Planting: A Hobby That Helps In More Ways Than One

My mother, Chitra Sinnu is a wonderful and caring person who juggles a full-time job as an education officer and being the greatest mother in the world! The recent Movement Control Order (MCO) due to COVID-19 has halted Malaysia’s activities in its tracks. But this blessing in disguise has also given her more time to learn a new hobby, planting!

Planting is an amazing hobby that can give back to you in more ways than one.
Planting is an amazing hobby that can give back to you in more ways than one.
Image by zebra7 from Pixabay

My Mother’s Super Powers – Reducing Household Waste

She believes that planting had not only saved her from her boredom but it has also saved her a fortune! As you can see my mother had been planting several types of vegetables from cucumber to brinjal and there’re more to sprout! She uses all of these vegetables in her cooking and even sells them to our neighbours. Even though she doesn’t earn much selling them, she does earn enough to buy more seeds to plant.

My mother uses old paint buckets and old tyres in her plantings.
My mother uses old paint buckets and old tyres in her plantings.
Image by Author.

The responsibilities of being an education officer take up most of her time. Her responsibilities include training teachers, making plans on how to improve the education syllabi, running from one school to another to solve issues with parents, to name but a few. When MCO was imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, she could give more attention to the things around the house with all the additional time she has now. What frightened her the most was how much rubbish we as a family threw. At times, we would throw two big black rubbish bags a day.

That’s when she decided to plant her own vegetables. She didn’t only save money from just using vegetables from her backyard for our meals, she also recycled whatever material she could as flower pots.

By using all the leftovers or household waste as compost for her plants, it has reduced our rubbish by half.

How Did She Start Her Planting Extravaganza?

The most astonishing part was that she managed to transform from someone who threw every good waste away into a green-fingered goddess.

My mom really likes planting flowers. I can't wait for them to bloom.
Some of the many flower specimens my mother planted. Left to right: Bullocks Eye (Firmiana malayana), Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), White Pagoda Flower (Clerodendrum paniculatum), Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus), Frangipani (Plumeria), Rose (Rosa) and Paperflower (Bougainville glabra).
Image by Author

For those of you who want to venture into planting as well but don’t know how, consider reading Grow Your Own Vegetables by Chew Boon Hock. The book doesn’t only educate readers on planting but also how to revive withering plants. My mother was grateful to have this book to guide her when she first started.

Planting Is So Cool: Plants As Natural Air Conditioner

If you are scratching your head looking for a solution on how to reduce your electricity bill, planting helps! As a result of planting, our electricity bill was reduced from a whopping MYR 200 to just only MYR 96 per month. How? Plants surrounding our house acted as a natural air conditioner. This is because all plants absorb carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas. The more carbon dioxide is absorbed, the less solar heat is trapped and the air is chiller. Therefore, we didn’t have to use our air conditioner or even fans as often.

Learning More About Planting

My mother wants to really learn more about planting not just as a hobby but also as a way to help others grow their plants. Even though it is harder now to attend classes due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, there are online classes one can explore. One of our writers, Sarah Zainal wrote an article on how online classes are the new normal for us now. Do consider reading this fantastic write-up to learn more about online classes.

My mom planting new flowers
My mother transferring Desert Rose (Adenium obesumfrom) from smaller pots to bigger ones to give it more room to grow.
Image by Author

A helpful website that offers countless courses from agriculture to marketing is Tertiary Courses Malaysia. They have a wide range of skills that one could choose to learn or improve on. I suggested to my mother to check out the course on organic planting. Their online classes are flexible to accommodate one’s busy schedule as well.

Let’s All Plant!

My mother has taught me the importance of planting. Plants provide us food, shelter, medicine and the oxygen we need to live. What better time than now to start giving back to mother nature by doing something small as planting a seed. Not only that, she has also inspired me once more to make the most of my time. You can bet that I will be visiting Tertiary Courses today to see what new skills I can learn as well.


This article is part of Espoletta’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives.

Preveena SIVAKUMAR

About Preveena SIVAKUMAR

Engineer, teacher, and a published author, Preveena is one friendly and bubbly character. Travelled all over Asia in search of muse and inspiration for her writing. After all, the more you've experienced the world, the better the perspective of your stories will become.

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