No doubt! Pakistan is rich in talent and enthusiasm towards progress and betterment. But there are few people in every nation with the heroic courage to influence the life of a whole community.
Such people are the role model and true inspiration for the generations. We found such kind of spirit in Mr. Tariq Tanveer (CEO, Qadir Bakhsh Farms, FSD, PAK). This man is not just a personality, he is an organization in himself. Pioneer of various revolutionary steps in the field of horticulture.
Recently his interview is published by an American blogger Gina McKnight. She is a versatile personality. Gina is an author, equestrian, poet and freelancer.
Well here are the contents of interview and become familiar with the brighter face of Pakistan….
From Pakistan, Tariq Tanveer is a world-renowned Horticulturist and Master Gardener. He is currently the Managing Partner of Green Gold (PVT) LTD, Creator and Owner of Qadir Bakhsh Farms near Gatwala Forest Park Faisalabad, Horticulturist at Thal Public School and Inter College, and the Founder and CEO of Agri-TourismDevelopment Corporation of Pakistan! Tariq’s past experience includes the Deputy Director of Parks and Horticulture Authority Lahore.
Including many amenities, Agri-Tourism Farm offers horseback riding through beautiful landscape, plus much more. Tariq’s love of nature; plants and their role in our survival, enables him to create living masterpieces that are both functional and beautiful.
Describe your Expert Activities…
Living Walls/Vertical Gardening
I am pioneer to introduce such walls which can use for plants growing (LIVING WALLS) in Pakistan. I design vertical kit and pillars to install these living walls and its self-manufacturing at my site.
Solid waste management Project
We collect solid waste from the door steps about 2000 houses daily at my village, segregate organic and inorganic materials, organic materials are used as compost for plants after decomposing.
Edible Landscape/Kitchen Gardening
I make a kitchen garden in my home; it’s just to inspire those who prefer grassy lawn, not vegetable garden. My aim is just to send the message to grow food, not lawns. Vegetable gardens can also give us pleasures, relaxing time and as well food also.
In my kitchen garden I share some edible landscape design and ideas. I also arrange many training workshops for domestic kitchen gardeners as well.
Nursery Management and Propagation
I start a nursery farm (Qadir Bakhsh Farms) this is my own creation in life. As gardener I create my own world of plants and gardens. It is an amazing gift of nature in my life…… most wonderful and inspiring. This makes my life full of real pleasures.
Field Trips and Farm Education for School Kids and Community
I began organizing agricultural events and school kid’s field trips in Pakistan and focus on opportunities to view farming process in their working state, reinforcing the relationship between gardeners, service providers, scientists and technical expert.
I also arrange so many lectures and seminar training workshops for different horticultural topics.
Agriculture Related Events Management
I design and introduce two new agricultural events in Pakistan named
World Kitchen Garden Day …
National Mushroom Festival Pakistan…
Have you always liked horticulture?
Yes it is my passion and I am gardener from my childhood. My mother told me when I was a small baby, I play with plants, arrange some small garden with tree stems and arranging irrigation system, use stones bridges with wood. So I think maybe all this scene or imagination saved in my mind which motivated me to do work as horticulturist in future.
And as gardener I create my own world of plants and gardens which named Qadir Bakhsh Farms. Qadir Bakhsh was my grandfather and I was impressed by him due to his serving humanity attitude.
Do you have a favorite plant/flower/vegetable to grow?
It’s very difficult to say for me about favorite plant/flower/vegetable to grow because I love to grow every one. But if I have to answer then my favorite plant to grow is Moringa oleifera which is miracle tree – a food plant with multiple medicinal uses. I also grow it in my kitchen garden.
What is the most unusual plant you have seen?
Ohh really so many in my life very interesting and unusual plants I see, but unfortunately can’t capture because no camera that time. Here are some unusual plants I ever seen in my life.
Do you have a favorite landscape design of your own creation?
Although I design so many gardens like Jallo Botanical Garden in 90 acres land, Thall Public School in 12 acres land, and all my design gardens which I develop also are my favorite, but Qadir Bakhsh Farms is my favorite because maybe because it belongs to me and me and my family. We live in it.
Here are some pictures of my garden which I make…
Where in the world is your favorite landscape/garden?
I visit so many well designed gardens all over, but Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden Pattaya Thailand and Garden by the Bay Singaporeare my favorite gardens.
Describe your ‘living wall’ designs… Can anyone create one?
Here in my country every home have bricks walls for privacy and security. I am always thinking how I can convert these bricks walls in to green walls or living walls. So this is first time I design a concrete kit and pillars to install a living wall, such walls which can use for plant growing. I also manufacture these kits at my own farm. So my design living wall can be free standing and can be part of the existing buildings. It has some portion for growing medias. There are so many small holes for plants in every concrete kit.
Growing media which you can use in these living walls for better growing,
like Coco peat, Leaf manure, Farm Yard Manure (FYM), Compost, Silt, and N:P:K ( Mix in mention media or foliar application).
See here how I install my design living walls , here is free standing walls.
Now I use these living walls for vegetable growing. We can use these living walls for growing different variety of vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, chilies, salads. Also you can grow herbs such as mint and asparagus, Succulents and Strawberries.
Here you can see how easily we can shift plants in living walls.
See here is a look of how we grow salad in living walls.
Here we can estimate some benefits of these design living walls…
· Increase biodiversity.
