Herald: FOR SOME, HOME IS WHERE THE GARDEN IS
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FOR SOME, HOME IS WHERE THE GARDEN IS

13 Mar 2018 05:00am IST
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13 Mar 2018 05:00am IST
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The Botanical Society of Goa’s annual all- Goa Home Garden Competition has played a huge role in promoting and recognising the beauty in home gardens, a passion shared by Goans across the state

There is one common theme that can be seen in

most Goan houses, more so in their backyard.

In many such cases, after years of meticulous preparations and nurturing, the organic outcome can leave you spellbound.

These are the beautiful gardens, Goans are famous for and there is a group that is recognising the effort and passion that goes into maintaining them.

Like its previous editions, the 24th Annual Home Garden and 6th Kitchen Garden Competition 2018 is doing just that.

In the ‘Organic Kitchen Gardens’ category, Mr Lenny Menezes, who stays at Quinta de Menezes, Marra, Pilerne, won the first place while Ms Sudha Sumitran, who stays near Canara Bank, Brittona and Ms Terency Luis, who stays near Nunes Chapel, Verna won the second and third place respectively.

The special jury prize was awarded to Ms Marie D’souza, from Coimavaddo, Aldona while Mrs Prisca Martins Memorial Prize for innovative gardening was awarded to Mr Anthony Pereira, who lives near Froggy Land crossroads, Nuvem

The Botanical Society of Goa (BSG) also places on record the appreciation and gratitude to all the participants and the members of the judging teams.

The prizes will be given at the Konkan Fruit Fest scheduled for 20 to 22 April, 2018.

“We look forward to the participation of BSG members and others in the promotion of Fruits and Fruit Products of the Konkan region as we have been doing since 2003,” said Miguel Braganza.

The Botanical Society of Goa (BSG) is a volunteer – driven association of people and institutions, specially educational institutions

The Botanical Society of Goa started the ‘Home Garden Competition’ in 1991 to promote the gardening habit and love of plants. It had the second competition in 1992 and then discontinued. It was revived and made annual since 1996. It has been held without a break. Road side tree maintenance was promoted by giving bonus points in 1996 to 1998, when composting was added to promote production of organic manures at home. In 2000, recycling of grey water [from sinks, bathrooms, etc] was added. Given the advancements in technology, the use of soak-pit water with EM treatment was also added. 2012 saw the start of the separate ‘Organic Kitchen Garden ‘competition, where the contestant did not need to have ornamental and flowering plants at all.

“The response has been encouraging. Annually, about 25 to 40 participants enter the competition from around Goa but majority are from the Old Conquest talukas along the coast. The hinterland [except for Ponda taluka] has largely remained unconnected and is going to be our focus in coming years,” said Miguel, when asked to comment about how the group and competitions have grown over the years.

“For three years from 2012 to 2014, the Green Essentials sponsored prizesfor the best three ORGANIC Kitchen Gardens. It drew attention. The prizes are now paid from the BSG account. From 2015, Roland Martins instituted a prize for innovative gardening in the memory of his mother, Prisca Martins, an avid and innovative gardener ahead of her times,” added Miguel.

When asked to comment about the big takeaways, Miguel expressed pride in the fact that young professionals are the main contestants now and that children are getting involved as well. “Terency Luis and Adelia Viegas are an example of daughter and mother taking part in the competition from their own houses, ” quipped Miguel. He also gave the example of how in the year 2015 a 11 year old girl, Abhida Barreto form Gogol won the prize for her terrace vegetable garden in pots.

The list of members in this thriving community is long. Mrs. Hema Unny from Vasco, Mrs Melanie Vaz from Benaulim , Cdr. T.R. Anant Narayanan from Vasco, Adv. Govind Usno Bhobe from Nerul, Oscar Silveira from Borda – Margao, Terency Luis from Verna, Savika Gomes from Arossim and Lizarda Mendonsa in Moira are just some of the names.

BSG and Green Essentials and well as other members conduct training courses in organic vegetable cultivation and make organic inputs available whenever it’s needed.

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