Village Leemoon Bheel community develops kitchen garden
The recent rainfall in September has created a ray of hope for the Thar desert people to have wild vegetables and fruits like mushrooms, melons, watermelons, apple gourd and other leafy vegetables for their own consumption as well as little extra for the sale in local markets.
Previously, the community received scattered rainfall in June and enjoyed the wild vegetables for a small period, as they could not receive another rainfall to save early sown crops like pearl millet, guar, moth bean and mung bean.
The delayed rainfall again has benefitted the standing crops and grass fields, helping the community to survive by saving crops and growing new food products.
The people of sandy village Leemoon Bheel in Taluka Kaloi, Tharparkar district have cultivated vegetables including green chili, ridge gourd, apple gourd and eggplant at the recently established kitchen garden near the solar-powered deep well and hope to have safe food items soon.
The village comprises of around 125 households, mostly agriculture farmers and herders living there for generations.
The Fast Rural Development Program (FRDP) had provided a solar-powered deep well to the community to have safe drinking water near their doorsteps.
Previously, the community people had old wells where they used to fetch water for their domestic needs as well as for their animals. But due to climatic variations they observed changing water quality of wells. Now they have solar-powered deep well and they not only take water for their domestic needs and animals but also adapted innovative approach to establish kitchen gardening on waste water.
The FRDP team has given seeds of vegetables and fruit tree plants for the purpose with proper guidance to the community people.
The kitchen gardening site at the village was quite attractive, where the community people have sown vegetables for their consumption.
In fact some of the plants have been damaged by pests and others discarded for multiple reasons. But the kitchen garden presents a scenic look, where women take care of the plants to avoid destruction of the plants.
While talking to the elderly and vocal women of the village it was learned that the fresh rainfall may benefit this kitchen garden. They have attached a hope to have safe vegetables for feeding their children.