A small patch of land at the Marygiri Bishop’s House in Thiruvalla is all verdant with the vegetables cultivated there presenting a happy sight.
The vegetable farm is the product of Syro-Malankara Church’s fresh venture into aquaponics. The method is organic, say Fr. Cherian Thazhamon, Vicar General, and Fr. Philip Payyampallil, Procurator, deputed to undertake the task.
As a step towards this, the Church converted the sprawling lawn and flower garden at the entrance of the bishop’s house into a vegetable garden where the first aquaponics system was set up and 100 each saplings of cauliflower and cabbage planted. And now, a lush green healthy crop greets every visitor at the bishop’s house entrance. “Our mission is to propagate organic farming and to reduce the ill-effects of climate change in our own humble way,” says the Metropolitan Archbishop, Thomas Mar Koorilos.
The successful experiment prompted the Church to extend the farm to 1.5 acres of land in the backyard of the bishop’s house in the heart of Thiruvalla. For the project, a large fish pond with 50 aquaponics beds was set up and the Agriculture Department extended technical support to the project.