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Vegetable crops can be grown in kitchen gardening in vary limited space of the residential area to meet the daily requirements of vegetables of a family all the year round. It ensures a healthy diet containing macro, micro nutrients, vitamins and bio active compounds by producing diverse kind of vegetables.

The fast food in city areas has evolved with the changing lifestyles of the young population. This fast food contributes little or no nutrient value to the diet, but instead provides excess calories and fat which affects health and resulting in obesity, loss of appetite, peptic ulcer, etc.

Vegetables play an important role to make our food palatable, easily digestible, balanced and nutritive. Vegetables grown in kitchen garden are fresh, safe, rich in nutrient and energy and superior in taste and quality in comparison to vegetables available in market for consumption.

Kitchen garden for nutritional security

The demand of nutritious vegetables is met by kitchen garden which not only improves availability of quality vegetables but also add diversity to diet, chemical free vegetables.

  • It made the availability of fresh and safe vegetables all the year round.
  • Efficient and effective use of land for growing of vegetables for throughout the year.
  • Efficient utilization of kitchen waste and water to produce compost
  • It is an excellent hobby and healthy occupation in spare time for the young and agedand a healthy recreation to the mind.
  • It helps in reducing vegetable bills as there are no transport charges, middlemen’s share

Vegetables are excellent source of different vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The source of different nutrients and phytochemicals and their health benefits of different vegetable crops given in Table 1 and Table 2.

Table 1: Nutritional value of important vegetables suitable for kitchen gardening

Vegetables crops Moisture (g) Protein (g) Energy (Kcal) Calcium (mg) Phosphorus (mg) Iron (mg) Carotene (mcg) Vitamin C (mg)
Vegetable Legumes              
Cowpea 13.4 24.1 323 77 414 8.6 12 0
Garden Pea 72.9 7.2 93 20 139 1.5 83 9
Broad beans 85.4 4.5 7.2 50 64 1.4 9 12
Cluster beans 81 3.2 10.8 130 57 1.08 198 49
Cowpea pods 85.3 3.5 48 72 59 2.5 564 14
French beans 91.4 1.7 26 50 28 0.61 132 24
Sword bean 87.2 2.7 44 60 40 2 24 12
Leafy vegetables
Chenopod leaves 89.6 3.7 30 150 80 4.2 1740 35
Beet leaf 86.4 3.4 46 380 30 16.2 5862 70
Coriander leaves 86.3 3.3 44 184 71 1.42 6918 135
Curry leaves 63.8 6.1 108 830 57 0.93 7560 4
Drumstick leaves 75.9 6.7 92 440 70 0.85 6780 220
Fenugreek leaves 86.1 4.4 49 395 51 1.93 2340 52
Lettuce 93.4 2.1 21 50 28 2.4 990 10
Mint 84.9 4.8 48 200 62 15.6 1620 27
Mustard leaves 89.8 4 34 155 26 16.3 2622 33
Spinach 92.1 2 26 73 21 1.14 5580 28
Cole vegetables
Cauliflower 90.8 2.6 4 33 57 1.23 30 56
Cabbage 91.9 1.8 27 39 44 0.8 120 124
Brussels sprouts 85.5 4.7 52 43 82 1.8 126 72
Knol-Khol 92.7 1.1 21 20 35 1.54 21 85
Broccoli 89.9 3.3 37 80 79 0.8 3500 137
Roots, Tubers and bulbs
Beet root 87.7 1.7 43 18.3 55 1.19 0 10
Carrot 86 0.9 48 80 530 1.03 1890 3
Colocasia 73.1 3 97 40 140 0.42 24 0
Onion (big) 86.6 1.2 50 46.9 50 0.6 0 11
Onion (small) 84.3 1.8 59 40 60 1.2 15 2
Potato 74.7 1.6 97 10 40 0.48 24 17
Radish pink 90.8 0.6 32 50 20 0.37 3 17
Radish white 94.4 0.7 17 35 22 0.4 3 15
Sweet potato 68.5 1.2 120 46 50 0.21 6 24
Turnip 91.6 0.5 29 30 40 0.4 0 43
Yam 69.9 1.4 111 35 20 1.19 78 0
Cucurbitaceous vegetables
Cucumber 96.3 0.4 13 10 25 0.6 0 7
Bottle gourd 96.1 0.2 2.5 20 10 0.46 0 0
Pumpkin (ripe) 86.0 1.4 25 10 30 0.7 2180 2
Ash gourd 96.5 0.4 10 30 20 0.8 0 1
Bitter gourd 92.4 1.6 4.2 20 70 0.61 126 88
Ridge gourd 95.2 0.5 17 18 26 0.39 33 5
Snake gourd 94.6 0.5 18 26 20 1.51 96 0
Solanaceous vegetables
Tomato (ripe) 94.0 1.2 20 48 26 0.4 302 27
Brinjal 92.7 1.4 4 18 47 0.38 74 12
Chilli 85.7 2.9 29 30 80 1.2 292 111
Sweet pepper 92.4 1.3 24 10 30 0.567 427 137
Other vegetables
Drumstick 86.9 2.5 26 30 110 0.18 110 120
Okra 89.6 1.9 35 66 56 0.35 52 13


