After working in West Asia for six years, Blany D’Souza returned home to Mangaluru 20 years ago. A passion for growing fruits and vegetables led him to set up a garden on an area of 1,200 sq ft on the terrace of his home in Mangaluru. Now he has set up more than 40 such gardens in different parts of the city.
There was a time he sold around 100 kg of ivy gourd a month to a local shopkeeper, who marketed them as “from Blany’s garden” to his customers.
D’Souza grows around 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables, including grapes, on his terrace.
Previously he was focussing only on his garden. Then he went to help a friend in setting up a terrace garden. After that, the friend’s neighbour requested him to set up one on his terrace too. The word-of-mouth publicity has brought demands from different parts of the city, he said.
D’Souza (50) said that he has set up terrace gardens on individual houses, flats, schools and other institutions in the city.
Normally he plants 10 vegetables and 10 fruits on an area of 500 sq ft, meeting the requirements of a family. The number of plants may be more or less also depending on the budget of the family. Some grafted varieties of plants cost around ₹1,000 a sapling, he said.
After setting up the terrace garden, he supports them with required guidance for maintenance.
His daily schedule begins with exhibiting his garden to visitors and school/college students. His assignment to set up terrace gardens in other houses begins after 4 pm.
Stating that many children are unaware of the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, he said he has been delivering lectures to them in their schools/colleges and bringing them to his house.