Thursday, August 23, 2012

Teen going green with a passion

When boys his age prefer to be lost in technology, U Ramnath Shenoy is nurturing his passion- farming. All of sixteen, he has a full-fledged garden on his terrace where he grows a variety of vegetables. It all began when he attended a programme in school  about agriculture. “The session was so interesting that I could not imagine another hobby other than agriculture,” Ramanath says.

He attributes his successful vegetable garden to the sessions at school. “There were prizes given away for those who maintained their garden well. Every activity included in the programme at school ignited my interest,” he says

Ask him why he opted for terrace farming, and he says that since they do not have enough space in the compound, the rooftop was the only option left. Three years from then, Ramnath’s garden now abounds in various kinds of vegetables like egg plant, okra, spinach and various kinds of gourds. Ramnath’s garden has already become a rage. He also distributes vegetables from his garden to his relatives and neighbours.

To sustain the garden, Ramnath has shunned artificial fertilizers and pesticides. “I make the requisite manure in my home. A concoction of turmeric and garlic and a decoction of tobacco are a prerequisite in this regard.

Concoction of turmeric and garlic is easy to make. Though decoction of tobacco is available in the market, I prefer it home made,” he says. Apart from that, Ramnath also makes use of vermi compost.

He feels his dream would not have been possible if he not received support from his parents. Occasionally, his younger brother Sreevyas also lends a helping hand in maintaining the vegetable garden on his terrace.

Ramnath’s father Umesh Shenoy says that watering the plants during his exams is the only kind of help they give their son. “There are many concoctions and blends which has to be made. We still do not know how to make all those. It has been three years since he started taking care of his garden. We hardly interfere, and only give occasional help. But he has our moral support,” Umesh says.

U Ramnath Shenoy who is a student of Saraswati Vidya Niketan, Elamakkara lives with his parents Umesh Shenoy and Preetha Shenoy and younger brother Sreevyas Shenoy.

published in The New Indian Express