Do you ever wonder whether it is possible to farm where there is no soil? Nila Ranavikar, a native of Pune, has successfully turned her 450 sqft terrace into a lush garden where organic vegetables and other plants are grown. Nila hasn’t used soil or any other conventional potting mixture to plant the saplings; instead she has used unique manure that she herself has prepared. A talented cost accountant and a feisty marathon runner, Nila now is a successful home gardener as well.
Nila has been doing terrace farming since the last ten years. She began thinking about making compost as she was looking for ways to effectively manage kitchen waste. It was few of her friends who suggested terrace farming using compost.
Nila did a research on the internet on how to cultivate vegetables without soil. She then studied about making plant buds, watering and the kind of manures that could be used for such cultivation. Now, Nila has planted countless varieties of vegetables, fruits and even sugar cane in more than one hundred containers on her terrace.
She uses dried leaves, cow dung and kitchen waste to make the plant bed on which she cultivates the vegetables vegetables. This soil less ‘potting mixture’ is very potent and can be used to cultivate wide varieties of vegetables and fruits.
Nila vouches for the incredible advantages of using such a potting mixture. The most important among them is that the plants wouldn’t be affected by pests or insects. Besides, it wouldn’t support rogue growth as well.
Nila along with other women in her apartment complex who equally loves farming have begun a Facebook page in which they constantly update information about terrace farming. This page has more than thirty thousand members who regularly communicate with Nila, asking about organic vegetable farming. Nila also conducts seminars and workshops on farming.