Organic Kitchen Gardening and my personal musings

This blog is about my experiments with Organic Kitchen Gardening and sometimes about other personal experiences of my life… Please leave a comment about anything that touched you. Comments help to keep the blogger motivated to keep blogging :)

What is this blog about ?? May 7, 2009

I love greenery. May be it all came from my maternal grandpa. The 6 ft tall, strong and stout farmer who died when I was still a kid. But the genes have passed on some traits nevertheless i.e., the love for plants. My mother, an avid plant lover herself has helped to nurture this trait. As a kid we didn’t had any land or backyard to grow plants, so just grew few flower plants and some vegetable plants on our terrace. Couldn’t do it very consistently though due to the menace of monkeys in my home town Puri.

Around 2001 I came to Bangalore (The Garden City) in search of my livelihood. Always marvelled at the greenery of Bangalore city (although it has reduced considerably over these years, thanks to human progress) and longed for a place of my own, where I can do a bit of gardening. One day I came across this apartment which had the provision of private lawns for few of the ground floor flats. I knew I wanted it badly for myself and did everything I could to get my hands on it. Ultimately I got the possession of the flat around May 2009 with a lawn of approx 800 sft all to myself.

Albeit I realized too late, the full lawn doesn’t receive sunlight as the light is blocked by the apartment. Only half of it receives sunlight for a period of 4-5 hours daily. Out of that 400 sft sunlit space around 150 sft is concrete in from of rainwater drain and foundation wall for the boundary.

So, the challenges are clearly laid out before me.
1. What to grow on the part which doesn’t receive direct sunlight more commonly called as bright shade as the nearby area receives sunlight and it’s not complete indoors.
2. How to effectively utilize the concrete space receiving good sunlight for growing plants. (Probably pots)

I want to work towards a sustainable future with an organically grown kitchen garden. Aim to grow vegetables, few common herbs, and even fewer seasonal flowers in this garden. Hopefully the lessons I learn from here will help me in my future (post-retirement) life to develop a bigger organic farm (commercial ?? maybe ๐Ÿ™‚ ), which is what I ultimately dream of doing some day.

I live here with my lovely wife Sweta and a cute doggie Zoya (an Irish Setter).

This weblog is to chronicle my journey on developing this small garden and sometimes write about my other interests like long distance running (I have run 2 half marathons and one 10k in the past 1 year), cycling, swimming and occasionally rant about few other things when I feel like.

If you are visiting this blog, please leave your invaluable comments to let me know, about what you feel I can improve on and what you liked about the blog.

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45 Responses to “What is this blog about ??”

  1. Chandra Sekhar Says:

    Hi,
    nice to see your blog and your interest in gardening. i am a postgrad in agri and working with an NGO in hyd. we work with farmers and promote Sustainable Agriculture.
    Which place u belong to in orissa? me from Rayagada but now our family settled in AP.

  2. rajapanda Says:

    Hi Chandra,

    Nice to hear from you. I am from Puri, and here in B’lore since 6-7 years. I am very keen to know more about sustainable agriculture. Please do pass me some tips or reading material if you have. In my garden I have resolved to not use any kind of chemicals.

    Regards
    Raj

  3. raghu rao Says:

    Hi raj,

    I read with interest your blog on your experiments with organic terrace gardening. I was an organic farmer myself and had a 27 acre “certified organic” farm @ Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh. Had a lot of problems with labor and neighbours and so had to give that up. I am now Consultant – Organic Agriculture, with the Agriclture Man Ecology Foundation. We offer day long courses in roof top gardening and have a small roof top garden on our office at Ittumadu Cross, Kathiriguppe on the Ring Road. I am a roof garden enthusiast too!! and it was good to read your blog. It will be good to exchange notes. Raghu 97406 19891

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Raghu,

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. Nice to know that you offer courses on Organic Terrace gardening.
      Next time you conduct it, please keep me in loop. I’ll try to make it.

      Right now am looking for answers to few questions, see if you can help me out:

      1. Which utility(vegetables/leafy/medicinal) plants can grow in bright shade. Almost half of my lawn doesn’t get direct sunlight and am wondering what to grow there.
      2. Is it possible to do a soil analysis of my garden and find what will grow best in it.

  4. Priya Says:

    Hi, I stay in hsr layot. I love plants a lot and set up a tiny garden (mostly flowering plants) in front of my house. I have been very lucky with all the plants. They produce nice flowers. I still want to grow more plants but do not have space anymore. Looking for plant lovers to exchange ideas and experiences in bangalore. Also looking for some courses in growing plants, especially the bonsai. Please share if you come across any.

    Cheers.
    Priya.

  5. Nana Says:

    Boss!!!
    I will give some hybrid seeds from mahyco.

  6. Nice to see your blog. very impressive.
    I represent SAHAJA SAMRUDHA-organic farmers association of Karnatka. Recently we launched G Cube (Green Gardeners Group ) to support urban garden lovers.
    Wants to hear more from you.Pl call 9880862058 or send email prasadgk12@gmail.com
    Krishna Prasad

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Prasad,

      Thanks for visting my blog. Nice to know about your organization and the kind of work you people are doing. I am going on a vacation now. Will be back after 2 weeks. Will give you a buzz once am back.

  7. We have good collection of Traditional vegetable seeds . I would like to send some of them.
    krishna prasad

  8. Good to discover like minded people!

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hello Dr Susan,

      Glad you liked my blog and spent some time here.
      I too saw your blog and liked it, will visit there for more. See you around.

  9. Most impressive blog, I love it! So much to dig into.

    I have a kitchen garden in which I spend a lot of time an energy although my climate is tough I love to work the soil. I love the greenery too. I’ll be back soon.

