Homes have become a core of green societies in Kuwait, with many families setting up traditional and modern gardens with eye-catching products. Kuwaitis are not new to gardening which has contributed to food security, and many citizens recently started home gardening and thus producing daily and seasonal vegetables.
Home farmers overcome some difficulties, like limited resources, by seeking new methods that enabled them to see fresh products on their tables. Some famers said home farming has become a passion which taught them discipline and patience, as well as being a good way to spend free time in a productive manner.
‘Green and fresh’
Nasser AbalKhail said he was using fresh water to irrigate his garden to keep his products “green and fresh.” Some produce like thyme, celery, parsley, cucumber and spices need higher water quality than the regular fresh water, said AbalKhail, in order to maintain soil alkalinity. “High alkalinity will raise alkalinity of water used to irrigate plants, which would increase levels of sodium in the soil thus negatively affect the produce” and the harvest die, he explained.
AbalKhail said the use of phosphoric acid helped maintain alkalinity of irrigating water, and this product was available in the market. He said farmers should wear goggles and gloves when using phosphoric acid. Nora Al-Ahmad, a farmer, said hot weather was affecting her crops like carrots, radish, rocca and lettuce which usually needed moderate and moist atmosphere. She said building a plant nursery at home was “one of the new solutions to overcome scorching heat in order to guarantee sustainability of plants and production.”
‘Beautiful and positive’
Khadija Al-Refae, another farmer, said home gardening has “beautiful and positive” impacts on physical and psychological wellbeing of people which contributed to better condition of the heart, bones and muscles. “Exposure to sun rays while farming increases Vitamin D, from which many people suffer deficit,” she said. Home farmers can use empty spaces like yards, roof tops or windows to plant their domestic gardens. Nouri Al-Ostath, with an experience in home gardening, said farmers could plant vertically by using pots which could produce many fruits like peach, apple and figs.
The Public Authority for Agriculture and Fish Resources was also encouraging experienced and amateur farmers to do their own home gardens, contributing to better food security. The authority published guidelines to help farmers design their gardens to ultimately have better produce. These guidelines range from preparation of soil, irrigation system and water quality, fertilizers and spacing. One of the main objectives of the home gardens is producing daily needs of leafy vegetables, tomatoes and carrots for example. The authority was also offering training courses over the fundamentals of home gardening to contribute to healthy environment. – KUNA