This incident dates back to the time when I was a little bit child and my parents are posted in the western hill town of western Odisha. The town named is Tensa. It is a tiny town with all cement structures all over in that area and the size of the population is within thousands.
It is an iron ore-rich place and all over this place has been excavated for mining purposes. Here, my dad is posted as chief manager in the bank and there we have been moved from the capital city of Odisha.
We have been never to this far away place as the place is so full of natural greenery as if nature is alive with us and it seems everywhere you look at you will find green and fresh lease of life without any doubt. I was reading there in class fourth and was a child and was a bit depressed about being transferred from the place of a faraway land.
The nature trail is wonderful and it is a hilly town where everywhere large hilltops and the town are situated in between the vast dungeons. Roads at that time were very slender coupled with potholes due to landslide and falling of trees.
Most of the time there has been a cool climate and everywhere you look as you can find clouds are in motion. We have reached there at nine pm, and the bus stand was on the north side of the city. We reached there on the bus as the bus is the only moving medium as there is no train route and flight route there.
After reaching there, I find as a child everywhere darkness crippling at nine pm in the night, and I was bit scared and mom brought me close to her and tries to talk with me to dilute my attention from existing circumstances. We were reached at officer’s quarter at A-zone and from distance Daddy showed me the quarter, and in the crippling darkness, I found plenty of trees and no quarter.
In reality, in those localities, people plant trees in front of the quarter and the home was like the back side of gardening. A newer concept which we will not find at the coastal region of Odisha. Being born in coastal regions, I found this housing structure menacing at the first glance as no home is to be found if I glanced at the main gate.
Daddy smiled and carried me to our new official quarter, for some distance we have to walk through between trees, a new experience which later on proved to be something learning guide for me and slowly I walked across the garden to reach the big house and I was awestruck to see home after the garden.
In coastal Odisha, exactly opposite is there but here the structure of construction changed. Few days have passed and I was admitted to Ispat High School. Tensa and I were bitten familiar with students there after some weeks.
Durga Puja holiday came and for some days our school was continuing for the holiday, and I stayed at home sitting on the French window and looking towards the garden where at one place, there is blank space.
After seeing this band space inside the garden, I called mummy to tell about this, she smiled back and told me we would be cultivating tomatoes there. Mummy always fond of smart gardening practices and in seeing a better place here, she began utilizing time during office hours to Daddy.
I asked Mummy. What is she doing? She states that it is helping mother nature to grow foods. She tells me like her. Mother is also the mother of all human beings. The soil is our mother nature and we should be respecting mother nature.
She calls me to stand before her while she was herself preparing the kitchen garden and I found extremely nice and pleasing to find the smell of soil when water is sprinkled on the ploughed land of Mother Nature. She is invited to smell the smell of water soaked ploughed soil and tells me that I should always be respecting Mother Nature at any cost.
I hear all wonderful talks and that talk still running into my ears and continue till today and now I am cultivating kitchen garden and my mummy is standing beside me and directing me what to be done or not to do during kitchen farming.
I love potatoes and Kissan tomato ketchup. Jam and juice and she say you are fond of tomatoes and let us cultivate tomatoes and I am pretty excited and surprised to discover the tomatoes which daddy brings from the market, can be cultivated and produced here.
Mummy is registered member of Kissan and for this, they send tomatoes seeds to home and first, those seeds are washed cleanly with water, and I washed some of them and most of them washed by mummy and then put the seeds in a red bowl which is free with Kissan tomato ketchup.
We have a separate larger container, and soils are pushed for it and the sprinkling of water down there and the soil becomes moist but not fully wet. Mummy shows to me and also asks me to touch soil, I put a finger and enter into the soil, and she says the soil is elastic so that no soil sticks to my hand.
As a child I am enjoying nature’s company and I want to taste the soil but mummy hold my hand and says I should not put anything into my mouth, even that time I cannot know where is my mouth, she hold my hand and put into my mouth to show me place of mouth and then washed my hand from water residing there.
Then she asks me to bring the pot with seeds of tomatoes on the bowl free with Kissan tomato bottle and then she asks me to hold one seed and then she shows me the demonstration to put the seeds into three to four meter inside soil and so that it can easily germinate. Then, mummy sprinkles some soil on it to cover seeds and in seeing this I sprinkled some soil and then some water on it.
The soil is sprinkled enough to cover the seeds. Then, mummy placed the planted seed in a big plastic bag that can hold the soil of a large container and then tie the top of the plastic bag with string and is required to hold the top of the plastic bag and her tie it shut.
I want to sprinkle water on the heavy container before plastic bag cover, but she says now no water to be sprinkled on it. She placed the planted container over the refrigerator. She says that it should not be placed in a loving, cool or moisture-prone areas.
The better place is on top of your refrigerator. Once the seeds sprout and have broken through the soil surface, she removes the plastic and at that time calls me to stay beside her to look at the sprouted seeds.
She does not put under the sun as it can create moisture under the plastic which can obstruct the emergence of seeds from sprouting. Now, she removes the plastic bag and put the sprouted seeds pot at the French window pane where sunshine is touching the window.
She employed to check the moisture of soil and if it is becoming drier than she put water on it and one sprayer is done with the help of vacuum cleaner and the sprinkling of water is done on these sprouts for ten to 15 days. I used to view and check the dryness of water to know exactly the need for water and in this way, ten to fifteen days have passed.
Now, it is time to transfer them to a giant pot, mummy has decided to transfer these trees to shade areas of the front garden. Now, it is now time to look after these plants. My task is to determine the moisture level of soil and I used to check it for fun and if I found the soil is drier and dustier than mummy and I come to water down the soil to increase moisture in and around plants.
Now, we are looking after tomato plant as normal plants after 20 days of preparation. After almost a month plant is now established and daddy brought water soluble fertilizer and feed to the plants twice only in order to render them immune from external environmental hazards.
After 20 to 25 days, plant size becomes six to eight inches and now mummy brought some small sticks and add it support to plants. Now, plants have to support and they are standing straight there. Slowly, fruits have appeared and plants become sympathetic with red tomatoes, mummy covers the trees with nets and I held her in my capacity so that net covers will protect plants from birds and small worms.
Mummy tells meowing to plants lots of fresh air are blowing inside our home and also juicy tomatoes are there and I plan to gift to my grandparents during ours proposed summer vacation visits there.
Mummy gives me one tomato, I taste it and it tastes as same as Kissan tomato ketchup bottle and I find it extremely pleasant to eat tomato on one hand and ketchup at the other, it is the same set of taste, as kissan tomato ketchup is done with 100 percentages juicy tomatoes created with utmost care and manual methods.
This is so full of nutrition and it gives immense power and strength to all. It is an enjoyment to eat tomatoes on one hand from my garden and eat Kissan tomato ketchup with milkshake by creating a sundae.
As a child, I have discovered nature and create one “Kissanpur” in my vicinity. Mummy says she will register with Kissan website and ours Kissanpur will be visible there and it seems it will be there in the website where everyone can see and visit the virtual garden place.
Now, I become friend with tomato plants and hang out there while eating delicious samosa with Kissan ketchup. In my childhood, I have created the Kissanpur in front of my garden and that memory is still there and subsequently, at the different place I have created many kitchen gardens with the help of my parents and subsequently, I help my little sibling to understand and create kitchen garden and befriend with nature.