“The garden became a central and very important focus of their lives contributing to their psychological well-being”
Kitchen gardening contributes to household food security by providing direct access to food that can be harvested, prepared and fed to family members, often on a daily basis. For this it is not necessary that you have a lot of space to grow fruits and vegetables in home. It is much easier to practice gardening on small patches of homestead land and in pots. Even very poor and landless people in urban and peri urban areas can practice gardening activities on roof tops in pots and can get very healthy produce. Thus, home/kitchen gardening at some level is a production system in which everyone can easily enter. In the present scenario, food inflation, use of sprays for pests, insects and use of sewerage water in peri urban areas for vegetable production, the home gardening is the best option to minimize the harmful effects of commercially grown vegetables.
Gardening is typically a family activity involving women, men, children and the elderly, with some tasks carried out separately and others jointly. For women it is a good and constructive activity which makes people self sufficient in the production of vegetables and fruits. A woman is responsible of kitchen, with the little effort they can contribute a lot for their family. Through kitchen gardening, they can get better quality food; it is also a learning activity, like different varieties of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc. They can enhance their skills and knowledge through such a great activity. People also learn about the diseases, quality of food, importance of organic food and their effects on health. Most of them are adopting it as a hobby and as a fun also. It is now a day symbol of healthy life style. It’s a good source for sustaining healthy communities and their livelihood.
It can play a significant role in enhancing neighborhood ties and promotes physical, social, and mental well-being. By providing access to fresh organic produce, opportunities for physical activity, contact with nature, and share produce with neighborhood, friends and family as a gift which promote physical, mental health as well as social ties in communities. Psychologically there is satisfaction that comes from the joy of a successful harvest of fruits and vegetables plants. In case of a stress and depression it works like an effective medicine which gives relief and peaceful impact.
It is a healthy, joyful and unique kind of activity. From kitchen gardening, people can get fresh and healthy vegetables, fruits from their own gardens along with psychological satisfaction for serving and eating food that is grown and harvested by them. Most of the people of developing world prefer to eat organic food to avoid the risks attached with non organic food. Thus the kitchen gardening is one of the source of organic food and it can also control the food expenditures. According to the literature kitchen gardening benefits the mental health, mental position, and personal wellbeing of individuals. Older persons do more gardening than younger ones and cultivation activities generate both illness prevention and healing responses. Health professionals use plants and gardening materials to help patients of diverse ages with mental illness improve social skills, self-esteem, and use of leisure time. The field of horticulture therapy promotes plant-human relationships to induce relaxation and to reduce stress, fear and anger, blood pressure, and muscle tension.
Organic vegetables are healthier than non-organic counterparts because they are free from chemicals and sprays. It benefits not only you and your family, but also gives you healthy and peaceful environment. The vegetables grown in home are in such a small scale that insects/pests could easily be controlled by homemade organic spray and remedies with very low cost. People also grow fruits and vegetables in pots on roof tops and it’s easy for every one to utilize their rooftops in an effective manner. For the promotion of kitchen garden it is necessary to introduce “Pot culture” in an effective manner. According to the survey research it was found that on rooftops grown vegetables give more healthy produce, less pest attack and more availability of air and sunlight. The climbing plants (cucumber, tar, grapes, gourd, bitter gourd etc.) can also be grown against walls, balcony and grille to save space. The medium size pots can be used to grow tomatoes, chillies, okra, aubergine (eggplant) and many other seasonal vegetables can easily grown.
In the present scenario of unemployment, inflation and political instability these people emphasize on poor quality inorganic vegetable.
Although they know the food they are purchasing includes many pesticides, chemical and fertilizers which are dangerous for health and unhygienic but there is no alternate way to avoid such foods. Consumer preference for organic food is based on a general perception that organic has more desirable characteristics than conventionally grown alternatives. Human health, food safety and environmental factors, along with several other product characteristics such as nutritive value, taste, freshness, appearance, and other sensory characteristics influence consumer preferences. Organically grown products are available in the markets but in very limited amounts though the demand for organic products is there. Consumers are willing to pay high price for organic products which can be viewed as the cost of investment in human health. Knowledge and awareness about organic products can affect attitudes and perceptions about the products and, ultimately, buying decisions of the consumer. Consumers’ willingness to purchase is influenced by limited and irregular supply, higher price of the products and very limited access and information.
The following constraints identified about organic vegetables were irregular availability in the local markets. It needs to increase the education level of low income group and create awareness to differentiate the organic and inorganic products. According to the report 3.5 million people in Pakistan lives below poverty line, there is a need to target this group of population for the reduction of food security issue. Through media and awareness compains issue has to be addressed in the forum which attracts people to prefer organic grown vegetables in their homes and conduct different seminars to encourage people to buy organic vegetables. Give them knowledge how to grow healthy vegetables, how kitchen gardening reduce their financial burden in less resources and how it’s beneficial for their families? It’s very impressive if kitchen gardening promotes at school level and give training to children’s for the better implementation which provide healthy atmosphere and increase interest in youth