Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar Jan 2:
Every one loves to have fresh vegetables from their backyard but with the rising real estate prices, a kitchen garden of your own is a dream in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Now rooftop garden, specially kitchen garden is a catching trend in the fast growing city in India.
Sahid Nagar resident, Maheshwar Khilar, is one of those who has built an innovative garden on his rooftop with vegetables, fruits and flowers.
He has also inspired more than 300 families around the country to go for a garden on their house tops.
Maheshwar, a retired OAS officer, was always interested in plants and farming since childhood. He has been growing a kitchen garden since last 23 years on his rooftop.
His roof top garden houses nearly 30 types of plants including medicinal plants, herbs, flowers, trees and vegetables. A 4 to 5 feet tall papaya tree, full of fruits is the cynosure of all eyes.
Potatoes, onion, garlic, bitter gourd, brinjal, bottle gourd, tomato and coriander leaves are all produced in his green patch. He has successfully grown mango, lemon, papaya and banana plants on the roof.
He has used discarded buckets, plastics, broken water tank to grow plants on his roof. Interestingly, Maheshwar has never used chemical fertilizers or pesticides for his garden.
He has created his own herbal medicine, a mix of fresh cow dung, cow urine, jaggery and water, to increase the fertility of his soil and prevent diseases.