When Mumbai’s Chetan Soorenji realised that his terrace garden needed protection from excess sunlight, his first option was to set up a tin roof.
However, he began to think in the direction of sustainability and decided to have a blanket of creeper plants instead. The next question was — what plants should he select?
This was when Chetan, who has been gardening for years now, decided to do a bit of research, and came up with an innovative idea.
He learned that the exotic passion fruit needs a warm climate to grow and felt this would be the perfect candidate for the creeper plant.
Today, as one looks at the terrace garden, not only do they admire the lush garden, but also the blanket of green above. To add to the beauty of the space, in 2017, Chetan set up the first bee box in his home with the help of a Mumbai-based association Under the Mango Tree Society.
He did this with the intent of starting urban beekeeping. What’s more, in no time at all, the passion fruit had several buzzing admirers that loved its sweet nectar.
This harmonious relationship between the bees and the fruit, as well as the natural pollination, has only caused Chetan’s garden to bloom. Speaking about this to News Day Express, Chetan said, “Generally in India, all fruit trees flower in summer and winter, while the passion fruit flower Krishna Kamal comes in monsoon. This gives them (the bees) a chance to do their work even in monsoon and helps in pollination.”
He says that they have seen an increase in productivity in not just passion fruits, but also coconuts and other produce grown in the garden, thanks to the bees.
While Chetan’s model soon became a success, he now also imparts this knowledge to farmers from Gujarat’s Tutarkhed village.
Watch this fascinating model: