OHB GARDEN (Organic Herbal Butterfly Garden)
The Vithakkoottam (The Sowing Army) in the College is managing the practice of OHBG. This helps to rekindle the agrarian sense and culture among the younger generation. The Organic Farming and The Herbal Garden play a vital role in the co curricular aspects of the students. The pesticide applied food products in the market are replaced by the yields of the Organic Farming, co cultivated by the teaching, non teaching student community in the campus. Along with the lessons of self sufficiency and deconsumerism, students learn about medicinal plants and their relevance in the homesteads. This also functions as a butterfly garden, especially in certain seasons. An ecofriendly, ecoconserving student self is envisaged through this program. The state of Kerala lacks selfsufficiency in vegetable production. If at all there is any amount produced, the chemical pesticide overused, turn them all unhealthy. The chemical fertilizers and pesticides have almost diminished the farming culture in Kerala into a poisonous enterprise. Also the herbal garden wants to bring back the culture of growing medicinal plants in the front yard of the house. The same garden functioning as a butterfly garden sets one and the same garden as a seat of environmental convergence.
After preparing a team of students, named Vithakkoottam which means the Sowing Army, we prepared them for the task of farming and maintaining the Organic Garden. Once in a week this team works in the field. They collect the regional seeds and sow them in the farm. Also they use cow dung, sheep droppings, ash, and many of the green manure available in the campus as well as its surroundings. The organic pesticides like the pukayilakkashaayam (tobacco concentrate) Neem oil, and the cow urine are used in the garden. The team pays regular visits to the field and pays all due attention to the farming. The yield is collected and auctioned at times the amount thus collected goes to the purchase of organic manure.
Many of the herbs were identified and transplanted to the Garden as a part of the Campus Green Audit. The OHB Garden is nourishing properly now. It has a number of types of plant diversity and many vegetables and numerous plants. In addition to the environmental and educational roles played by the garden, it also adds to the face lift of the college in a big way