A Lesson In Kitchen Gardening & Waste Management For Urban Dwellers

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One morning, while scrolling through Instagram I found myself being transported to an alternate reality. In this world, just like my food heroes, I walked into my massive backyard and started filling the basket I was holding with fresh ripe tomatoes, clippings of basil, cloves of garlic and then, with a deafening sound I was jolted back to reality by my alarm (which by that point had been snoozed at least seven times). As I bolted out of my room to get dressed for work, I caught a glimpse of all the concrete structures outside my window and realised how unrealistic my daydream was, especially when living in a city like Mumbai, where a new high rise sprouts up every time you blink. But as it turns out, I was wrong. Maybe the idea of having a massive garden is a little far-fetched, but being able to grow your own produce is not. Maya Ganesh talks to Homegrown about the possibility of a green and eco-friendly lifestyle in Mumbai’s urban landscape.

Ganesh, a sustainability consultant, is organising a gardening and waste management workshop specifically for city folk. A two-day-long residential workshop to help you get started on “managing your waste and setting up an easy-to-maintain edible/herb/flower garden even in the smallest of spaces in busy cities”. The workshop is being held at Govardhan Ecovillage, which is one of the top ten biodiversity hotspots in the world and is located 108 kilometres away from Mumbai. The workshop is a crash course on everything you need to know about waste management and kitchen gardening. Starting from how to make your own soil to identifying the right plants to pick.

Just like gardening does not require you to have access to vast expanses of land, the same way, waste management does not mean your house is going to reek of garbage or cost you a bomb. Ganesh, as a part of this workshop, is trying to dispel these myths and misconceptions about not just gardening, but waste management too.

“It (recycling and waste management) cannot afford to be a fad because it is a need and a way of life in cities for them to continue to exist,” said Ganesh in response to being questioned about whether waste management and recycling are transient trends that have caught on, but might soon fade. Like waste management, kitchen gardening too is an integral part of being environmentally responsible and helps carry out what Ganesh refers to as “closing the loop”. Closing the loop means nothing more than ensuring that the waste that you generate every day is somehow used as a resource to make sure that there is a minimal amount of pollution and waste in the environment.

This workshop, that can be attended by anyone who is aged 14 and older, is your chance to learn how to give back to the environment while cooped on your couches, lying face down in your beds or doing whatever it is that you like to do.

Last day to register for the workshop: 31 August 2018
Workshop dates: 8 & 9 September 2018
Location: Govardhan Ecovillage, P.O. Box Hamrapur, Tal: Wada, Dist: Palghar.

Visit the Ecovillage website for further details about the event.

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