Category — India
Terrace gardening with the Indian pioneer, Dr B.N Viswanath
Home and Decor
What inspired you to start a movement of Organic farming, especially on the terrace?
Dr. Vishwanath: It happened accidentally. I was travelling from Delhi to Bangalore in 1995, as the flight couldn’t land on time due to some technical reason and flew over Bangalore city for a while… that’s when I noticed immaculate terraces reflecting sunlight. That’s when the thought came in my mind, why the constant rise of temperatures in Bangalore? .Even though, Bangalore is known as “Air conditioned city” because of the pleasant weather.
It disturbed me to realize that the Garden City of India, Bangalore, has become a concrete jungle day by day. I didn’t bury that thought in me; I discussed with like minded people and friends and realized that in Bangalore every one used to have an ornamental garden in the front and vegetable garden at the back side of their house.
May 20, 2013 No Comments
“There have been no policies which support agriculture in Delhi, so I don’t think they will last very long in this area.”
By Joseph Redwood-Martinez
Artist, writer, and filmmaker
May 8, 2013
The Yamuna River runs through the middle of Delhi — India’s second largest metropolis and home to a population of over 18 million inhabitants. But very few of this city’s residents or visitors know that along the banks of the Yamuna live thousands of urban farmers. Contrary to what one who learns of them might assume, these urban farmers are not recent migrants forcibly displaced from rural areas and only able to find work in Delhi as agricultural laborers. Rather, they have been cultivating vegetables along the banks of Yamuna for several generations. Yet still, since they are without government identification cards and do not own the property on which they farm, these farmers are among the most vulnerable population in urban Delhi — not only unknown, but also invisible.
May 11, 2013 No Comments
In Hyderabad, it was found that households that produce vegetables saved 20 per cent of their total food expenditures by retaining part of the produce for household consumption.
By Sribaala Vadlapatla
Times of India
May 4, 2013
Speaking to Times of India, horticulture department director K Devamuni Reddy said that the initiative as part of urban farming is met with good response since it was initiated two months back. “We give the citizens who are ready to grow a cluster of vegetables at their home a subsidy of Rs 360 and they have to spend another Rs 1200 from their pockets” he added.
May 8, 2013 No Comments
South India receives ample sunshine that’s great for growing vegetables
By Elizabeth Soumya
March 11, 2013
Oota in Kannada means food. Thota means garden. When I dropped in at a fair called ‘Oota from your thota’ or ‘grub from your garden’ when translated, I found that it was hugely popular. Shoppers were wandering around with concentrated efforts to stack up on supplies that are otherwise a tad difficult to come by. Some were ordering sacks of compost, many were picking up herbs from stalls that had signs such as ‘celery plants for `5’. A couple from Coorg, who had travelled to Bangalore for the fair, was selling soapnut (natural detergent), ginger and bananas grown on their farms. Somewhere behind plants of tomatoes and double beans was Vishwanath K Narayan, the man who, along with a team of food growers or urban gardeners, started organising the fair in 2011.
April 26, 2013 No Comments
Three ‘moos’ for a spirited idea
By Krishnadas Rajagopal
April 18, 2013
Cows look up to him. So do some humans. At a time when rapid urbanisation is swallowing up living spaces, Gokul V. has found enough space in his car shed for six brawny members of the bovine population.
Located in the congested lanes criss-crossing along the ancient Tali Maha Shiva Temple where traditional Brahmin agraharams stand cheek-by-jowl with steel and concrete structures in lands once owned by the Zamorins, the 25-year-old’s dairy flourishes with two Holstein Friesian cows, three Jerseys, and their calves. The dairy also doubles up as a farm school recognised by the Animal Husbandry Department — the only one of its kind located within the urban limits of the city.
April 19, 2013 No Comments
Excerpt from Preface to the Fourth Edition:
By Norman Gill
Superintendent, Kumaon Government Gardens
Although nearly a decade since I last edited “Gollan’s Indian Vegetable Garden”, the continued demand for this useful and practical work proves that it has lost none of its deceiving popularity.
It is to be regretted that with many in this country the meat supply takes precedence but we have only to look at the general health of those who study their own garden food supply to recognize the importance of good fresh vegetables. Many argue that vegetables can be purchased cheaper from the bazaar or market gardens than grown.
April 7, 2013 No Comments
Rooftop food garden update, Jan 8, 2013.
Urbagrow Aquaponics in India
Welcome to Urbagrow, an urban, Aquaponic, soil free, food garden in Kolkata. Located in South Suburban Kolkata on a 1000 sq ft rooftop.
