Air pipes

From spinach in PVC pipes to strawberries in bottles, a woman grows 1 kg of vegetables a day at home








Lizy started her terrace garden in Bengaluru in 1998 with staple vegetables like chillies, curry leaves, spinach, etc.





Lily made the decision to retire after more than 25 years running a snack business to focus on growing her farming business. She claims that even though there was not enough room, it was not difficult at all.












“Even though our terrace is 1200 square feet, I only have room for 1000 square feet of vegetable gardening because the remaining space is taken up by solar panels and water tanks. But for me it was more than enough.Since I started growing my food at home, I have to say that I am happier and more at peace, said Lizy.

Her father was a teacher and agricultural enthusiast who worked extremely hard on their farmland while she was growing up in Kerala. Because of her husband’s business, she moved frequently, but she was so driven by it that she tried hard to grow something in every little space.

Finally, Lizy established her terrace garden in Bengaluru in 1998 with staple vegetables like chillies, curry leaves, spinach, etc. She extended the terraced garden, which currently has almost all vegetables and many fruit trees, about nine years ago.

1 kg of vegetables per day

She currently picks around 1kg of vegetables every day from her terraced garden, which she says is more than enough for the five people in her family.

“We only use the market to buy onions and maybe potatoes. The rest is in our garden.

“I’ve grown virtually every vegetable, from the most common to the rarest, but I haven’t kept up with the numbers. Every kind of vegetable, spice, and herb comes in a variety of forms, and there are also has many fruit trees, so for the past few years we have been eating only fresh, non-toxic food, picked daily from our terrace,” she explains.












On her terrace, Lizy grows her vegetables mainly in grow bags stored on raised supports. In addition to grow bags, she also grows fruits, spices, herbs, and leafy greens in buckets, barrels, PVC pipes, and even plastic bottles.

“I always use anything and everything, according to my policy. I never throw away the plastic water bottles, but I use them to create miniature pots, especially to grow berries. Also, I grows leafy vegetables like spinach, cilantro, etc. PVC pipes,” she continues, noting that although these were her ideas, her husband John helped her bring them to fruition.

Uses only organic fertilizers

Lizy says she only uses organic fertilizers and insecticides in her garden to combat pest attacks and plant diseases. She says her extensive agricultural research over the years has helped her develop the best organic mixes, fertilizers and insecticides.

“Despite being one of the best organic fertilizers, cow dung has not always been easy to buy in town. Therefore, to nourish the soil and promote the growth of my vegetables and fruit trees, I mainly relied on organic products like homemade compost, peanut cake, rice water, etc. “says Lizy.

She uses a special method to ensure a steady supply of organic fertilizers, especially for fruit trees. “I cut the bottom of the plastic bottles. After that, fix the open mouth in the soil of the pot. The bottle should be filled with ordinary kitchen scraps, dried leaves, etc. before being filled with jaggery, buttermilk or cow dung. Then use a coconut shell to seal the bottom of the bottle. According to her, she refills the mixture once or twice a week. “The mud generated inside the bottle gets will drain into the soil, nourishing the growth of the plant,” she explains.














Lizy says that before she plants anything, she carefully prepares the soil.
Lizy says that before she plants anything, she carefully prepares the soil.





Lizy says she uses a variety of techniques to control parasites. One is the use of a yellow trap which he claims helps deter certain pests. “Other than that, I make a mixture using 5ml of neem oil in a liter of water and add soap or detergent. Spraying this mixture on the plants once in a while would resist pest attacks You can also ferment rice water, dilute it in water and spray it on the plant,” she adds.

Lizy says that before she plants anything, she carefully prepares the soil. Lizy, who always makes sure to only acquire top quality seeds and saplings, explains: “For this, I mix soil with lime and dry it. »

“I buy vegetable seeds and saplings from people I know or trusted online farmer groups. Additionally, I pick fruit saplings from various places I visit when I travel,” she adds.

All vegetables in one place

On her terrace, Lizy plants a wide range of vegetables, including several species of tomatoes, brinjal, peas, okra, beans, spinach, peppers, bitter gourd, chow chow, air potatoes, cucumber, drumstick, potatoes, broccoli , cauliflower, celery , and more.

She also grows spices including cardamom, pippali (long pepper), ginger, turmeric and pepper.

His collection of strawberries, which are usually grown in water bottles or on PVC pipes, is one of the terrace garden’s standout features. On its terrace, in addition to strawberries, there are also guavas, pomegranates, mangoes, jams, grapes, custard apples, water apples, western cherries, avocados, dragon fruits, oranges, blackberries, blackberries, etc.







Lizy has received numerous medals and honors from various organizations in Kerala and Karnataka.
Lizy has received numerous medals and honors from various organizations in Kerala and Karnataka.





Lizy has won several awards

For her rooftop gardening business, Lizy has received numerous medals and accolades from various organizations in Kerala and Karnataka. She continues, “I have so far won more than 15 awards including Mathrubhumi Award, Haritha Keralam Award, Hope Charitable Trust Award and Sarojini Damodaran Foundation Award.”

She says anyone can grow their food, even in small spaces, with a lot of effort and patience. “Even if it is only a chili plant when it flowers or produces its first fruits, it makes us content and happy in some way. Although difficult, growing its food is quite rewarding in terms of health. It keeps me going,” she says. with a smile.











First published on: 07 November 2022, 05:21 IST