Meet Saneera who seeks to develop a miracle vegetable farm in UAE

An engineer by profession, Saneera is confident that she can manage and run the Miracle Vegetable Garden. Photo: Special arrangement

The floral wonder of Dubai’s Miracle Garden, home to over 45 million flowers in what is billed as world’s largest flower garden, is spreading the magical joy of colours.
And taking a cue from this novel concept, a Dubai-based homemaker hailing from Thrissur in Kerala is pursuing her dream of rolling out a similar offering – A ‘Miracle Vegetable Garden.'

Saneera Kalathiparambil has unleashed her hitherto unknown farming skills in her villa at Dubai’s Al Rashidiya locality by nurturing 60 varieties of Tomatoes and other vegetables.
Saneera, who hails from Mala in Thrissur district, has also submitted her novel concepts to pursue such farming techniques by submitting a report on the portal of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government, , and is awaiting a response from authorities on her proposed Miracle Vegetable Garden project.
She attempts to make known the different approaches to be adopted in vegetable farming to students, researchers and the common public, Saneera told Manorama Online.

Unique vegetable varieties can be produced in the UAE itself if a careful approach is adopted and that is the motive for pursuing such a project, she revealed.
Though there are many vegetable farms operating in the UAE, entry is restricted to those facilities. Saneera says entry can be regulated through paid tickets for entry to her Miracle Vegetable Garden. An engineer by profession, Saneera is confident that she can manage and run the Miracle Vegetable Garden. She is hopeful that the authorities in the UAE, who do not hesitate to embrace unique concepts, will give the nod for her project. Saneera has put in 10 years pursuing such unique concepts in vegetable farming.

Saneera’s proposal to authorities
Dubai’s Miracle Garden is indeed a miracle, though there are many private vegetable farms to produce vegetables and make them available for consumption. We can develop not just a flower garden but a Miracle Vegetable Garden also. November to May is the ideal period for vegetable farming in open spaces. We can celebrate vegetable farming through tours to the Miracle Vegetable Garden which would help the common people to understand how we can grow vegetables for our consumption. The Miracle Vegetable Garden can be utilised by students by conducting study tours.

Most of us are ignorant about how we can procure our food items for our consumption through farming. Though a computer engineer, she says she had a fascination for vegetable farming. Her dream is to set up a Miracle Vegetable Garden. She intends to tap her deep knowledge about various ways of farming in regions including Dubai. She says after a decade of living in Al Rashidiya she has gained vast experience through her farming-related activities despite having only a meagre budget to run her household. As it has become difficult to continue vegetable farming in the place where she resides, she is seeking help from authorities to set up a farm in Dubai and hopes to impart her knowledge of farming to others through the venture.

Photo: Special arrangement

Fresh arrivals
Saneera’s colourful Tomato garden has new arrivals of exquisite varieties of vegetables this season also. Sixty different types of Tomatoes in all sizes and shapes is the star attraction. The spread of plantain trees has also increased. Another major attraction is the Mysore bananas. Bilimbi, Malabar spinach and Henna plants (Mailanji) have also been grown this time apart from cotton, Roselle, Sessile Joyweed (Ponnanganni), Watermelon, Sweetmelon and Rockmelon. Big gooseberries also lend a unique touch to her Tomato garden along with 15 varieties of Raddish, 13 banana varieties and eight Ayurveda herbs.

Saneera’s story
When Saneer came to Dubai 12 years ago to join her accountant husband, she aimed at landing a job alone. But she shelved her job aspirations for the time being as she had to take care of her eldest daughter. It was when she got bored with her household chores that she nurtured the idea of growing vegetables in her villa.

Her first experiment was by planting curry trees (Murraya Koenigi). When curry trees flourished in the villa, she realised the soil was suitable for vegetable farming. She then procured soil laced with cow dung from Varsan in Dubai and planted many vegetables including peas, soya beans, clove beans, kale leaves, pumpkins, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower, gren chilly, and strawberry. Lemon grass, night-blooming Jasmine, Mexican sunflower, Peace Lilly and Turtle vine were some of the other attractions.

Photo: Special arrangement

The wafting aura of these plants and flowers welcomed the guests to Saneera’s villa. The mystical garden also had some curators of music – birds.
Saneera does all the farming by herself, though she gets assistance from her husband and kids–eighth-standard student Nafla Fathi of Dubai Nims School, class 6 student Hasna Mariam and Mohammad who is in kindergarten. Their backing boosts Sareena’s determination to pursue her passion.

Shortage of space for farming is her major worry. She would have worked wonders if she had some more areas for vegetable farming, says she. As she is averse to pesticides, it is difficult to keep away pests, making her attention on the farm of utmost importance. Rats pose another major threat to her farming activities.
Saneera also shares her farming experiences through her YouTube channel (HasNaZ'world Gardening&DubaiVlog).     

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