Maira and Piedade, two Goan women who proved that age is no bar. 75-year-old Piedade Fernandes from Corjuem and 81-year-old Maria D’souza from Aldona. Both retired career Goan women who took to converting run-off-the-mill house gardens into lush, green beds of varieties of vegetables, flowers, medicinal plants and fruits. All done organically. Living along rocky areas made gardening cumbersome. Dodging the laterite stones whenever possible or cutting the rock if needed, both women never gave up. Their hard work and positive attitude yielded results.
For Piedade, learning new techniques of gardening keeps her going. “I attend workshops, lectures and seminars to increase my knowledge of what goes into maintaining a garden and making your own compost,” says Piedade.
Producing her own compost using cow dung and foliage. Self-taught gardener, Piedade cultivates vegetable like brinjal, cabbage, ladyfinger, cauliflower, amaranth, tomato, chilli, cluster beans, lentils, spinach, herbs and spices, as well as exotic vegetables like broccoli, turnip, zucchini, to name a few. “The garden abodes different varieties of fruits like pineapples, cashews, jackfruits, mangoes, chickoos and flower plants like roses, orchids and lots more,” says Piedade.
Piedade sells the produce in the Mapusa Friday market. Besides, people also visit her garden to buy vegetables and saplings.
“The only reason why I continue gardening is that I don’t want to keep my land barren, moreover I like doing it,” says Piedade.
On the other hand, Maria has stuck by her garden despite her deteriorating health. Unable to travel extensively, she now relies on the internet to get information. “I do my research on the internet and get my answers within a few seconds. Sometimes I do not get the desired results and hence I ask people who have knowledge about this topic,” says she.
Not having any formal agricultural education, the two self-taught gardeners attended workshops to understand what goes into planning a garden and how it is to be maintained properly from watering plants to weeding.
Both have participated in several gardening contests held across the state as well.
Maria and Piedade’s success story is their hard work, perseverance and will to make a difference. If you have a success story share it with us so others could be encouraged.
Information credit: Navhind Times