"They Said I Was Crazy": A Negeri Sembilan Man On How He Turned A Dumpsite Into An Orchard
Meet Zakaria Othman
He is a retired civil servant from Taman Putra, Kuala Pilah in Negeri Sembilan. Zakaria loves planting vegetables, however, he had trouble finding a place to do so.
When he did come across a plot where he wanted to grow vegetables, it came with a disappointment of seeing the plot of land becoming a dumpsite for construction materials, according to a report in NST Online yesterday, 26 July.
That was a decade ago. Since then Zakaria has turned the plot into a mini plantation.
The retired civil servant, upset at the plot being turned into a dumpsite, decided to take matters into his own hands
He first removed almost a tonne of rubbish from the site near his home and then once he had made enough space, he started planting some chilli seeds.
When the chillis thrived, he grew more plants
Now, there are more than 10 types of plants in this mini plantation.
While his project has made the 0.1ha plot home to plants such as chilli, sunflower and banana, it didn't come easy.
When he first started, neighbours called him "crazy".
When people learnt of my plans, they said I was crazy as the area was filled with rubbish. They also said the land could be infertile. However, I pressed on.
Although his neighbours mocked him for his plans, Zakaria says that he would love to share the harvest with them
"I've planted banana, spinach, eggplant, papaya, ladies fingers, lemongrass, pandan, long beans, coconut and sunflowers," he was quoted as saying by NST Online.
He added that he now plans to expand his green haven.