Home vegetable gardening becomes income source for best friends

Photo used for illustration purposes only

MELAKA – Two best friends, Nurul Ashikin Abdul Halim and Norhaya Jamal, who started planting vegetables as a hobby during the Movement Control Order (MCO) since May last year, has now turned it into a profitable source of income.

Starting with just RM50, they started their hydroponic vegetable gardening using recycled materials such as plastic bottles, polystyrene foam and used containers behind their house in Kampung Tambak Sebelong, here.

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However, Nurul Ashikin, 28, said their effort did not work well due to a lack of basic knowledge on vegetable planting.

Despite that, the Melaka Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) producer said she and Norhaya did not give up and decided to attend a course on hydroponic farming course in Bukit Durian, here.

Since then, Nurul Ashikin and Norhaya have continued to improve their vegetable gardening skills and their efforts paid off when the mustard greens and spinach they planted produced good yields.

“We were very excited and happy to see the good results within just two weeks which has encouraged us to continue to plant other types of vegetables such as long and round brinjals, red and green lady’s finger, tomatoes, Brazilian spinach, cauliflower, Chinese parsley and chillies using the hydroponic and potting techniques.

“Initially, we plant the vegetables for our own daily consumption besides sharing the extras with our neighbours and relatives, but we can now earn a side income by selling them to our friends,” Nurul Ashikin told Bernama.

Nurul Ashikin added that she and Norhaya no longer need to buy certain vegetables from the market as they can now pluck them from their garden.

The eldest of five siblings said through the income, they managed to buy 200-hole hydroponic farming set to produce more vegetables.

“Overall, we only spend over RM3,000 to purchase pots, soil and organic fertiliser as well as the hydroponic farming set. Our vegetables are free from pesticides as we use natural remedies such as wood vinegar, garlic and eggshells for pest control,” said the Selangor-born Nurul Ashikin.

Besides cultivating vegetables, Nurul Ashikin said, both of them are also selling mixed soil compost for farming at RM12 (for 10 kilogrammes) and RM10 (for three packets).

She said they also planned to set up an open garden at their housing area to provide opportunities for the less fortunate to get vegetables for free.