Lately, my mother (the kids’ grandma) started her own urban farming project with seeds like basil (in different varieties), chilli, and lettuce. She used local materials like bamboo to construct a two-storey seed nursery. This is quite a space-saving technique leaving the pathway free for people to pass through. Planting greens not only cools the air but is pleasing to the eyes as well.
When the basil matured, the family had pasta in pesto sauce. She also made her own basil & garlic raw juice concoction as natural medicine.
Some years back, she made a remarkable make-over to an unused piece of land near her community centre. The garden became her source of joy and pride. My parents are natural “green thumbs” – those people gifted with the capacity to make things grow profusely. One of the local agriculture technologists in the city taught her how to propagate lemon trees through the grafting-method. After several months, a small orchard sprouted in what otherwise was previously an unused sloping piece of land.
She also grew roses and other flowers that blossomed generously enough to add decor to our house and offerings for Sunday masses she and the kids attend.
As most hobbyists often say, gardening takes patience, lots of it. Who says we can’t smell the flowers in the city? Well, ours is a small one, but seems to be on the road to rapid urbanization. It is good to see that women like my mother have continued creating green spaces even in places nobody thought can spew abundance.