Rain shelter cultivation has become quite a rage in Kerala in recent times.
While one of the primary reasons could be that the method is being used as a measure to cut down on the contamination of commercially-grown food crops by fertilisers and pesticides, and is also a great way of bolstering family farming.
Quite similar to a greenhouse, rain shelters are naturally ventilated and put together using GI (Galvanised Iron) pipes, wooden or bamboo poles with roofs made up of a transparent UV-stabilised low-density polyethylene film that accentuates crop cultivation within your premises around the year.
Among the rising tide of farmers in the state who have taken up the innovative method is Premanandan, a Vigilance Sub-Inspector from the Moozhikkal town in Kozhikode. He has been successfully harvesting 12 kilos of vegetables every single day from his 0.025-acre plot for the last eight years!
An active farmer, Premanandan hasn’t purchased vegetables to meet his household requirements for all these years.
He grows about ten different vegetable varieties including tomato, okra, long beans, brinjal, bitter gourd, amaranth, chilli and scarlet gourd along with four different types of amaranth.
Alongside, he also cultivates ginger and bush black pepper in 130 grow-bags on top of the compound wall. According to Mathrubhumi, he harvests about 100 pepper bunches from the bush pepper.
Premanandan practises organic farming and only uses cow dung and urine as fertilisers for the plants and spends an hour each in morning and evening tending his plants.
Even his wife Reena lends a helping hand in all his green endeavours.
The father of two sons who are both pursuing engineering degrees, Premanandan had taken up farming to compensate for his hectic work life which often resulted in stress or boredom. Besides farming, he also invests his time in dairy farming and raises different breeds of cattle.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)