Wednesday, April 24, 2013

An opportunity to reap the benefits of gardening

People who participate in community gardening have a significantly lower body mass index (BMI), as well as lower odds of being overweight, than their non-gardening neighbours and siblings. This is according to a study by Dr Cathleen Zick (Professor of Family and Consumer Studies) and her colleagues from the University of Utah, USA, published on April 18, 2013 in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH). 

The study concluded that "Community gardens may be a valuable element of land use diversity that merits consideration by public health officials who want to identify neighborhood features that promote health." More details of the research can be found on the website of AJPH and the news report in The Daily Utah Chronicle.

While the above study was restricted to adults, it would not be incorrect to extend the benefits of gardening to children too!

Volunteers on 13th Apr 2013 (Pic: OP Ramaswamy)

If your child is inclined towards gardening, here's an opportunity for him/her to spend one hour everyday in a pleasurable activity during the summer holidays. PNLIT is looking for children (age 10 and above) to take care of the flowering plants in the garden at Puttenahalli Lake. Let them discover the magic of nature! They will have to come daily at about 4 p.m., do some deweeding and watering of the plants. 

Please contact Mr. O P Ramaswamy at

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Volunteers' weekend

What a morning it was today! About 15 employees from Adobe, office at Dairy Circle, joined our resident volunteers and some children to create magic in a span of less than 4 hours. From 7.15 a.m. to 11 a.m., everybody spread out, formed teams and accomplished their assigned chore quickly, beautifully. 

These were the jobs they did today:
- Sand papered and painted four dust bins 
- Cleared out the rubble and waste along a stretch as preliminary to setting up a flower border. Dug a trench about one foot deep and nearly three feet wide. With the stones and mud, they made a bund along the fence, This needed quite some effort because the ground was rock hard. 
- Collected and made a pile of dry waste. 
- Vinay and Hariharan planted stakes for some trees which were growing tall and lanky. 
- The duo moved on to clean a silt trap. 
- Once done, they moved on again to fix a hollow pipe into the ground into which the bar of the garden gate latch would fit in snugly. We found that someone had pushed open the garden gate, hence this precaution.
- Four children plucked out weeds from the garden.
- Two others painted the smaller dust bins on the inner grill, a bright orange. These two were on a visit to their uncle's during the summer hold. 
- Restless for more work, Adobe volunteers offered to paint another two dust bins on the coconut grove side. One had been burnt by miscreants and was looking quite an eyesore. By the time these volunteers finished, the dust bins were looking as bright and cheerful as the painters themselves.

Sun or no sun, the enthusiasm of the volunteers, residents and visitors, was truly incredible. While leaving they asked if they could come and work tomorrow as well but my friends at PNLIT and I are pooped just watching them work in the hot sun. WE need a break tomorrow.

So all, please note - NO Volunteering tomorrow (21st Apr 2013)!! We shall inform you of the next session. Watch this space! :-)

Volunteers, there's only one word to describe you - amazing!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Last weekend, volunteers needed this weekend too

Volunteers in action last weekend - not many but very focussed and they did a good job. 

Volunteering jobs for this weekend
- Help set up a flower bed. Work involves digging, piling stones.
- De-weeding at the garden. Light manual work
- Painting the dust bins which were burnt by some miscreants last week. See pic. If you know how to go about it, you are very welcome to share your expertise with us! Work involves scraping charred bin and painting. 
- If SWM is your forte, help us segregate the waste. Work involves segregating dry waste only.

7 a.m. to 9 a.m. 
Puttenahalli Lake 
Please bring your cap and drinking water. 

Pics: Usha Rajagopalan

Sunday, April 7, 2013

This weekend's gardening

I guess the heat was too much and not many volunteers turned up this weekend. Those who did brave the sun did a wonderful job though. Yesterday, 6th April, some eight of us were scattered on the lake bed, bent over or squatting on the ground. We were searching for lurking bits of the Salvinia between the cracks and under stones since even a teeny bit is enough for it to sprout and cover the water in no time. 

Fresh Salvinia spotted earlier in the week (Pic: Nupur Jain)

Searching for Salvinia (Pic: Usha Rajagopalan)

It was back breaking work all right but we didn't realize just how much Salvinia we had collected till we saw how OPR had got it packed into a plastic sack and filled a big plastic bucket. If ever we were happy to see a plant browning and dying, it was the Salvinia. :-)

Their enthusiasm soaring high, Arvind Venkatadri from Brigade Millennium, Shankar Iyer from South City and Grishma from Jayanagar 4th block started work as early 6.15 a.m. this morning. Each working in his/her space, the only time they got together was to come out after a good one hour or so. By then, the other volunteers were assembling, ready to start work. 

We decided to water our little garden near the Gazebo and pluck out the weeds. A few women walkers saw us at work and joined us. How gratifying it is to know that more and more people are beginning to accept the lake as their own and are slowly taking a little responsibility for it.  

Working in the Gazebo Garden (Pic: Usha Rajagopalan)

As the number of volunteers was less, we were not able to do some other chores such as painting our new dust bins, clearing the front (near the cycle stand) and making it ready for planting, etc. So those who had intended to work at the lake this weekend but were unable to, join us next weekend! Those of you who have never worked in a garden, come and try it out. Get your kids along as well. Have gardening fun next weekend at our Puttenahalli Lake.