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India: More residents learning to grow their own food

“Every apartment has a different microclimate; within each apartment, each room may have a different microclimate.

By Anjana Vaswani and Vijayeta Basu
Mumbai Mirror
Sep 24, 2017


The Ghias, the Mahimkars and the Kadams represent a new tribe: urban farmers who are using whatever space they have available to create pretty, leafy corners, that produce at least some of what their families consume. Preeti Patil who conducts ‘compost your kitchen waste’ workshops through her eight-year old company Urban Leaves, a collaboration of urban farming enthusi asts, confirms the rise of this new breed. “From only wanting to grow decorative flowering plants, people are now eager to learn how to grow their own produce to ensure they’re eating healthy, and there’s also a visible shift towards adopting sustainable living practices,” says Patil whose first project, a terrace farm at the Mumbai Port Trust has grown into a sprawling food forest in 17 years.

Encouraged by a flood of enquiries ever since she got her own building to start composting in January this year, Worli resident Serafina Auster Singapuri recently launched Green Conscience Consulting, a company through which she hopes to find practical solutions for environmental problems like waste management.

Singapuri, who grew up on a ranch in Colorado and started gardening as a young girl, has been growing much of her own produce ever since she moved here 17 years ago. She holds a BSc degree in Earth Systems from Stanford University, and “was accepted to the Masters programme in landscape architecture at Harvard and Berkeley,” but married her Goan-Gujarati boyfriend, and followed him to Mumbai instead. Spread over the various balconies of her home are lettuce, ginger, aloe vera, spinach, basil, mint, ajwain and tomato plants. In previous apartments, which didn’t afford as much open space, Singapuri would grow chillies, curry leaves and hibiscus, “which I’d use to make iced tea.”

Read the complete article here.