Nanjammal begins her days by tending to her garden, after which she goes to several homes in her village to check the progress of their plants.
Living in Thoppampatti Poonga Nagar, Coimbatore, the 85-year-old is in charge of more than 160 vegetable gardens in two villages in her locality.
Nanjammal spent her entire childhood playing in and tending to her father’s fields. She even raised her three children by farming on a one-acre land given to her by her in-laws.
“Farming is a great way to attain self-reliance, especially after retirement. It keeps the body and mind healthy.” she says, adding that farming is her way of staying healthy.
She grows more than 17 different vegetables and plants in her house garden and consumes them on a daily basis.
The vegetables include chillies, tomatoes, brinjals, gourds, zucchinis and drumsticks, along with fruits like guavas, papayas and mangoes.
She makes her own fertilisers and insect repellents with the help of her son Bharathi Chinnasamy
Nanjammal believes in self-reliance and wants all village homes to have their own source of food. She has been working with a self-help group for the past 12 years.
Many children also show interest in the gardening process, and the mother-son duo are happily helping families grow their own food.