A resident of Gulberg area has started a rooftop vegetable garden after a surge in vegetable prices.
With a small kinnow plant on one part of the roof, there is a small variety of flowers in the garden as well, which are spreading their beautiful colours.
Abdul Majeed has grown seasonal vegetables and flowers in the rooftop garden of his three-storey, five-marla house.
He waters and cleans the garden before going to the office every day. He also exercises in the small rooftop garden instead of going out for a morning walk amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Talking to The Express Tribune, he said, “I inherited the hobby of growing vegetables and gardening at home from my father who was from Amritsar. He was a graduate of Khalsa College. After the establishment of Pakistan, my family moved to Lahore. My father set up a small garden next to our house and started cultivating various types of vegetables and flowers there. That is how I acquired this hobby.”
He said he did not have a farm in the city, therefore, he planted seasonal vegetables on the rooftop of the house. The vegetables grown by him include spinach, cabbage, radish, turnip, green chilies, coriander, onions, green peppers and mint. In summer, he grew tomatoes, cucumbers, lemons, bitter gourd and other vegetables.
The Punjab Agriculture Department recently started a kitchen gardening project under which seeds of various vegetables were provided to the citizens. The scheme was discontinued later but vegetable seeds can still be bought from the offices of the department or a shop.
Majeed explained that due to the cultivation of different vegetables, one or the other is available for cooking at home every day. "These are chemical-free and fresh vegetables that are also beneficial for health.
"In this era of inflation, it is becoming more and more difficult to buy vegetables from the market. That is why citizens should grow vegetables inside their homes and fulfill the dream of a green Pakistan. You can get a packet of different vegetable seeds for about Rs50, while saplings are also available."
On one part of the roof there is a small garden with several kinds of flower and fruit plants. Grass has also been planted in the garden. Majeed elaborated that he laid a special floor of chips on the rooftop before the plantation.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2021.