Cropping Systems

Homegardens: Treasure chests for nutrition and diversity

A biologically diverse homegarden offers habitat for plants, people and animals. Above all they fulfill a multitude of functions, delivering nutrients, medicines, spices, animal feed, raw materials like lumber and firewood, fibres and dyes. Homegardens reflect the social, economic and religious setting; some plants for festivals and rituals come from private gardens. The revenues from selling surplus can also contribute to family income and fight against poverty. Homegardens include a tremendous wealth of useful plant species and cultivars. Thus, they are places of great diversity.

Self-sufficiency from the garden is not restricted to a tropical climate. Gardens here too once had a meaning as a diverse and healthy source of food. Many such gardens have disappeared, along with their plant diversity and knowledge of cultivation and uses. Good thing people are again increasingly interested and involved as gardeners!

Be sure to visit the teaching and learning garden behind the tropical greenhouse!