Nature enthusiast, Ms. Anitha, and tennis coach, Mr. Jayakumar were the pioneers who decided to build a micro-forest in their own backyard. Even as a tennis coach, Mr. Jayakumar is extremely passionate about farming. The couple has built a small organic terrace vegetable garden in their house. Let us now learn about how they successfully created a micro-forest in a mere 2 cents of land.
Where is it?
This micro-forest with indigenous fruit trees of the couple’s choice lies 8 km away from Thiruvananthapuram City, on the Kattakada Road, Kerala, India. Google Map:
How were the trees planted?
The site where the plant must be planted is extremely important. The first step is to identify the plants that are indigenous to the soil. After compiling a list of the same, our team kept it in the proposed plantation area for a month prior to actual planting. This helped us figure out which saplings grew the quickest, the couple decided to plant more fruit-bearing trees as the place is high with underwater content.
How did the neighbors react?
While people may appear concerned about climate change upfront, there tends to be more resistance when they are confronted with an actual situation. It was hard for the couple to build a micro-forest in a residential area with houses on two sides.
Apart from the lack of public support, they had to deal with topographical issues as well. Water scarcity during the extremely dry summer months was a major issue. The saplings would receive proper hydration only after the implementation of a special micro-irrigation plan. Rice hull had to be used to stop the soil from hardening.
Type of plants: Mostly fruit-bearing plants
How do they feel?
Both Anitha and Jayakumar are extremely proud to declare that they own a micro-forest.
“We are very happy that now we are giving back the Earth something we had taken from her, states Mr. Jayakumar.
“Coming in contact with mud, water and shovels is a matter of joy and it takes me back to my childhood days. To get a chance to plant trees was really good, says Ms. Anitha, who is also a volunteer at Crowd Foresting.