‘Seed envelopes’ keep a hobby alive and growing

Through the second week of June, Ragini Sundaram’s day was longer than normal. Around 9 p.m., after the family chores have been completed, she would quiet down to creating “seed envelopes” to be dispatched by India Post the subsequent day. With gardening lovers searching for vegetable and flower seeds from her, she would place tiny packets of those seeds in envelopes, and write the postal deal with on the surface.

This work would stretch on until 2 a.m; and the subsequent day, she would stroll to the close by Thirunanravur put up workplace and put up the envelopes.

Similarly engaged in the course of the lockdown, Velachery resident S. Vijayalakshmi has dispatched round 20 such seed envelopes to different gardening lovers. Chandra Selvamani of West Tambaram, identified for sharing seeds of uncommon species of girl’s-fingers resembling sivappu vendakkai, yanai thandu vendakkai, kattu vendakkai and thunai vendakkai, with different gardening lovers, has additionally been posting seed envelopes.

“A majority of us used to meet once or twice a month at city parks and exchange seeds and saplings. With just a few weeks to go for Aadi Perukku (the 18th day of the Tamil month Aadi), we terribly miss our monthly meet-ups, because Aadi Peruku is the right time for sowing seeds or planting saplings. India post has come to our rescue,” says J. Mohaneshwari, a member of “Green House”, a gardening group.

Some folks mail their seeds and the recipients bear the postal prices. Some ship self-addressed and stamped envelopes to their seed donors. Many barter seeds.

“People are realising the need for kitchen gardens, as it spares them risks that go with stepping out to buy vegetables. A few years ago, the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department came up with a DIY programme to encourage people to take up kitchen gardening. The department should revisit the programme now,” says Sathiya Shanmugham, a gardening fanatic from Ambattur. Gardeners level out that now there may be a spurt in curiosity in growing herbs as they’re believed to spice up the immune system — that’s is clearly a COVID-19 impact.

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