| A gardener waters trees at the site of the proposed kitchen garden in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee |
Bhubaneswar, April 21: The directorate of horticulture has mooted a proposal to set up a model kitchen garden at Saheed Nagar. Aimed at promoting organic farming, the garden will be set up in collaboration with the Kitchen Gardener’s Association at an estimated cost of Rs 19.90 lakh.
The demo unit will come up on a 30-feet-wide and 355-feet-long land. It will consist of a rooftop garden of 2,000 square feet, which will showcase production of fruits and vegetables. Besides, the garden would also have a 1000sqft circular kitchen garden and a tiny garden of 100sqft.
The garden would also be used for preparation of “amrut jal” prepared from cow dung, cow urine and molasses, a rich microbial solution with plant nutrients, in a tank of 100 cubic feet. Besides, a model cow dung gas plant will also be set up and the power generated from it will be used for the garden, while the slurry will be useful for composting. The proposed structure would also have a nursery for providing quality saplings to kitchen gardeners in the city.
The model garden will also impart training at a 400 square feet training centre equipped with audio and visual facilities to give field exposure. The model centre would also exhibit water harvesting, tapping of solar energy and two vermin pest units where kitchen waste would be used for composting.
Members of the association said that the centre would train 500 farmers for organic farming and rooftop kitchen garden. The members said that a mechanism would be developed to collect kitchen waste from 500 households in Bhubaneswar and vegetable peels from ten temples and “kalyan mandaps” which would be converted into a bio-fertiliser.
“The centre would also impart training to women members of 500 households in segregation of household waste into degradable and non-degradable, wet and dry components and use the kitchen waste as fertiliser in their kitchen garden,” said managing trustee of the association Maheswar Khilar. He also said that the centre would supply quality seeds, saplings, soil, container, and farmyard manure to 5,000 city farmers at an affordable price.
“The proposal would be placed before district committee for approval,” said an official of the horticulture directorate. Though most of the city households face the problem of space crunch, some residents have come forward to set up organic kitchen garden on their terrace or rooftop. With the culture of kitchen garden catching up, city residents feel that the model centre would be helpful in promoting kitchen garden and organic farming.