The garden displays a variety of aquaponic systems growing a variety of vegetables and Tilapia and cat fish. The symbiotic relationship between the fish and plants along with the temperate climate of Kolkata allows us to grow a wide variety of seasonal vegetables and edible fish. The garden is a display for systems of various sizes and growing techniques, all designed to occupy open spaces in urban environments like roof tops and balconies which receive adequate sunlight to grow healthy plants and electricity is easily available.
February 5, 2013 No Comments
Beautiful video showing farming and spiritual purpose at Krushak Ashram, Sustainable Agriculture, Satara, India (Organically Grown). (Must see. 24 minutes. Mike)
“We need at least 4.5 acre land for production of one tonne vegetable.
Times of India
December 08, 2012
PUNE: Farmers’ group Krushak Ashram, on Friday, formerly launched their initiative to directly sell fresh vegetables to consumers in the city. The initiative was running on a pilot basis for the past one year but was formally launched in the presence of Sudhir Kumar Goyal, additional chief secretary, government of Maharashtra.
The farmer groups are currently supplying close to one tonne fresh vegetables to the city every alternate day. A mobile van has been bought by the farmers to supply vegetables to housing societies. So far six societies are buying vegetables from the groups.
December 17, 2012 No Comments
The Urban Farming Show… Lets Plant, Grow & Eat!
Date: 2nd, 3rd, 4th November
Earthoholics and Home Collectives
Through this show we wish to promote growing one’s own food organically on rooftops, box grills, balconies and empty city spaces on an individual to a community level.
People can shop for a wide range of Orchids by Orchids Flora Pune, exclusive Bonsai plants by SSurup Bonsais, Terrariums or bottle gardens and medicinal plants by Go Green Nursery, vegetable sapplings, herb plants, pest repellant plants by Vriksha Nursery, gardeninig tools, pots, square foot gardening kits, accesories and much more. They can get access to the best of water proofing and kitchen garden set up services and also living walls/vertical garden consultants.
October 28, 2012 1 Comment
‘Oota from your Thota’, which in Kannada means ‘food from your garden’
By Divya Sreedharan
Oct 13, 2012
In the mid 1990s, Dr. B.N. Vishwanath, a gardening enthusiast went public with his passion. Grow greens on your terraces and your balconies, he urged his fellow Bangaloreans. Not many listened. Bangalore, then, was a sleepy city of sprawling bungalows and well-tended gardens. As the city grew, the bungalows disappeared and space began to be measured in square feet. What Dr. Vishwanath said all those years ago finally made sense.
Today, the agriculturist is considered one of the pioneers of urban farming in India. Founding trustee of the Garden City Farmers Trust (GCFT), his message is the same: “Eat what you can grow in your garden” or Oota from your Thota (OfyT).
October 15, 2012 2 Comments
Rick Foster, professor of Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies, discusses the MetroFoodPlus Innovation Cluster project.
10-member Metro-Food delegation from Michigan State University to visit next month
The Hindu Business Line
Hyderabad, Oct. 4, 2012
Forget about urban agriculture that seeks to grow crops over rooftops. India will get a taste of Metropolitan agriculture when a 10-member delegation from Michigan State University (the US), which has evolved concepts and technologies on Metropolitan Agriculture, visits India next month.
The Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) will sign an agreement with the university as it sets up Food 360 degrees Foundation to popularise Metropolitan Agriculture in India.
“You should not mistake urban agriculture with Metropolitan Agriculture. Urban agriculture could just be one component of the latter. Metropolitan Agriculture is a holistic approach to the food culture needs of the urban areas,” Kalyan Chakravarthy, IFFCO Kisan Special Economic Zone, told Business Line.
October 4, 2012 No Comments
“It was my dream to shift to a high-rise, where air and sunlight would be in abundance”
By Nitin Yeshwantrao
Times of India
Sept 2, 2012
Thane, India: In a unique experiment of high-rise farming, Anjana Devasthale has converted the flowerbeds in her spacious apartment, located at the upscale Pachpakhadi pocket in old Thane, into a mini vegetable farm.
The green initiative has yielded yummy results. Now, the Devasthales need not look beyond their window to prepare tomato salad, white gourd (dudhi) halwa, beans vegetable or to add cooking herbs for the daily tadka.
Nestled in the concrete chaos, the Devasthales have sowed the seeds of window farming, at their 10th floor apartment in Nakshatra Residency, using simple and zero-cost methodology.
September 3, 2012 No Comments
Experts wowed novice and seasoned gardeners alike at the organic terrace gardening workshops conducted over the weekend
By Manasi Paresh Kumar
Aug 20, 2012
The audience was a fair sprinkling of young and old, but their enthusiasm was infectious. The organic terrace gardening workshops conducted by Bangalore Mirror Earth Warriors in association with Garden City Farmers Trust (GCFT) and Vittal Mallya Scientific Research Foundation (VMSRF), had both novice and seasoned gardeners in attendance. And the response was so overwhelming that the workshops, originally scheduled only for Saturday, had to be extended to Sunday.
