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Category — India

Dr. B.N. Vishwanath – father of organic urban terrace gardening in India

Dr. Vishwanath says that many of his group members tell him that they don’t know what to do with their produce. It is so much that they even get tired of distributing. Photo by Murali Kumar k.

“It is important to make sustainable communities,” he argues, “importing food is second slavery.”

By Deepa Ganesh
The Hindu
Feb 22, 2014


“During the making of this film, I suddenly remembered our days in Mysore. I would accompany my father to shop vegetables in Saraswatipuram. Small farmers grew vegetables on their land. They gave us a knife and told us to pluck whatever vegetables we needed. My father would chop fresh vegetables of the plant, and the farmer used to look into our bag and tell us how much we had to pay. As I thought of those days, the enormity of change and urbanization dawned upon me. The entomologist who advocated chemical fertilizers gradually began to fade,” he remembers.

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March 3, 2014   Comments Off

1952: Indira Gandhi watches wheat harvest in rear garden of Prime Minister’s residence – India

Photo by James Burke. Apr 1952 LIFE. Click on image for larger version.

Teen Murti Bhavan in Delhi, India – the former residence of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, who stayed here for 16 years until his death in 1964.

(Must see. Mike)
Excerpt: from Indira Priyadarshini, By Alaka Shankar

In early 1950, when the campaigns of ‘grow more food’ and ‘grow your own vegetables’ were launched, Indira got the front gardens and the back lawns converted into vegetable gardens and wheat fields. She supervised the cultivation. When the harvest time came, she distributed the vegetables and wheat to the servants and their families and to the senior staff and kept some for Teen Murti household.

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January 23, 2014   Comments Off

Bangalore Kitchen Gardener: Anusuya Sharma

Anusuya Sharma in her flourishing medicinal garden.

‘Medicinal plants are all you need for good health’

Kavya Chandra
The Alternative
10 September, 2013


Meet one of India’s most experienced kitchen gardeners – Anusuya Sharma – renowned expert on medicinal plants, author of two books on terrace gardening (‘Tarasi Tota Ondu Inuku Nota’ in 2007 and ‘Hittilu Kaitotakkondu Kaipidi’ in 2010) and winner of the Srishti Sanman award by Honey Bee’s Network National Innovation Foundation.

I am 70 years old and rarely fall sick. My garden is responsible for this and I am very grateful.”

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January 17, 2014   Comments Off

Awareness about our biodiversity should start in home gardens

E.Gopalakrishnan with his wife G.Rani show some of the plants in their backyard that can provide a lifetime of medicinal and nutritional
value. Photo: M. Moorthy.

Gopalakrishnan and his wife Rani run the Sevai Children Trust, that motivates youngsters to adopt a more healthy
and natural lifestyle.

By Nahla Nainar
The Hindu
Jan 3, 2014


The backyard in his Srinivasa Nagar home doubles as a test plot for various plant specimens with proven medicinal qualities, and highlights the natural wealth that we seem to be rather tragically dismissive about.

“You may have seen colourful advertisements on TV about costly shampoos that use oils from Amazon forest herbs to combat hair loss. But our Siddha practitioners had already told us about palai keerai, which can regenerate hair growth. Sadly the palai keerai has now been termed as endangered by the central government.

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January 12, 2014   Comments Off

India: Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai have active groups of urban farmers


To combat increasing levels of pesticides in foods, terrace gardens across India are blooming

By Gargi Gupta
Dec 29, 2013


Aparna George, a Bangalore-based freelance writer, grows strawberries in pots in a corner of her terrace, along with other vegetables like zucchini, lavender, carrots, beans, brinjals, cauliflower, cabbage, and palak, methi, coriander, rosemary, thyme and parsley.

George’s tryst with growing vegetables started, she reveals, around four years ago with the realisation that there are very high levels of pesticide residue in food. She began with a few pots of brinjals and tomatoes, using the organic manure she got by composting kitchen waste at home.

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January 4, 2014   Comments Off

India: ‘With my pipe garden I grow up to 22 vegetables on 1 sq ft’


Bangalore gardener says the main challenge I faced was the monkey attacks on my crops.

By Vinay Magadi
The Alternative
Nov 26, 2013
I am a native of bangalore. I was an avid gardener from childhood. I graduated from Christ College, Bangalore (now Christ University) with botany and zoology as my subjects. I love to experiment and have taken to experimenting with various gardening techniques. The pipe garden has been the culmination of my 4 years of experimentation.


In my childhood, we had a huge garden and all that we wanted, we grew in the garden. I had to shift to terrace gardening due to lack of space in our current residence.

I have grown a wide variety of vegetables like Maize, Kidney beans, ChowChow, Bush beans, Purple beans, Tomatoes, Cherry tomatoes, brinjals of different varieties, various greens, amorphophallus, Okra etc., in the terrace successfully.

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December 19, 2013   Comments Off

The New York Times ‘Image of the Day’ November 28


Women working in a cauliflower field in Kolkata, West Bengal. Photo by Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Comment by Debasish Chatterjee
Calcutta, India

With vanishing greenery around the congested city of Calcutta the cultivation of Cauliflower around Eastern Bye Pass and New Town makes a wonderful difference.Amidst the concrete skyscrapers in the background the picture of the ladies working in the Cauliflower field presents a heartening picture.

December 6, 2013   Comments Off

Meet Navi Mumbai’s urban farmers

Navi Mumbais urban farmers.

“It’s a great tool for communities to come together and be connected. It is almost spiritual.”

