My parents used to say either you are born a Greenthumb or you are not! It’s not a skill you acquire over a period of time, it’s just YOU.
The way you communicate, care, talk to your plants, tend to them lovingly just as you would to your family, that’s all there is to it.
My parents were avid gardeners. Every Railway bungalow we moved into was converted into a home garden by my parents. I remember weekends used to be just that.
My mother and father toiling away, sweating profusely under the glaring sun, getting dirty, feeling the earthworms, removing the weeds planting something new, mourning the death of something old.
And I in return never felt inclined to put myself into it. I would grudgingly carry mud, manure and seeds to them but me getting dirty into it? No way.
When my father used to say, You do have a greenthumb, you are born for it, just that you are not READY, I would dismiss it as yeah that’s a senior citizen’s hobby I don’t need to learn.
But 2 years ago, with all the stress and breakdown I was heading to because of my work, and having to tend about 8-10 plants my mother left behind after she passed away, I had no choice but to take care of them, more because of my connection to her than anything else.
Slowly, that connection turned into a slow process of love for growing plants.
Over a period of time, what became a minor diversion from work turned into an obsession to planting, sowing everything green. Why GREEN? Because at that time all I wanted to do was see Green. With the ever bustling city turning into a big ugly box of concrete, my need of wanting to see Green, wanting to see some calmness in my life made me pursue this obsession of mine.
But here is where I will stop talking about MY PASSION & OBSESSION with growing because this is much bigger than that.
This is not about me, not about changing my terrace garden into a haven, NO. that’s not the intent.
The intent is as simple as this. EARTH, SOIL, SEEDS, WATER, YOU, ME & US…
The need of the hour more so today is to GROW YOUR OWN FOOD. It’s that simple.
It’s not rocket science, it’s not about being an activist and wearing khadi and protesting about every environmental/political/religious issue.
It’s as simple as knowing the source of the food on your plate. Yup that’s it.
When I started growing vegetables, in small batches in small pots little did I know that I hadn’t even scratched the surface of something bigger!
It’s not just about organic food, organic stuff, polluting the environment.. Granted these are serious issues but there is a bigger picture you are missing there..
It’s what you want to give back to your FAMILY, and by family I don’t mean just your blood relations, it means the family you see in your colleagues, your friends, your neighbourhood, your community, your country and your world.
What are we leaving behind? Not just lands to be real estate developed and sold at a higher price, not just cars and jewellery and fixed deposits, not flats or homes and precious antique furniture that we are so proud of.. This is not a legacy
Your Legacy is what you will leave for this Earth, it’s soil, it’s waters.. and believe me, this would be the biggest and most precious gift you can give to your loved ones.
When I attended the National Permaculture Conference as a first timer, having no clue where to start from, it got me excited, nervous and wanting to learn more.
But what I got was not just knowledge from these amazing people who are like you and me, it also told me the power of wisdom and how it can transform people’s lives into doing so much bigger than themselves, and these people had no idea how to start, where to go about but what they did was never stop.
They just kept going on and as they went along, they inspired, motivated, people like YOU & ME!
Yes, ordinary people got together and made it extraordinary.
From Naresh Save of Kalpavruksha farms in a remote place in Gujarat speaking about Natural Farming and giving simple solutions to Parvati Bai, a farmer from Adilabad district in Telangana who was able to transform her soil depleted land into a lush acre along with Raya Cole from Aranya Agricultural Alternatives.
The fiery Priya Ramasubban who took it as a responsibility to regenerate a lake Kaikondarahalli near her residence in Bangalore, working within the system, getting people together along with the natives and making it inclusive to Subash Reddy of SMARAN shocking us with facts on the dismal state of Borewell digging in Hyderabad.
Deepika Kundaji of Pebble Garden Forest, Auroville who converted a dry 8 acre land in 1994 to a lush green forest and Vani Murthy from Bangalore who relentlessly talks about zero waste management in urban cities and how it is POSSIBLE for each one of us to make it happen.
I saw the power, wisdom, resilience, determination and quitetude in each of these women.
As I walked out of the conference, I realized I can never look at Earth, Soil, Water, Seeds the same way again.
It’s the reason why we still exist. Every little creature that inhabits this earth has a role to play in our lives, in it’s ecosystem and yet we, considered the most intelligent beings on this planet are trampling all over it..
You don’t need to be an activist, you don’t need to give up your daily lives & luxuries to be aware. You can still have your car, your second home, your jewellery and your real estate.
But.. can you start with growing your small & tiny home garden? That’s all you need to do. and that’s all this Earth & Soil is pleading you to do.
This might seem tiny. inconsequential but believe me this is your LEGACY that you can leave to your loved ones…