Monday, June 24, 2024

Innovative Cultivation of Moringa in Toronto: Some Interesting Facts

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Taufaq Aziz Akhter Dolly and daughter Tasnim under the Moringa plant in their yard

Both the fruit and leaves of the Moringa tree are edible. Moringa is known as the most nutritious herb in the world. Researchers call the Moringa leaf the miracle leaf and the Moringa plant is called the medicinal plant, considered by some to be a super food, as both the Moringa leaves and fruit are rich in nutrients.

Generally this plant is grown in summer main region. So all of us who came from warmer regions of the world and immigrated to Canada, are more or less aware of the importance of Moringa. However today in this article my attempt to write about Moringa is a little different. Hopefully someone in Canada will think of growing a beneficial plant like Moringa in their backyard along with native vegetables! Not only thinking, but also collecting seeds, planting plants, growing plants and collecting nutrients, who, last summer, in a novel way, I think it is necessary to practice something. May all our Bengali backyard farming friends living in Canada feel encouraged and inspired. Summer is almost the time of cultivation, so if you want to grow Moringa, you can prepare with some information in advance.

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Last year, garden farming in Toronto had a tough time due to the lockdown, although today the situation is much better. I personally do a bit of yard farming as well as writing. Exchanging advice over the phone with gardener friends is also a particularly encouraging activity for clumsy farmers like us. One day in a phone conversation another farmer friend like me Vasudev Dhar told me that another gardener near his house planted Moringa and the tree grew very big.

My inquisitive mind couldn’t hold still, Moringa trees in Toronto! Unable to imagine, I hurriedly communicated, put on a mask and with sanitizer in hand I reached the Moringa floor, a house yard near the junction of Kingston and Kennedy Roads. A, K, M Taufiq Aziz and Rafi Akhter Dolly, owners of Angina and Moringa floors, were waiting for us there. After meeting and exchanging skills, my immediate question was, how did they come up with the idea of cultivating Moringa? In reply, Aziz said that experimenting with something novel was a kind of khayal (hobby) for them. Last time they also planted avocado trees, wintered them in the basement, and now the base is big in the yard even though it’s in the tub.

Aziz also said, when Moringa comes to mind, it is a wonderful story of seed collection. First, he ordered from Amazon and got no response for a long time. Then he contacted a company in China that sent the seeds in a short time, although he charged a high price. Amazon, however, sent the money back, later apologizing for the delay and collecting the seeds. Amazon is to be thanked for its dutifulness. Let Aziz and Dolly plant seedlings after getting the seeds, plant a few seedlings in large tubs, and plant the rest in the ground in the yard.

The day we went to their yard, the Moringa tree was about 7 feet long and the branches spread out with big green thick leaves. Here, Aziz and Dolly also pointed out that seedlings planted in tubs should be kept in the basement of the house during the cold season at the end of summer and brought back to the yard after the next warm weather. Their method was successful for avocados. Second, before the winter temperature goes below freezing, cut the Moringa plant in the ground and cover it with foam or something heavy. They do not know which of these two methods will bring full success. But one success that Aziz and Dolly have already enjoyed, is that the medicinal Moringa leaves have been part of their daily diet this summer.

Finally, it is desirable to mention the nutritional value of Moringa and its benefits in food. Moringa is rich in zinc, iron, vitamin C and A. Specially works against various vitamin deficiency diseases including anemia. It helps in increasing the breast milk of the mother without any side effects. Moringa has anti-bacterial properties. It keeps the liver and kidney healthy and also acts as a beautifier. Also plays a helpful role against cancer. Moringa is one of the ingredients in controlling cholesterol levels in the body.

Hopefully backyard farmers in Canada will be inspired to cultivate Moringa like Aziz and Dolly to reap the nutritional benefits.

Toronto, Canada

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