ORGANIC FOOD

Hello all,

In South Asia, most of the parents are unhappy with food in these days, they think it is impure. They have reservations regarding the growth of human foods; the chemical sprays and latest techniques to grow more food have destroyed their nutrient values. They think most of the diseases are due to the chemical sprays on fields that are difficult to remove even after a thorough wash. They used to say “Alas! Food was pure in our times”. This disappointment is due to the difference in techniques; once the vegetables and fruits were grown in organic fertilizers. No pesticide, no preservatives; all pure and natural.

Apart from going in depth, latest techniques are necessary for more food to fulfill the increasing requirement of growing population. This is a source to grow more and economical food for those having fewer resources. But we have not lost the chance; we still have it i.e. by growing our own organic food in our kitchen garden. We can do it on our own or can choose someplace all together for combine cultivation for few families. At home, you do not need many of pieces of equipment or techniques, all you require is some extra space and care. Organic vegetable and fruits are very easy to grow and good for health. They could be grown in pots and can be placed anywhere in sunlight or under shade. They can also be kept anywhere like the terrace, lawn, rooftop, laundry area, portable crates, portable shelves or a free space out of your house (if allowed).

Main and compulsory ingredients are healthy seeds (it can be replaced with seedlings from a nursery), pots, organic compost, the mixture of soil and sand, watering shower, a little patience, and passion. The last one is the most important for each and every step of growth. The Internet is full of small and effective ways of initial training. One should focus on organic ways such as organic pesticides, organic fertilizer, and watering techniques. The reason for some training is that different plants have different needs. Some require a lot of water; many needless, a lot need eight hours of sunlight but few are good in the shady area. Several are delicate to treat and fewer are rough and tough.

Do not worry about it, all requirements are manageable. If you have a shady area with less sunshine then pots can be placed on walls with hangings. Plants can be provided with artificial ways of sunlight (IR or UV lamps) or reflection can be made with mirrors (if possible). On the other hand, if there is a lot of sunshine all the day, one can cover the area with shade or garden net. You do not need expensive and stylish pots for kitchen gardening. Extra and cracked buckets, used ice cream containers or thermophore containers are also good for at least kitchen gardening. Every person has his own imaginations and is free to use his mind according to the place and resources. Even waste plastic bottles are being used after modification to grow mint and coriander leaves.

Once you get started, it will grab your attention with daily growth. I love the time when seedlings come out and raise their shoots out of the soil. Recently, I grew tomato and mint at my terrace, it was great and growth was so rapid and extra that we distributed some of them to our neighbors. These pictures are from my kitchen garden. It has less sunlight but I have managed the space. By the time, I have learned many techniques according to my ease. It is a friendly suggestion to all my readers that just for sake of one-time experience, everyone should try it. I am sure it will be a great hobby apart from a good and healthy food.

Best regards.

 

 

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THE SPRING – NOW AND THEN

Hello all,

This season of spring is provoking me to describe the beautiful memories of Lahore festivals that I had participated in and enjoyed throughout the year or especially in spring. There were Horse and Cattle Show, Fire Work Show, National Industrial Exhibition, Music Concert, Basant, Art and culture exhibition etc. My city Lahore, took lead to introduce “Food Street” that is still a place to spend some time with loving ones for the refreshment of mind and tummy. But the atmosphere is not there anymore. Everyone has a threat of terrorism in their conscious. Even government level functions are now being arranged within the walls under top security measures. The fear leads our children to spend most of their time at home on the internet. Internet activities are not bad but these are only activating our brain, eyes, and fingers. Our body and soul is not meant to be lazy. The human body needs some positive and enjoyable activity besides routine exercise.

We still have some events like Spring Flower Show, Birds Show, recent Pakistan Super League match etc, but unfortunately, we are missing the festivity due to fear of terrorism. Actually, I was not in a mood to discuss this situation but it is now so deeply indulged in our daily life. I want to share the sense of festivity that I enjoyed a time ago. First of all, the live music and music concerts were my favorite most. I personally like to listen to it at Al-Hamra Open Theatre where I enjoyed both Sufi and Pop music. Especially, legendary Abida Parveen and Surayya Khanum are unforgettable.

It was a food for the soul to listen to them. Cinema is always a luxury, but cinema culture was also at the peak in Pakistan in 80’s and 90’s. I was keen to watch my favorite movie according to my budget and there were three categories. Anyone can come and enjoy movie or air-conditioner. I myself witnessed many people sleeping during the movie and if they were asked why the answer was “we came here to sleep 3 hours in the cool environment”. Now a day, cinemas are providing many facilities as compared to old cinemas but they are also charging higher. A common person has to think many times before planning to go to multiplexes.

Then, the second but most participating occasion for me was Industrial Exhibition. Small Industries items were my most bought items for my home. During it, I always enjoyed the rush of different people around, happy, fearless and enjoying the environment. Food stalls were also a big fascination for all of Lahoris. At that time, Fortress Stadium was not much captured with posh and expensive food chains. One could enjoy the available means. As far as Horse and Cattle were concerned, it was for promoting the dairy farming and at that time, I had less interest in it but various and colorful floats and Tattoo Show(Fire-works) were excellent to watch.

I also visited many arts-related exhibitions, although, I had less awareness of art at my young age, it was difficult to differentiate the category they had.
They were same to me. Once, my friend in N.C.A (National College of Arts) invited our entire group to see their art exhibition. We all friends were very excited but that was all about abstract art.  Whenever we asked any painter what this is all about, the answer was the same,” it is our inner feelings”. We laughed and asked why it is inside you and not us. Well, it was fun and those boys were immature, now they must be at their best and so as we can now at least understand a bit about their art.
“Basant” was always a day, the most memorable and enjoyable for all of Pakistanis. I wrote a little on it before. Flower exhibition is also another favorite of all my family. I am thankful to officials that it is still being exhibited regularly in March throughout the country, in big cities. Different types of flowers and their arrangements always attracted my whole family a lot. I am also fond of gardening so there are always many things for me to learn and enjoy.
I am hopeful for a revival of all such festivals and much more because time has changed and so that these should be modernized according to recent requirements. A need of the hour is to bring some opportunity for enjoyment and to provide the safe and calm environment for people to come and have fun. I also want to thank our Pak Army for their concrete steps and arrangements to stop criminal and terrorist activities.
Our children are our tomorrow and we must take care of them. We have a responsibility to provide them a safer environment for their minds and bodies along with an environment for entertainment and fun.

 

Best regard.