Hemal Patel started ‘Urban Soil,’ an initiative which is striving to increase the number of space-efficient farms within cities.
If you think what qualms could one possibly have about their life as a computer engineer, you should talk to Hemal Patel.
This Pune-based techie quit his comfortable well-paying job to embark on a mission to promote organic farming.
Hemal couldn’t realise his love for nature within the confined space of his cubicle and decided to quit his job in 2013.
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“I learnt organic farming. My love for the outdoors was taking me to villages, and during those weekend trips, certain techniques started catching my attention,” he told the Times of India.
The road to learning the art and tricks of organic farming wasn’t smooth. It took Hemal over three years and numerous visits to farms to master the art of organic farming.
Growing your own produce locally can be quite a challenge, especially in the cramped up city space! Hemal kept wondering why urban citizens wouldn’t take up the challenge to produce their own food. Only when he was in the process of quitting his job, did he come across ample citizens who wanted to take up organic farming but did not know how to go about it?
Hemal made it his life’s mission to bridge this knowledge gap. He started ‘Urban Soil,’ an initiative which is striving to increase the number of space-efficient farms within cities.
He conducts a two-day workshop for a fee, and teaches three years’ worth of tricks of the trade of organic farming to participants. The attendees are armed with starter kits and ready equipment to transform unused terraces, balconies, backyards, school and corporate spaces into organic farms and gardens.
“I tell participants why it’s important to grow their own food. They are also given information on different types of soil and the various types of saplings. The training then makes up the basic rules of organic farming. At the end of the workshop, each participant is handed compost full of essential microbes which are responsible for preparing manure from kitchen waste. The kit encourages them to take the first step,” says Hemal.
Despite transforming multiple spaces into gardens for neighbours and other people who approach him, he still doesn’t have a terrace garden of his own in my apartment due to space constraints.
Looking at the gap in education & awareness about living a sustainable lifestyle in cities, Hemal formed a WhatsApp group to connect like-minded people into conscious sustainable urban living.
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This group today has over 1600 + conscious members. His 2-day workshops to learn composting & organic Gardening have had over 700 participants from Pune and Mumbai, Jalgaon, Satara & Wai.
He now teaches in a city school enlightening young minds about the importance of organic farming and sustainable living.
Shedding light on how a nature-focused way of life is the need of the hour, he said, “There are people who are teaching beehive conservation and rehabilitation. Many are also selling toxin-free products that don’t pollute or poison nearby environments or people.The aim is to reduce the amount of harm we are causing the environment – for personal gains.”
Know more about Hemal’s initiative here.
You can WhatsApp him on 9011355709.
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