Thayumanavan Kunabalan from Tamil Nadu is setting an example for urban gardeners by growing almost all varieties of vegetables in 200 grow bags and 25 old refrigerators. Neyveli-resident and engineering professor Thayumanavan Kunapalan’s Facebook cover photo is a painting of a farmer plowing the land with two bullocks. His social media bio reads, “passionate urban gardener.” And he is rightly so.

He grew up to become an electrical engineering professor currently teaching at the University College of Engineering, Panruti. Till 2015, he was not able to pursue his passion for gardening due to space constraints in the rented apartment. But after shifting to his own house in Neyveli, Thayumanavan is growing everything under the sun.

“I have a 1300 square feet terrace and 5.5 cents of land behind my house, both of which are completely utilized for farming. Almost all vegetables except onion and garlic are cultivated here, organically,” says 39-year-old Thayumanavan.

With the help of his family, the urban gardener grows brinjal, okra, tomatoes, chilies, cucumber, beetroot, radish, sweet potato, drumstick, banana, and all types of creepers and gourds. All these are cultivated in 150-200 grow bags and pots spread over the terrace. He also collects old refrigerators for small amounts from scrap dealers and grows crops inside them. “At present, there are 20-25 refrigerators upon my terrace filled with soil and plants,” says the creative farmer.

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