Dr Rajendra Hegde, project leader at VMSRF, who conducted the sessions along with Lakshmi Narayan of GCFT, was peppered with queries which he fielded with ease.
August 22, 2012 No Comments
Typically, urban children today are given little or no opportunity for physical contact with nature.
03 Aug 2012
For most schools, the start of the new academic year heralds a new beginning for various co-curricular activities. I recently participated in the inauguration of the Green Club of BM English School. For the past two years, this club has been actively involved in growing and maintaining an organic vegetable and herb garden on their school premises. The produce is used at the school canteen and the surplus shared among the members.
August 9, 2012 No Comments
A rooftop terrace of 1000 square feet
By Urban Leaves
August 7, 2012
Who says one needs land to grow vegetables? And who feels that Organic farming practices do not give sufficient yields?
A visit to our enthusiastic member Vipul Sanghvi’s terrace will put to rest any such doubts.
After dedicatedly making Amrut Mitti for a year the roof top garden in a span of six months resembles a food forest. Renamed as the ‘Kasturi Vaatika’, this space of about 1000 sft. has been consistently yielding vegetables – enough to sustain 3 or 4 families’ daily requirements.
August 9, 2012 No Comments
Can urban farming supply the fruit and vegetables required for modern families?
President, Garden City Farmers, Chamrajpet, Bengaluru
In Bengaluru, not very long before, when houses were independent with space all around, people used to grow vegetables in kitchen gardens at the back and ornamental/landscaped gardens at the front yard. As the so called development progressed, the land value increased, the land around the house disappeared and every inch is used for one or the other constructions. At present no place is there for the gardens. In the guise of development, agricultural land in and around the cities were compromised for industries. Large amount of peri-urban land is lost for industrial development. Bengaluru is just an example, but this is happening in almost all metros (cities) around the globe.
July 2, 2012 No Comments
India is among only 3 out of 81 developing countries that have not succeeded in improving hunger conditions in the past 15 years
By Henrik Valeur and Arshinder Kaur
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol – XLVII No. 24
June 16, 2012 |
The case for urban farming in India
India is experiencing rapid urbanisation, fuelled by and powering economic growth. But this growth is not equally distributed, partly because the integration into the cities of people trying to escape rural poverty is being resisted by the people already living in the cities. Therefore, most rural migrants wind up in slum areas – or eventually in so-called rehabilitation colonies – literally or figuratively located on the outskirts of cities, where opportunities are severely limited. The upshot of this is that poverty, as such, is simply conveyed from one area (the rural) to another (the urban).
June 14, 2012 2 Comments
“It’s a great way to show kids where the food they eat comes from and how much love goes into growing it!”
By Salonee Gadgil
Culinary enthusiast and food blogger extraordinaire, Saee Koranne has maintained a little garden in her window as long as she can remember. It’s something she learnt from her parents. About three years ago, she decided to move to growing plants that were more than just ornamental. She grows mint, tomato, chillies, carrots and brinjal! “Am looking to expand this monsoon to more herbs like rosemary and basil” she says. Just like it would on a farm, much depends on the weather. Clearly, nature really isn’t miles away.
June 1, 2012 No Comments
Around 500 families will be provided with seedlings
The Times of India
May 15, 2012
KOCHI: Giving thrust to organic farming and self-reliance in vegetable cultivation, a terrace vegetable farming initiative was inaugurated here on Monday.
Jointly organized by the Ernakulam District Agricultural Society, Horticultural Society, Ernakulam District Resident Association’s apex council, residents association apex council and the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam ( VFPCK), the programme was inaugurated by district collector Sheikh Pareeth.
Nearly 2,50,000 seedlings were distributed in the city. The aim is to distribute seedlings to 500 families before Friday. The second phase, which aims to bring one lakh families under the programme, will be implemented in Tripunithura, Kakkanad, Maradu, Kalamassery and Thrikkakara.
May 16, 2012 No Comments
5,000 sq ft of unused rooftop to be used
We want to transform 5,000 sq ft of unused rooftop into an exemplar urban farm and community space. The Farm is located atop a low income, mixed-use building on the busiest street in Mumbai. There is no source for organic produce or any green, open space in walking distance from the building. We hope that by showing it is possible to grow food in a densely urbanized area with limited resources we will inspire others to start growing (some of) their own food in the underutilized spaces that surround them.
April 17, 2012 3 Comments