Make Organic Fertilizer

by Sangeeta
(Mumbai, India)

I ate fresh organic vegetables all my childhood, as my father grew a lot of different vegetables on his farm. But living here in town all the vegetables taste different. I realized that what I actually wanted was to eat fresh vegetables grown in organic farms. But where I was going to find a farm here in town? That is when an idea struck me. How about having my own small vegetable garden?

Before marriage, I had enjoyed being close to nature, as ours was a country-side house. My father had several acres of farm and I really had great fun growing vegetables. But when after marriage I moved to town in my husband's house, a two storey cottage with a small garden around it, life seemed bit different. The garden was beautifully maintained with various flowers all around it. There were a few big trees like coconut, banyan and a couple of mango trees. Beautiful ornamental creepers were all around the fences and the garden looked really good.

There is a small backyard behind my cottage, which I thought was perfect for my vegetable garden. Indian soil conditions and climate are favorable for growing many vegetables like lady's finger, cabbage and many other leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek etc. I designed a small vegetable garden layout and started to work on it. I planted spinach, cabbage, chillies, herbs and pumpkin in the backyard. I decided to put some bitter gourd and snake gourd creepers all around my backyard trees.

The most important thing, which I wanted to take care of in my vegetable garden, was to prevent use of any kind of chemical fertilizer. Initially I purchased organic fertilizer from a nursery, but there is no doubt that these fertilizers are very expensive. Hence I decided to make my own fertilizer. It was not that I knew about making fertilizer, but then you do tend to learn few related topics in school. Schooling does help! Anyways, I dug a deep pit in one corner of my garden and every day I made a point of throwing all the vegetable waste from my kitchen, dried leaves and cow dung into it. I used to mix it regularly and covered it with wooden ply. After around 4 months my organic fertilizer was ready and I started using it in the vegetable garden.

Overall, I am very happy with my efforts as they turned out well. My vegetable garden design has worked out and I do get fresh organic vegetables though only in a small quantity. That is sufficient for us. My family is very happy with my work and appreciates it a lot!

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