    Greetings from Tyra i Vaxholm/Sweden

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Tyra,

      Am sorry to be replying you so late. Somehow i missed it. Loved to see you around here.
      Your blog is one of the most outstanding one. What lovely pics in monochrome. I am spell bound. Will visit it more often.

      Regards
      Raja

  10. Basant Says:

    Feeling jealous that you’ve a lawn of approx 800 sft in the booming metro ๐Ÿ˜‰ Kidding … Wish you luck to keep up your good efforts towards a sustainable green future.

    • rajapanda Says:

      Arre basant Bhai,

      sorry to reply to you so late. Although the land size is really good considering it’s only an apartment, what I really miss is the sunlight. At any point of time in a season only half of it receives sunlight. That makes it lot difficult to grow any perennials.
      so, i have to stick with only seasonals and plan their planting properly.
      I am learning some thing about plants almost everyday.

      Regards
      Raja

  11. sudha Says:

    Loved ur blog and happy to see your passion for organic farming/gardening!!

    great to have “known” you

    take care
    sudha

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Sudha,

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Saw you blog too. Your area’s of concern are just right on target. Loved your garden too. Wish you luck with all your endeavour.

      See you around.

      Regards
      Raja

  12. Geetha Says:

    Hi Raj,
    Congrats for your great progress you have made on organic gardening. I am very glad that I came across your impressive blog.
    I ave taken your clue and am in the process of getting panchagavya from Saikiran.
    My special thanks for this organic initiative.
    Regards,
    Geetha

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Geetha,

      Happy to see you around and thank you so much for all the kind words
      Gardening is a hobby where one can learn something new almost everyday so the process continues for me too.
      Wish you good luck for your garden.

      Regards
      Raj

  13. indrani Says:

    Hello,

    I did see in a previous post that you were using a lot of paint buckets as containers. Can you pls tell me how and where you drilled holes to allow for drainage.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Indrani.

    • rajapanda Says:

      I tried two ways to do that:

      difficult way: heat of some sharp object like say a nail and pierce it to make the drills. But it’s very time taking, advisable only for maybe 2-3 buckets.

      easier way: Try and get a drill machine from someone and drill them.

      Regards
      Raj

      • indrani Says:

        Few More Questions:

        Were the holes drilled to the side or at the bottom? One hole per bucket is fine? Anything to be done to stop them from clogging?

        Sorry to bother you with so many questions.

        Regards,
        Indrani

  14. rajapanda Says:

    Hi Indrani,

    Never mind the questions, i love the interaction part on the blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    I had made it in the sides very close to the bottom. 3-4 per container.
    Had put one post specifically addressing your question on clogging.
    take a look. hope it helps
    https://rajsmusings.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/ensure-proper-water-drainage-for-containers/

    Regards
    Raj

  15. Hi.
    Just came across your blog. Seems to be very impressive.
    I am new to gardening. And I am sure I can love alot from your blog.

  16. Techguru Says:

    Raj,
    Have taken the liberty of posting about your blog in mine. Hope its fine with you.

  17. arjun Says:

    very impressive work…..

  18. KRISHNA PRASAD Says:

    Dear Raj,
    I have set of rare variety seeds collected during my Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal trip.Are you intrested in growing and multiplication?
    Regards
    Krishna Prasad
    SAHAJA SAMRUDHA
    9880862058

  19. Smita Says:

    Hello Mr. Raj,

    Your blog is wonderful.. I was amazed to see the awesome snaps that you have posted ! I’m impressed with the content too ๐Ÿ™‚ …..and apart from gardening … would like to mention this.. Zoya is very very cute !:)

    Regards,

    Smita

    • rajapanda Says:

      Thanks Simta,

      And thank for mentioning Zoya. She is an abandoned dog which we have adopted ๐Ÿ™‚

      Regards
      Raja

  20. Revathi Says:

    No post for over 2 months – that is very unusual! Hope you and your family are fine.

    Revathi

  21. siri Says:

    Hi, Raj your blog is very inspiring for people who r interested in gardening.Keep it up.

  22. Mistry Says:

    Read your blog on roof kitchen gardening, I was just trying to roof gardening I have about 1000.sq.ft terrace and recently on web search for suitable web to guide me for my gardening. You can give me guide as how to go along with this. Just a fresh start nothing done so far.Your help and guidence will be appreciated. Regards

  23. Banashankari Says:

    Hi, Firstly thanks a lot for wonderful blog. I just came through this blog yesterday afternoon and have read the whole blog in reverse in a day. I am disappointed though that you have discontinued for the time being, but your earlier blogs would be great inspiration for me. Recently we moved to a flat yes, in blore , ground floor with a small patch and similar to yours, lack of sunlight due to apartment and trees. I do plan to start gardening and hope to gain lots of inputs from your experience.Thanks again , I am sure will be visiting it a lot of times for references.

  24. Pallavi Says:

    Hello Raj Bhai,

    Just going through some organic kitchen blogs then popped by your Blog..To be honest the more I visit your blog ,i always refreshed as it looks new to me. Awesome work. Add more pics from your terrace(Taipai)..How is Bhauja and Swaraj…
    Good to see Strawberry farm photos…

    Best Regards,
    Subha

  25. Anu Says:

    Hi.. this is my first visit and i was very impressed with your garden. we were staying in bangalore till last year. i have started a small kitchen garden as i don’t have sufficient space in my balcony. recently i found a few mealy bugs. do you have an organic way to kill these pests?
    regards,
    anu

  26. Suma Says:

    I have of late started to grow organic veggies and since am a novice ,started to browse net and thus luckily came across your blog.
    Ever since I first spotted ur blog,i have never browsed any other site coz,whatever information I wanted was there in your blog.
    Thanx a lot for making me passionate about organic gardening


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