautiful garden, which provides the family with veggies, and beauty to the neighbourhood, has won the Thrissur Corporation’s terrace farming competition for the third time in a row. While the terrace houses flower plants, Sobhana has converted a patch of barren land behind her house into a vegetable and fruit farm.
If you think that Sobhana is busy with her garden all day every day, think again. The garden is just one thing among the numerous others which keeps Sobhana on her toes. The mother of two is the local General Secretary of Vyapari Vayavasayi Ekopana Samithi—a trade organisation. She is also a member of the Accident Care and Transport Service (ACT), the society Director of Kuraichira and works at Matrubhoomi as well.
Talk about the perfect juggling act!