Nasar, a resident of Arukutti, a town in the Alappuzha district, is an engineer who also doubles up as a farmer.
Spending only 30 minutes on his farm, a plot of land measuring 60 square feet, every day, the man has created an elaborate kitchen garden with 26 varieties of vegetables using simple and natural techniques.
Everything In Just A Small Space!
“I grew up in a family of farmers and was always interested to see the process—right from sowing to harvesting. This interest never died down, and for the past 21 years, I’ve been cultivating the vegetables for my entire family, and have not purchased a single vegetable from the market in the last two decades!” explains Nasar.
Nasar’s farmland is divided into different sections for climbers, creeper and tubers. With just enough space to walk, the farm is filled with vegetables like cucumber, bitter gourd, carrots, ginger, tomatoes, varieties of chillies, spinach and even cauliflower.
“Space is not a factor at all. If you plan out your area properly, you can grow all the vegetables you’ll need. I believe that every home should have atleast a mini kitchen garden. The satisfaction of eating your own harvest in unbelievable and once you experience that you’ll never be able to say No to farming,” says Nasar.
Here are some tips from Nasar on how to grow vegetables in a 60 sq feet space:
- You should be able to fit 60 grow bags in 60 sq feet. 15 grow bags must be kept aside for beans exclusively and the rest for other everyday vegetables.
- The plants must be placed according to the availability of sunlight.
- During the rainy season, laying waterproof sheets over the soil can prevent weed and other pests from the soil entering the grow bag.
- The grow bags must be filled with equal amounts of dried manure powder, soil and sand and the saplings must be planted in it carefully.
- A drip irrigation system should be followed during the summer so that the plants get the necessary amount of water.
- Plants must be watered very carefully. Avoid hosing them down with water as this can severely damage their health.
- Chemical pesticides and fertilisers must be avoided at all costs.
“One thing I’m very particular about is the fertilisers that are used. If you opt for a chemical fertiliser or pesticides, there’s absolutely no point in farming because you’re bringing alterations to the natural process. Always opt for creating an organic fertiliser which will also give you a better yield,” explains Nasar.
For all his plants Nasar uses a homemade organic fertiliser which comprises 1-kilo fresh manure, 1-kilo jaggery, 1-kilo peanut cake powder and 1/2 kg banana mixed in 30-litres of water and left to soak for seven days.
“The mixture must be mixed atleast once a day during this period. While adding it to the plants, this mixture must be used in a 1:8 ratio with water. This fertiliser can be stored for upto 45 days,” he informs.
Nasar also practices mixed cultivation in a 1-acre land where he mostly grows fruits like mangosteen, litchi, sapota as well as coconut trees.
Currently the general secretary of the Organic Kerala Charitable Trust, Nasar has inspired many of his villagers and has received awards from many local committees for his unique and precise cultivation techniques.
We hope that you also try out Nasar’s cultivation techniques and let us know if they worked for you!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)