New Delhi – Over the decades, Indian cuisine has developed a unique pattern of vegetable consumption based on a seasonal calendar that follows the annual cycle of foraging, planting, harvesting, cooking and storing edible plants.
Another happy fallout from the pandemic has been a revival of gardening. Chefs set up their own farms and collaborate with groups of farmers. As consumers invest time in growing their own products.
Seasonal vegetables are nature’s way to enrich the diet, and the traditional diet includes whatever is locally available in season. These models have caused consumers to invest time in growing their own products. This is when the pandemic years kicked off the kitchen/patio garden trend. Gardening can help understand seasonality and the benefits of seasonal vegetables. This led to the ultimate goal of people getting to know each other and creating their own vegetable garden.
According to the Godrej Food Trends Report 2022, 33.3% of local fruit and vegetable production comes from window/kitchen/patio gardens. The global theory of gardening has highlighted the trend of innovative uses of kitchen waste. 36.5% of experts said consumers are focusing on zero-waste cooking at home, leading them to pay attention to their cooking and eating habits.
Chef Kunal Kapur said: “While most city dwellers are constrained by space, an increasing number of people are taking up vegetable gardening, even if it means just a few potted vegetables and herbs on their balcony, as the joy of nurturing your own food and seeing it come to fruition is very rewarding, and it also makes consumers more sensitive to the food systems they rely on.”
Avid gardener and author of Everyday Superfoods, Nandita Iyer got into urban gardening a decade ago. “Everything was a learning experience. Sprouting and nurturing even the simplest things like limes and cilantro was an exercise in patience. But it helped me realize the value of things we often take for granted. Gardening also helps us understand seasonality. “Our desi vegetables are locally available and cheaper because they grow abundantly in season. We need to consume them more mindfully, cook the cuisine of our roots, but also try to be more versatile in order to get a broad spectrum of colors on our plates and different micronutrients and phytonutrients in our diet,” she concludes.