Table 2:
 Vegetables rich in phytochemicals for better health

Vegetable Phytochemicals Benefits
 Beans Flavonoids (saponins) Protect against cancer, lower cholesterol
Broccoli Indole 3 carvinol,sulphoraphane Protect against cancer, heart disease and stroke
Carrots Beta-carotene Antioxidant
Tomato Lycopene, Vit C, Flavonoids Protect against cancer, fight infection
Onion & Garlic  (Allylsulfides) Protect against certain cancers and heart disease, boost the immune system
Watermelon Lycopene Protect against cancer
Bitter gourd Momordicin and Charantin Diabetes, blood purifier, Hypertension, Dysentery, Anathematic
Radish Isothiocyanates Jaundice, Liver infection, Piles
Chilli Capsaicin Antirheumatic

Location of Kitchen garden

Location is the most fundamental criterion for success of a kitchen garden. As most of the work is done by the family members in spare times, the location should be in the backyard nearness to the house. As far as practicable, kitchen garden plots should be located close to the well, water tap or other source of irrigation. The closer the vegetable garden and the easier it is to reach, the more you will probably use it.

It should never be located in the shady area of home which is generally not suitable for most of the vegetables. There should be enough of sunlight for major part of the day. The garden should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

The soil should be fertile and easy to till, with just the right texture -- a loose, well-drained loam soil.

Vegetable crops Suitable for kitchen garden:

Due to limitation in space, vegetable crops which give better yield per unit area should be selected. The cultivars should be selected according to the suitability of the region and according to the period of sowing. The crops, varieties and the season of growing in kitchen garden are given in Table 3.

Table 3: Vegetable crops and varieties suitable for growing in the kitchen garden

