All you need to know about Kausi Kheti or Rooftop Farming: 5 Amazing Benefits of Rooftop Farming
By Bidhan Adhikary
Kausi Kheti or Rooftop Farming refers to cultivating plants for food utilizing the open spaces of the rooftop and balconies of your home. If you are someone curious or on the fence about starting your very own rooftop farm, then this article is just for you!
Did you know, according to the World Bank, the urban population in Nepal was 20.15 percent in 2019. The majority of this urban population is in the city areas of Kathmandu valley, where wide living spaces with an outdoor farm and garden have increasingly become a luxury most can’t afford. Rooftop farming is the perfect solution to the lack of farming space within these tightly packed clusters of buildings! And because of this, it is gaining popularity in recent years among the urban communities across Nepal.
We have made a comprehensive list of reasons why you should consider starting your rooftop farm. Even if you have already ventured into this fun project, we promise it will be worth your while to go through our list, which will provide additional insights on the benefits of rooftop farming.
1. Economic Benefits: food production
When done right, your rooftop farm can provide you nutritious food throughout the year. A wide range of fruits and vegetables like spinach, cucurbits, cauliflower, citrus, tomatoes, garlic, onions, guava, strawberries, herbs, and spices can be grown on vacant spaces on the rooftops. It could cut down your grocery bills by a significant amount, depending on how much you can produce. There is a plethora of easily accessible knowledge and resources online on best practices of rooftop farming that will optimize your food production by making the best use of your space.
2. Health Benefits: physical and mental wellbeing
When you grow your food, you have complete control of the quality of seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers. Harvesting your organically grown produce at the right time will ensure the products are at their optimal eating stage, fresh on your table. And as they say, you are what you eat and to be fit and healthy you need to eat good food. In addition to this, the activity of tending to your rooftop garden can be relaxing and help you disengage from the daily grind of city life, thus helping improve both your physical and mental health. Rooftop farming can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to adults.
3. Children and Development
For families with children growing up in cities, gardening and farming can help them with sensory stimulation that will aid in their development – such as locomotor skills, body management skills, and object control skills on the farm.And this will also be an excellent opportunity for family bonding and creating memories. As they say, it is never too late to learn, and both children and adults can learn about the food production process and the biology of plant growth and development. Children can learn about the values of hard work, responsibility, and nurturing while helping the plants grow.
4. Hobby and Improving Home Aesthetics
You can do rooftop farming just for the fun of it too! It can be a therapeutic experience that can bring you endless joy. There is so much you can learn and do on your rooftop farm, and it is entirely up to you how you want to engage. It can be something like improving home aesthetics – after all, having all that greenery and freshness decorating your place can certainly make your home livelier.
You could grow exotic plants and watch nature do its magic all year round. You could be part of the growing community of rooftop farmers in Nepal – share your experience, make like-minded friends, blog your progress, and discuss farming tips & your progress. Facebook groups such as कौसी खेती (Rooftop Farming) and Kaushi kheti- कौशी खेती (छलफल समूह) have a large community of members from Nepal, who share and discuss their knowledge and experience on rooftop farming.
5. Environmental Benefits
Your organic kitchen-waste can be used to make fertilizer for your farm and help reduce your household waste. Also, you can reuse and upcycle non-organic waste in creative ways to utilize on your farm. Old containers and many everyday objects can be upcycled and used to grow plants.
And when you bring all that greenery into your urban home, you help the city environment, not just for your family, neighbors, and community, but also in improving the urban biodiversity. Your rooftop farm is a miniature ecosystem in itself; it will help sustain different lifeforms, including insects and birds. If enough homes in a city have rooftop farms, they can be a haven for birds and biodiversity!
With so many benefits, there is no reason not to start your very own rooftop farm. So sort out that unused space on your rooftop, get your gardening tools ready, and go ahead. Start with a small pot and a seed, and learn and grow along with your plant. We promise it will be a great adventure!