From roof-top terraces to the alleyways around buildings, organic vegetable gardens can be found in every spare space around Amritapuri after Amma stressed the importance of avoiding chemically treated food where possible.
Vegetables include okra, tomatoes, pumpkin, beans, chillis, red spinach, eggplant, cabbage and onions are being lovingly grown without the use of pesticides for Amma’s Tuesday prasad lunch.
“Amma said to bring back the ancient culture of agriculture which is organic,” said Br. Gurudas who is in charge of overseeing the project. “At Amritapuri, Amma’s devotees started growing organic food for Amma’s Tuesday prasad lunch.”
Amma’s Grace Gardens, located 10 minutes from Amritapuri, started in April but was producing organic vegetables by May for the Tuesday prasad lunch.
“The garden is just under one acre in size but will be expanded to grow more vegetables,” said Akhilesh who assists Br. Gurudas with the project.
Land has also been acquired with the goal of growing enough vegetables to supply all the needs of the ashram in the near future. “We have started a big farm in Kalady, Kerala where we have planted 10,000 plantains as well as hundreds of tapioca and other vegetables. We also have established a farm in Komban in Tamil Nadu where we have 6,000 coconut trees, 20,000 banana trees, plantains and other vegetables. In the near future, we plan to provide all of the vegetables needed for serving food at Amritapuri – pure, organic food within one to two years’ time,” said Br. Gurudas.
And the result?
“When Amma sees the organic vegetables that have been grown, she gets a big smile on her face.”