GEORGE TOWN: WHAT a better way to save money and eat pesticide-free food from plants grown in your backyard or apartment kitchen?
Over 50 budding enthusiasts from all walks of life braved the morning sun and got their hands dirty at the Home Nutrition Garden course held at the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) recently. They were taught the basics of organic farming at the backyard of the CAP headquarters' Worming Home which had a myriad of plants, comprising over 25 vegetables and 40 different herbs, some rare ones which are no longer available in wet markets.
Participants were given a lesson on how to grow leafy vegetables in their kitchen by reusing bottles and containers and make compost from kitchen waste.
Participants soon got over their fear of holding the earthworms with their hand when they learned that the wriggly creatures loosened and increased the fertility of the soil.
The subject on natural pest repellents to chase away insects without killing them also generated much interest.
Cap president S.M. Mohamed Idris said many vegetables grown commercially these days were heavily treated with pesticides, making them harmful for consumption.
He urged homeowners with land to plant fruits and vegetables, so that they can eat healthy and naturally grown fruits and greens.
"In the past, we had gardens with fruit trees, but now many homeowners have cemented their garden and this is not good," he said.
There was also a display of CAP's own produce such as herbal plants, seedlings, organic vegetables, natural fertilisers, herbal pest repellents, composts, handicrafts made from natural materials and herbal drinks for sale.