My mother-in-law’s father was a farmer, he grew all his food supplies like vegetables, rice, and fruits on his own farm. He had a pond full of fishes and a small poultry that provided for eggs and chicken. He had cows and goats that supplied milk. He also had a small khacchi ghanni to grind mustard oil from mustard. They went to the market only to buy salt and wheat. They never had sugar and always used jaggery that they made themselves during the winter months and stored and used all through the year.
He and his wife used to spend the whole day growing their own food. I was fortunate enough to meet his wife after my marriage. She told me stories of how backbreaking work she did to grow those foods. She also had nine kids to look after. It was not easy but the best part is she never had to depend on anyone else for her food. She never had to consume pesticide laden fruits or processed food that are risky and low on nutrition.
During the lockdown, I realized that it is time we probably also should start not depending on others for our food. However, things are easily said than done. Many of our generation are actually giving up their corporate jobs and starting organic farming but that is not so easy. I do harbor a dream of going back to basics and probably start living a more sustainable life.
We live in an apartment so there is space constraint but we still grow few plants that meet a few of our food requirements on our balcony garden. This papaya tree we grew inside our apartment complex. Four years back my husband got dengue. Many others in our society were also simultaneously affected by dengue. All of use were desperately looking for papaya leaves. There was only one papaya plant in our society and everybody was taking leaf from it making it bare. We realized the importance and after he got better sowed seeds of papaya and now this is the outcome.
Linking this to Parul’s Thursday Tree Love.