Express news service
VISAKHAPATNAM: As tough as the 2020s and 2021s were, both offered silver liners. To cope with difficult times, many people have turned to find solace and good health in activities that they always wanted to do or never thought they would do.
With growing concerns about health and food safety, many people have started to engage in organic patio gardening as they are now more aware than ever of where and how the food they eat comes from. are cultivated. But not everyone can garden well the first time, they also need someone to guide them, as different climatic conditions require different techniques and expertise.
For most of the people of Andhra Pradesh, that âbeginner’s guide to gardeningâ was Madhavi Guttikonda, a caring busty mom, who has carved her own niche in organic patio gardening. Whether it’s sowing flower seeds in his small space ten years ago, nurturing an 1,800 square foot garden with an ever-growing variety of organic produce, and winning the Rythu Nestham award in the category terrace gardening for the year 2021, this Vizagite’s gardening journey has been fruitful not only to her but also to the audience of her YouTube channel, ‘Mad Gardener’, on which she shares the knowledge she has acquired through the observation, experience and experimentation of terrace gardening.
Speaking to TNIE, Madhavi Guttikonda, the 43-year-old terrace gardener from Visakhapatnam said, âFor me, the word peace is synonymous with gardening. Initially, being an anthophile (someone who loves flowers), I started out with a few flowering plants like roses, hibiscus, fragrant flowers, and a few seasonal flowers. But it was when I moved into my own home that my idea of ââgreens started to take shape. I switched to organic patio gardening and started growing leafy vegetables.
âNeedless to say they had to be some of the most delicious vegetables I have ever eaten,â beamed Madhavi. âInstead of just reaping the benefits all the time, we can add and take care of nature through gardening while reducing our ecological footprint,â she noted.
Half a decade ago, she started growing vegetables like tomatoes, radishes, eggplants, carrots, sweet potatoes, different varieties of beans, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, almost all types of squash and herbal medicines. She also grows mushrooms, turmeric plants and fruits like guava, dragon fruit, papaya, blackberries, cherries, lime, lemon, banana, sugar cane, etc.
âI continue to experiment with seasonal and exotic varieties. The experiments failed at times, but that never deterred me from trying, âsaid the gardener. âIt’s gratifying every time I take a walk in my patio garden. Besides physical health, gardening greatly benefits mental and emotional well-being as it calms our senses and helps us stay connected to nature, âMadhavi said.
Stating that the yield from his garden alone supports a significant portion of his family’s food needs throughout the year, Madhavi observed, âBeing able to harvest for ourselves and our family in times of crisis. , whether it’s a virus outbreak or sky-high prices, it’s so satisfying.
At the suggestion of her children, the plant mother took her first steps on YouTube in 2018 by launching her “Mad Gardener” channel. The channel now has 483,000 subscribers. Not only that, this bona fide gardener also has a notable presence on Instagram with 45,000 followers and 2,18,000 on Facebook.
“I just wanted ‘Mad Gardener’ to be a virtual library, where one could dispel any gardening-related doubts,” she said. âMy comments section was inundated with thank you messages and questions on how to troubleshoot certain factory issues. That’s when I decided to make a point of posting videos online every week, with the goal of helping more people understand the importance of independent living.
Speaking about her future plans, she said: âWinning the Rythu Nestham Award-2021 has inspired me to do more despite the challenges. Sharing the stage with many large farmers was when my wish to become a full time farmer one day turned into a goal.