Couple runs organic farm with rare flowers, vegetables, cows, ducks; visual treat for passersby
Haripad (Alappuzha): A garden near the national highway at Danappady here offers a visual treat for people with a wide variety of flowers like Memycylon Malabaricum (Kayampoo), vegetable hummingbird (Agathi Cheera), cannonball tree (Nagalinga tree), Mimusops elengi (Ilanji), burflower tree (Kadambu). There are over 5000 types of plants in the garden owned by Vijith and wife Veena.
The blue flowers of Kayampoo, coronavirus-shaped burflower and bright red flowers of vegetable hummingbird attract even passersby. The couple finds time to welcome visitors to the farm and explain the characteristics of each plant. All types of vegetables are cultivated here. There are 7 ponds in the farm and different indigenous varieties of fish are grown in them.
Apart from the trees and plants, there are six indigenous cows belonging to Krishna and Kasaragod dwarf breeds and also 600 ducks. Fertilizer required for the plants is produced from three biogas plants. Only organic fertilizer is used.
The couple opened a shop near the highway to sell the vegetables and fish produced in the farm. Hundreds of people keep coming to the shop regularly to buy organic produce. They also sell organic crops produced by 13 other farmers in the area.
The couple has received many honours for their farming venture. Vani had received the state government’s award for young farmer worth Rs 1 lakh in 2019. Vijith has won the government's Akshyashree award for organic farmer worth Rs 1 lakh.
An engineering graduate, Vijith had got appointment in the electricity board. But he quit the job due to the passion for agriculture. Vani has completed BSc Agriculture. After marriage, both turned into farmers and they have been managing the venture for 12 years.