By Reza Noorani
Time of India
Oct 19, 2013


Julius Rego, who runs a community farming program called Green Souls, says that in the past year that they have been active, he seen almost a thousand people come and volunteer at the St Jude’s Children home in Kharghar, where they have been allotted a farm by the Cancer Treatment Centre. “From college kids to housewives and working professionals, we have all kinds of people who come and learn,” says Julius, who has been working and learning as well as teaching organic farming techniques like compost farming and permaculture. “There is no need to spend on fertilisers and expensive composts. You can use your daily garbage in a way that it won’t stink and avail of the cheapest best compost you can ever find,” he adds.

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October 31, 2013   Comments Off

India’s Farm University Holds Seminar on Rooftop Gardening

india sem

University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, celebrates its Golden Jubilee year with Urban Horticulture and Organic Roof Top Gardening Seminar – Oct 27, 28, 2013

Excerpt from brochure:

Urban Agriculture (Krishi) necessarily connoting the
pursuit of horticulture is now the new buzz in the life of people
of the metropolises. Gardening has always served as a balm for
these sore souls. The realm of kitchen garden – growing one’s
own food including medicine around homes and in the new
acres’ bought nearer their city homes is leading to revolutions
of sort.

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September 25, 2013   Comments Off

Banking on kitchen gardens to fight malnourishment in Karnataka State of India.

Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR).

Plans afoot to promote urban horticulture in Gulbarga division

The Hindu
Sept 8, 2013


The State government is now banking on urban horticulture to fight malnutrition in the six districts coming under the backward Gulbarga division.

The Horticulture Department is all set to launch a project aimed at promoting kitchen gardens at the household level, urban horticulture on the premises of schools and anganwadis, and community gardens with a focus on vegetable cultivation.

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September 23, 2013   Comments Off

Garden Ganesha idols go eco-friendly in India

Sculptress is Kiran Jangir.

Immerse it in a tub of water where it disintegrates in less than 5min – the soil is then transferred to the garden

Vedanti Singh Chauhan,
Times of India
Aug 23, 2012


Indore: This Ganesh Chaturthi is going to be eco-friendly as there has been a significant increase in the demand of eco-friendly idols.

The ten-day long Ganesh festival will start from September 19. Idol makers are already busy preparing the statues. Eco-friendly idols are mainly made of biodegradable materials that do not pollute the water, soil, or air.

“We have been making eco-friendly Ganesh idols for past 80 years now. My father was a sculptor and we have taken up this art after him” said Arvind Keskar, owner Shri Kala Kendra in Rajwada. Keskar makes Ganesh idols out of yellow soil, jute and modelling clay. Keskar can be seen working in his workshop with his family.

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September 22, 2013   Comments Off

India’s city farmers celebrate World Kitchen Gardeners’ Day

In the name of health many youngsters in Bangalore are turning to kitchen gardening.

As land prices went up in the city, people built up on every inch available, leaving no space for a garden; apartments took over.

By Bhumika K.
The Hindi
Aug. 24, 2013


Manikandan, a 33-year-old software engineer has just quit his job to become a full-time urban agriculturist. He doesn’t have a garden; he grows veggies in pots and drums on his terrace! Many home gardening enthusiasts in Bangalore religiously follow his blog where he’s known only as ‘Geekgardener’. He never buys tomatoes for his rasam. His terrace garden provides it. And once, when he had a bumper crop of 48 kg of cucumber, he gave them to friends, family, and then sold what was left to a nearby supermarket!

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August 29, 2013   Comments Off

Bangalore’s active roof farmers

Vijay Satish’s kitchen uses the produce from his garden. Photographs by Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint.

With a blossoming kitchen gardeners’ club, many in the original garden city are growing what they eat

By Pavitra Jayaraman
Live Mint
Aug. 24 2013


Vijay Satish’s day begins on his rooftop terrace at 6am. “I think of it as my meditation time. That’s the kind of peace tending to my kitchen garden gives me,” he says. His 1,000 sq. ft terrace is lined with pots. Satish points out 13 types of tomatoes (only a third of the varieties one can grow, we are told), zucchini, bhut jolokia chillies and yellow-coloured brinjal. “You can grow almost anything from across the world in Bangalore. It’s the best place to be a gardener,” says Satish.

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August 28, 2013   Comments Off

India’s Vani Murthy – ‘Once you compost, you HAVE to garden!’

Vani Murthy.

“We care for a cleaner and greener Bangalore.”

Kavya Chandra
The Alternative
Aug 21, 2013


Her airy terrace is a clear giveaway of Vani Murthy’s interests. The space is filled with planting beds and pots. A stout snake gourd hangs over some basil plants. Every conceivable local vegetable, herb and fruit seems to be flourishing here – beans, chillies, cauliflowers, gourds, tomatoes. Four composting solutions are in operation, with another one on trial. Many people come to visit her terrace, hoping to start their own gardens or composting efforts. Her visitors are usually treated to a hot cup of coffee, and plenty of encouraging words about the feasibility of composting and cultivating a vegetable garden.

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August 26, 2013   Comments Off

Mumbai’s ‘Urban Leaves’ inspires India’s urban farmers

Volunteers are willing to share their experiences and spread the joy of cultivation.

With more than 40 terrace farms registered with Urban Leaves, the vision, says Patil, is to have a community farm in every suburb of Mumbai.

By Vidya Heble
August 22, 2013


The concept of kitchen gardening has taken firm root in the space-starved Mumbaikar’s mind, and a number of urban farming groups have sprouted to formalize the activity. Besides Urban Leaves (www.urban, participants include Fresh and Local ( and Earthoholics (, as well as several groups which have pages on Facebook.

While a lot of people may be growing their own curry leaves and green chillies, Patil says that ideally a kitchen garden should be created by composting kitchen waste and using it to grow food.

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August 22, 2013   Comments Off