Pandemic provided a sustained period of free time to experiment with daily routine, pursue old hobbies, and develop a holistic view of life. After cooking, and doodling; I picked up gardening as a new hobby. Little did I realize that gardening requires a lot of work. It is not enough to just plant saplings. It made me respect the hard-working farmers even more for their hard work in feeding us.
Starting from just a tiny coriander plant, step by step, I was able to build a terrace garden. Watching when they first germinate from the soil, watching those plants grow every day, and protecting them from insects and adverse weather gave me a kind of attachment that everyone wanted to have in their life. So what did I learn? What can you learn? These are just some of my observations.
Research & observation: Growing plants is not an easy task. Even more difficult is to identify plants suitable to grow in a limited space. Internet and a simple walk to a nearby nursery can help you there. Some plants need a good dose of sunlight every day while others are more suitable for indoor environments.
Foundation & support: A good foundation is necessary to plant a tree. This requires good quality soil, a sufficient quantity of fertilizer, and a dedicated space in your house. Just like small kids need parenting until they began to grow to face challenges; tiny plants also need such support. The need for proper planting techniques, watering on time, and preventing them from insects are some of the desirable actions.
The more time you invest into gardening, the more you will realize the difficulties associated with growing plants. Farming is just a scale-up version of gardening with much more difficulties. You can easily control indoor climate conditions for your small nursery but controlling conditions outdoor is far more difficult. At the end of the day, you cannot prevent an adverse weather condition. But you can definitely nurture your plant to withstand all such challenges on its own.
One size does not fit all: This is true while building your nursery. Let me compare it with a normal human mindset. Some people are unable to thrive in a big organization and some people are simply not suitable to thrive in a start-up culture. Similarly, some plants cannot grow in pots as they need bigger fields. Many plants are suitable to grow only with 8-10 hours of daily sunlight while some are fine with 3-4 hours of sunlight. Knowing what works with each plant is necessary before setting out to build your own nursery.
Patience: Some plants can grow directly from seeds while others are planted through roots. No matter how they start, all of them require careful observation throughout the process. A tomato plant takes more than 3 months before starts bearing fruits whereas a coriander plant does the same in just 3-4 weeks. You need to have a lot of patience to go through this entire process. You need to observe the right amount of water and regular sunlight as the plant starts to grow.
Comparison with Human
Unlike a human being, a plant follows a set routine. A lot of flexibility is needed to deal with people around you but it is easy with plants. After some time, you will gain enough experience and confidence to grow them in large numbers. Observing your plant growth, saving them insects, and providing them a little support will also make you a happier person.