· Relief from everyday crowding and noise pollution.
· Maximize the limited area.
· Increase accessibility.
· Less damage from (i.e. pets/pests).
· Healthier plants.
· Grow more plants & Increase crop yield.
· Reduce cost of heating and cooling (i.e. energy consumption).
· Improve air quality.
· Source of food and shelter for wildlife and humans.
So Gina, the possibilities for edible gardening in my living walls/vertical garden are endless. Where there is no space for gardening, by using these living wall ideas, vegetables can grow into a home landscape by using walls. This way we can develop a new relationship with our gardens and the food we eat.
Second, Living Walls are a key component of living architecture and they will become increasingly important fixtures in our cities in the years to come.
Third, Living Walls technologies provide a wide range of options for designers who are interested in using the building envelope to accomplish multiple objectives and to provide new free standing design features on the interior and exterior of buildings.
Describe ‘Agri-Toruism Farm’…What is it?
Agri-Tourism Farm is not only a farm but it’s also an idea for solving the problem/challenges facing us here. Before telling you about my Agri-Tourism Farm, I want to share you what is the philosophy behind it, why I want to introduce such idea in my country.
Gina, here the quality of food getting poor day by day and so the quality of life for human also getting poor, early ages people mostly fell in so many health problems. They have to face high blood pressures, high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension and hepatitis etc. I think it is because people have no knowledge where food comes from? What is in it? They have no connection with nature now they are machines of making money, they use commercially grown food which is not good for health due to uses of much chemicals.
Secondly, our city areas expand very rapidly because the people migrate from rural to urban area for jobs and work. It’s because they have no job and work opportunity in rural area even educated person and our farmer is also poor because farmer can not get the proper prices for their agri – produces, here the farmer has to face so many middle men. Due to this mass migration, we need more houses in urban areas. So, the well fertile lands near cities decrease day by day and are used for housing schemes.
Now come to the solutions…
· We connect people with nature.
· They have the knowledge of pure food and what is in it.
· Urban community should have the chance to visit rural area.
· They should be aware about organic food.
· Within rural areas, increase the work/ job opportunity that rural people can get job in their station and not migrate to urban area.
· Farmer go for direct market that they get proper prices of their products without any middle man.
So I introduce the idea of agri-tourism farms with so many tourist attractions. I think if we have design lot of agri tourism farm with so many tourist attractions.
Now what will happen?
· Rural prosperity will come, due to more job/work opportunity; rural community will not go to city area. Farmer will get the proper prices of their products.
· Urban community will motivate to come in villages, they will see the farming process in their working state, and our generation will touch with nature and can learn where the food comes from. They will buy pure food direct from the farmers.
Their health will be good as they come to the nature. So you can see how and what purpose I have, why I want to introduce the agri- tourism farms idea. I want to connect people through food, farm and education. I am pioneer to introduce this idea. Now introduced for the first time in Pakistan agri-tourism farms because we have the dreams for community of Pakistan; better environment awareness and organic life style for good quality of life.
So we are going to create not only Agri- farming for tourist attraction/facilities and for education but also introduce modern Entertainment Farming, inspiring people to get good quality of life.
This is 3D view design created by me of Agri-Tourism Farms Pakistan.
This agri-tourism offer attractions for tourist…
· Hay Rides/Tourist Wagon rides.
· Biggest Living wall in the world (in planning stages).
· On farm – Retail market(Fresh fruits and vegetables market etc).
· Petting Zoo.
· Fee Fishing.
· Eid festivals and fairs.
· Bed and breakfast with camping, tours, moon light activities.
· Pick your own vegetable and fruit.
· Cut your own flowers and foliage.
· Agriculture related museums and display.
· Farmer’s market.
· Agriculture related festivals and fairs .
· Corn mazes idea and rent fruit tree idea.
· Flower show and vegetable show.
· Horse/bicycle riding.
· Capturing the natural healthy views /Photo shooting.
· First time bamboo patches; a picnic under bamboo forest.
More than 60 percent work has been done and so I hope site will be open for public coming March 2015. It will be no end, it’s just start. I will involve and educate other farmers and land owners how they can start their farms as agri-tourism farms. How they can manage school kids and community agri-field trips. How they can impress others to adopt modern agricultural practices and get more and more rewards of their hard work.
Do you have any tips for beginning gardeners?
Yes I have one tip for beginning gardeners, it’s just “passion for gardening”. Because I observe so many cases if a person has no knowledge and no tips about gardening but they are crazy for gardening, ultimate they are successful gardeners. On the other hand, even well educated person of agriculture and gardening has no plants in their home due to lack of passion. (I am so sorry if you do not agree with me). So self-motivation for doing gardening is basic tip for beginning gardeners, after that it’s so easy to understand what type of soil, water, fertilizer, organic compost, seeds and climate they need for successful gardening.
If I were to begin a small garden for my family, what plants do you suggest I grow?
Ok if you are going to begin a garden for your family, please, you must go for edible plants, must grow and prefer first vegetables, then herbal plants and also fruit plants and then plants which used as medicinal uses, must grow one Moringa tree!
HAPPY GARDENING !
Connect with Tariq and his incredible vision…
Living walls by Tariq Tanveer https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.650710128306370.1073741840.161422130568508&type=3
Qadir Bakhsh Farms http://www.qbfarms.com/