Groups Crop Varieties/hybrids Growing season
Solanaceous crops Brinjal PusaShyamla (long purple), Small round-PusaBindu, PusaAnkur Kharif (June/July-Oct/Nov)
Tomato PusaSheetal, PusaSadabahar, Pusa Hybrid-2, Pusa Hybrid-4, Pusa Hybrid-8, PusaRohini Autumn-Winter
Chilli PusaSadabahar Kharif
Leafy vegetables Amaranth PusaLalChaulai, PusaKiran Spring summer and Kharif
Beet leaf All Green, PusaHarit, PusaBharati Winter
Fenugreek Pusa Early Bunching, PusaKasuri Winter
Vegetable mustard Pusa Sag 1 Winter
Cole crops  Cauliflower PusaMeghna, PusaKartikSankar, PusaDeepaliPusaSharad, Pusa Hybrid 2,PusaPaushja, PusaShukti, Pusa Snowball K-1, Pusa Snowball Kt-25 Early-June/July-Oct/NovMid early-July/August-Nov/DecMid late-August/September-December/January Late-October/Nov-Feb/March
Cabbage Golden Acre, PusaMukta, Pusa Cabbage Hybrid-1 Winter
Broccoli Pusa Broccoli Kts Sel-1, PalamSamridhi (green), PalamKanchan (purple heading), PalamVichitra (yellow heading) Winter
Bulb and root crops  Onion Pusa Red, PusaMadhvi, PusaRiddhi Winter
Radish PusaChetaki,Rapid Red White Tipped, PusaMridula (breakfast radishes)PusaJamuni (pink fleshaed), PusaGulabi Pink fleshed), PusaVidhu(white) Mar-SeptOct-Nov Sept-Nov
Carrot Tropical- PusaVristi (red, heat tolerant); PusaMeghali (orange), PusaRudhira (red), PusaAsita (black)Temperate: PusaYamdagni (orange, temperate), PusaNayanjyoti (orange, temperate) Kharif Winter Winter and Spring summer
Legumes Cowpea PusaSukomal Spring summer and kharif
French bean Bush type (Contender, PusaParvati), Pole type (Kentucky Wonder, PusaHimlata) Autumn and spring summer
Dolichos bean Pusa Sem-2, Pusa Sem-3 Kharif and autumn winter
Cluster bean Pusanavbahar Spring summer and kharif
Garden Pea Arkel, PusaPragati, Pusa GP 17 Winter
Cucurbits Bottle gourd PusaSandesh (round fruit), Pusa Naveen (long fruit), Pusa Hybrid-3, PusaSantushti (pear shaped), PusaSamridhi (Long) Spring summer and kharif
Bitter gourd Pusa Vishesh, Pusa Do Mousami, Pusa Hybrid 1, 2 Spring summer
Pumpkin PusaVikas, PusaViswas, Pusa Hybrid 1 Spring summer
Sponge gourd PusaSneha Spring summer and kharif
Ridge gourd PusaNutan Spring summer and kharif
Cucumber PusaUuday, PusaBarkha Spring summer and kharif
Exotic vegetables Leek PalamPaustik Winter
Celery Ford Hook Emperor Winter
Lettuce Great Lakes, Chinese Yellow Winter
Parsley Moss Curled Winter
Kale Pusa Selection Winter
Brussels Sprout Hilds Ideal Winter
Cherry tomato Pusa selection 1 Autumn winter
Other vegetables Bhindi Pusa A-4, PusaSwany Spring summer and kharif
Bunching onion PusaSoumya All the year round
Drumstick CO-1, Co-2 -


Grow Mushrooms at home

Mushrooms are a healthy addition to any diet, as they are low in calories and fat, high in fiber, and contain high amounts of potassium. In addition, they are very easy to grow at home. Mushrooms are best grown indoors where the temperature and light conditions can be more readily managed. Mushroom prefer dark, cool, moist and humid growing environment.

In a house, a basement or spot under the sink may be ideal. For growing mushroom at home one may have a couple options for materials i.e. one can buy mushroom kits already packed with a growing medium that is inoculated with spawn.

Use 14 x 16 inch trays with about 6 inches deep.Fill the trays with mushroom compost materials and inoculate with spawn. Button mushroom appear within three-four weeks. Harvest them when the caps open and stalk can be cut with a sharp knife from stem. Avoid pulling mushroom which damages the surrounding one still developing. Harvesting every day results in a continuous crop for about six months.

Therefore growing of vegetables in the kitchen garden following above practices will ensure nutritional security in the urban people of our country.

References

Chadha, M.L. (2013). Urban Home garden-Planning, design and management. In: Urban Home Gardening. All India Kitchen Garden Association, New Delhi, p. 4-11.

Evans, C. (2010). Kitchen Garden In: The Farmers' Handbook, "Near The House. p. 1-19.

Gabelman, W.H. and Peters, S. 1979. Genetical and plant breeding possibilities for improving the quality of vegetables.Acta Hort., 93: 243-270.

Kalia, P. (2012). Designing futuristic vegetable varieties for multipurpose. In: Winter School compendium on Breeding for higher productivity and Industry suitable food colourants and bioactive health compounds in vegetable crops: conventional and Hi-Tech cutting edge approaches (Eds.PKalia&T.K.Behera). p 1-118.

McAleese JD and Rankin LL (2007) Garden-based nutritional education affects fruit and vegetable consumption in sixth-grade adolescents. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 107: 662-665.


Authors:

Partha Saha1, Namita Das Saha2 and BS Tomar1

1Division of Vegetable Science, 2CESCRA

ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi 110 012

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