56-Year-Old YouTube Star Gets Rs 60K/Month From Organic Terrace Garden

It was in the late 1990s when Rema Devi started organic farming around her home premises in the town of Changanassery in Kottayam, Kerala. She started as a small business to meet her daily needs. But over the years, she has grown into something bigger, earning him a decent monthly income.

He grew up helping his grandmother, who Rema says was an amazing organic farmer. “She literally grew everything necessary for the whole family, whether it was legumes, vegetables or fruits, we had everything organic and fresh. My younger sister and I used to be her assistant. So I think it was her influence and of course the experience I got that helped me excel in organic farming,” says Rema. The Best Indian.

For the last 20 years he has been growing a variety of vegetables and fruit trees on the terrace and around his two houses.

Eventually, Rema started her own YouTube channel with the intention of guiding others to take up organic farming. He also started making quality seeds from vegetables and selling them.

“Terrace gardening can be done in the most sustainable way without much expense. I try to teach my viewers how to maintain a garden efficiently through my channel,” says the 56-year-old.

Chemical Free Vegetables for the Family

Fresh tomatoes harvested in Rema's terrace garden
Fresh tomatoes harvested in Rema’s terrace garden.

Rema, who completed her higher studies in Botany, says: “I have an emotional bond with agriculture, as it reminds me of my childhood and my grandmother. Even though I couldn’t look for a job after school, I’m glad I can do what I love the most.”

“When my children were little. I bought a snake squash at the market and stir-fried it. But I was surprised to smell some kind of chemicals. It was then that I made the decision to grow clean vegetables for my children,” recalls Rema.

Since then she has been growing all the vegetables for her family organically in her home garden.

Initially, he started farming in the space around his house, which was built on 13 cents of land. Later, when another house was built on the same lot, Rema moved her farm to both terraces, which eventually reached around 2,500 square feet.

According to her, although it seems easier to nurture a garden on a terrace than to grow in the ground, there are certain things that must be taken care of.

“When maintaining a terrace garden, one must remember that it is the top layer of our house. We have to guarantee security. So I painted my entire terrace with white cement to prevent water leaks. And to avoid having pots and grow bags directly on the terrace, I used coconut shells instead of expensive supports,” he says.

Organically grown spinach and squash in Rema's garden.
Organically grown spinach and squash in Rema’s garden.

Rema started her farming adventure with spinach and cowpeas as her family loved these two vegetables. “I kept adding more to my collection, and now I have different varieties of almost every vegetable, including local and seasonal vegetables,” she adds.

Among the vegetables he grows are different varieties of chilies, okra, eggplant, tomatoes, spinach, peas, squash, onion, potatoes, beans, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, radish, cabbage, and lettuce.

Apart from vegetables, he also grows some fruit trees like papaya, Malabar plum, rambutan, guava, custard apple, sapota and different varieties of lemon.

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In addition to growing fresh vegetables for her family, Rema also saves her seeds. “As I grow more than enough for my family, the rest has been used to make seeds,” she says.

Seeds are sold through farming groups on social media. She also sells them to those who contact her on WhatsApp. “Seeds are priced between Rs 25-40 per pack, depending on the variety and availability. Currently, I earn around Rs 60,000 per month, just through seeds,” says Rema, who has been receiving orders from all over the state.

Formulation of homemade fertilizers and pesticides

Row Devi in ​​her organic garden on the terrace.
Row Devi in ​​her organic garden on the terrace.

“Gardening should never be an expensive affair,” says Rema, who provides tips and tricks on her YouTube channel, Rema’s Terrace Garden, where she shares how to maintain a profitable and sustainable terrace garden.

Rema also makes organic fertilizers and pesticides using kitchen waste.

She says, “I don’t waste anything from my kitchen. All bio-waste like egg shells, onion husks, coffee or tea grounds, and even items like buttermilk, curd, rice water, coconut milk, etc., can be turned into organic fertilizer. Even fish waste can be used for the same purpose.”

“Over the last two decades, I have been able to make different types of organic fertilizers and pesticides using readily available ingredients. Now I’m trying to help others through my YouTube channel,” says the YouTuber.

She shares one such organic fertilizer she formulated which is loved by many on her channel.

“Mix some cow dung, cow urine, neem cake, peanut cake, and green leaves, and set it aside for 10 days. Then add 100 g of lime powder to the mixture and let it sit again for five more days. You can dissolve this mixture in a 1:10 ratio with water. It makes a very good bio-mud that can be applied to all kinds of plants.”

Organic vegetables in Rema's garden
Organic vegetables in Rema’s garden

According to Rema, everyone should grow at least some vegetables on their own at home. “Rather than growing clean vegetables on your own, there’s a kind of happiness and satisfaction that comes with it. You would never know unless you try this,” she says.

For seeds, you can contact Rema Devi at 79077 87439.

Edited by Pranita Bhat; Photo credits: Rema Devi

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