I am fascinated by stories of urban farmers. Imagine converting your balcony into a plot where you grow fruits and vegetables, not just for your consumption but also to sell – and make a good profit on it.
Until I started speaking to these urban farmers, I was always sceptical of such articles – does it really work as they say it does? Turns out, sometimes it does indeed.
This story is about Kamala from Bengaluru, who gave up her job as a garment worker to start growing mushrooms in her 1200 sq ft house.
As per the Hindu report, after spending 20 years working in different garment factories in the city, the hard labour convinced the woman, who has a pre-university education, that it was time to try something less strenuous.
“The continuous hard work does not even give you enough time to visit the washroom. It started making me feel as though I was in jail,” she recalls.
Her job as a garment worker fetched her Rs 8000 a month before she decided to take up mushroom cultivation. She enrolled for a course at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR). Armed with the knowledge she got here, she decided to take the plunge.
What’s amazing is that she started off with cultivating about two to three kgs a month and today, she has a yield of almost 50 to 60 kgs of oyster mushrooms earning a profit of about ₹30,000.
What she cultivates is sold to hotels and vegetable shops regularly. Now that Kamala has mastered the basics, she has joined a training programme at IIHR on value addition: turning leftover mushrooms into sambar powder and ready-to-eat products, as reported by the publication.
If you are fascinated by this and are keen to start cultivating your own vegetables and fruits, then you must read a story we covered about an app that lets you do just that called Farmizen.
This initiative, which has its roots in Bengaluru, is an app-based service, which gives the consumer a patch of land to manage.
Sometimes while you have the intention to grow your own food, either you are constrained by time or space.
Here each mini-farm is divided into 12 beds, so you can choose to either grow one vegetable on all beds or a different plant in each bed. Each plot is 600 sq. feet and the monthly subscription can cost you around Rs 2500.
Do click here to read more about this.
(Edited By Vinayak Hegde)