When I grow up, I want to become a plant parent and harvest my own food garden at home! Does any child truly hold this wish?
Millennials are going mad for filling their personal spaces with indoor house plants, essentially turning themselves into plant parents as they’re deemed as their children – like having a pet. Meanwhile, the positive buzz of organically grown food is getting louder and I’d love to consume more because of the saying, “you are what you eat.” I’m entering my mid-twenties but I haven’t jumped on these bandwagons…yet.
For starters, house plants help you to breathe easier as the plant goes through photosynthesis – the process of plants converting light energy into chemical energy and water, CO2, and minerals become oxygen and energy-rich compounds. This means that adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels. “Placing a couple of plants together can increase the humidity of a room since roughly 97 percent of water is released, which helps keeps respiratory distresses at bay,” according to Bioadvanced. Not to mention, plants naturally purify the air and improve your health. Stated by Bioadvanced, “the Dutch Product Board for Horticulture commissioned a workplace study which identified including plants in office settings decreases fatigue, colds, headaches, coughs, sore throats, and flu-like symptoms.”
Putri Anugerahani owns Grow and Grow and she agrees about the benefits of having house plants. “I once read a journal from NASA which stated plants are natural air filters,” she said. Grow and Grow facilitates the urban society, encouraging plants being sold by the side of the road and desires to have their own green, big-city homes, offices or events. Initially an architect, Putri designed houses and their landscapes; she believes a building has no life without greenery. She then realised to install indoor plants was to naturally filter air and by a process of trial and error, she found which suitable plants can be placed indoors and their benefits.
“Sansevieria plant reduces cigarette smoke and turns the room more humid,” she pointed out.
Plastic and terracotta pots are used at the moment. “Boxes and paper have always been used for our packaging and we started using cassava plastic. We do want to have recycled pots. There aren’t many, or maybe we’re unaware of, pots that can be planted and turned into fertilisers but I’d love to learn how to make it and shape into cute forms,” she said.
Putri believes that more green lands will automatically absorb more water hence, will be better for the environment. It doesn’t necessarily have to be ornamental plants that decorate our homes; rosemary, pandan leaves, bay leaves, and other herbs are beneficial for cooking. So is making DIY, zero-waste fertilisers from dried eggshells and DIY pest sprays from a mixture of garlic and chilli, boiled and then filtered.
Unfortunately, plants can’t communicate their needs and thus show us their symptoms, such as wilted or yellow-coloured leaves, indicating they must be watered or have their soil replaced. Likewise, leaving for a long vacation or business trip isn’t great for the well-being of the plants. Putri suggested using hydro-gel in the pot because it’s similar to a grain of water absorbed by the plant to prevent it from dying while you’re away.
Keep in mind you need to identify where you’d want to place your house plant and the amount of sun exposure the area receives to determine the type of plant to get. Cacti are good for excessive sunlight, meanwhile, Heuchera is ideal for shady areas. Next, ask yourself whether you’d want to rigorously water the plant or you won’t be so reliable? Thirdly, decorate your plants with rattan-made pots, for example, to make your plant look even more aesthetically pleasing.
“Gardening is not just a hobby for women since the youth and men have picked it up too. City people can enjoy plants like in the countryside,” noted Putri. “Make sure to place your indoor plant near a window so it absorbs light and take it outdoors once in a while to replace the compost. Also, don’t let your pets munch on it since its sap will cause itchiness,” Putri added.
Grow and Grow has three divisions, namely retail, projects for landscape, and rental services, with only retail available nowadays. Anyone living in apartments usually rents plants where they get replaced once every two weeks as a balcony isn’t always provided. House yards will be designed and built by the team and any themed parties involving tons of plants can be rented per day or weekly. Order your house plants or herbs on Tokopedia, WhatsApp 081283835583 or Instagram @growandgrow.id.
Take it up a notch by having your personal, at-home garden. Environmentally, it uplifts the ecosystem as well as reduces air and noise pollutions. According to Patio Productions, “investing time in your own garden can effectively help the collective effort to reduce the amount of C02 in the Earth’s atmosphere. A concerted effort in areas known to contain high levels of air pollution and smog can benefit from this.” You’ll also eat healthier, build self-esteem, and boost your vitamin D intake.
Mandira’s Garden was founded by Lisa Mandira in October 2016, planting more than 100 types of vegetables and herbs and a few local fruits. Lisa was adamant to shift her family’s lifestyle after her husband got sick, yet organic vegetables were relatively expensive at that time, thus hindering her family from consuming healthy food. She decided to grow her own vegetables instead. “I don’t have a background in agricultural education, I just have a strong determination to produce organic vegetables for my family’s health and learned online about herbal plants useful for health,” Lisa explained.
Here, three concepts are maintained: “From Garden to Table,” having the cafeteria serving the harvested food, and using organic ingredients only. Used and scrap vegetables are recycled to make compost, reusing materials like milk boxes and plastic bottles to plant seedlings, not using shopping receipts and plastic straws, reducing plastic bag usage, and the purposeful lack of a smoking area are some of the environmental movements currently carried out in a small scope.
“When home gardening in the city, pay attention to start from a healthy awareness and consistency in its implementation,” said Lisa. PSAs on the importance of every home to start home gardening with examples of environmental pilot areas which have started and felt the benefits of home gardening to inspire the community.
Home gardening helps to save the planet, namely in terms of no longer using shopping bags, depleting the waste that can’t be recycled. “Imagine how much plastic waste would be reduced if each family grows their food and shops using recycled bags?” Lisa expressed.
Beginners can start by planting what they like because gardening shouldn’t feel like a burden. Lisa observed the morning sun produces our foods. The area should be under the sun every morning with herbs and green vegetables basking in for about four to six hours. Those who have smaller plots of land can use pots or take advantage of outdoor walls.
“Nothing is too difficult as long as we like it and have the determination to achieve it. Don’t be shy to ask questions and seek information or help. We might think that we are nurturing our garden, but the reality is, our garden is nurturing us,” said Lisa.
Buy fresh organic vegetables and fruits at Mandira’s Garden on Jl. Kemang Timur Raya no. 55, South Jakarta or contact 081802037555 and Instagram @mandirasgarden.