While our awareness about the food that we consume—where it comes from, the way it was processed—is increasing, there is still a lack of sustainable and affordable solutions that ensure our food does not cause us harm.
This is one of the primary reasons why more and more people are advocating self-farming.
Delhi based Farmstacks is an organisation that doesn’t just advocate self-farming but also recommends that you adopt sustainable methods for it.
Speaking to The Better India (TBI) about how the organisation came about, Sharad Rai, one of its founders, says, “Raghav (Varma) and I have been friends since our engineering college days. A couple of years ago, we decided to start a venture that provides fresh produce to people in Delhi. Our concern was that people don’t scrutinise their vegetables enough. Ironically, they are more careful about purchasing electronics. Isn’t it essential for us to have the same concern for the food that fuels us then?”
Raghav and Sharad were joined by Karsan Chaudhary and Vaibhav Kaushik, who were already experimenting with sustainable urban farming methods.
Together, they solved the riddle of how a person living in an urban space can grow their food sustainably, without investing too much time and money.
The answer? Hydroponics.
As intriguing and adventurous as self-farming is, it can also be confusing. How do we know the soil, amount of water and space a plant requires to grow successfully?
Well, Farmstacks is attempting to answer these questions in their day-long workshop about hydroponics.
“Hydroponics requires very less land and is perfect for urban spaces like balconies and terraces. The method is done only in water, and nothing touches the soil. Since the water runs through all the roots of the plants, it circulates the fertilisers and nutrients with near perfection. The plants absorb about 97% of the nutrients. The water is recirculated through the same pipeline, so unlike what you might imagine, the water-dependent agriculture method does not waste water or even use more than what an agricultural land might use,” Sharad says.
So, if you are interested in cultivating your food, which, in Farmstack’s words, is “even better than organic,” you should enrol in the workshop that will be held on 5th and 6th October.
Space and time is not an issue because the design that they offer is such that you can grow nearly 100 plants in a 10 ft x 10 ft x 10 ft space.
To ensure that everyone who attends the workshop is benefitted, Farmstacks will teach you about a variety of vegetables and fruits that you might want to grow.
Lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes and cabbage are some plants that they will cover, but if you wish to know about the space, water and nutrients that, for example, onions require, you are free to ask the team.
Some more things that you can look forward to in the workshop are as follows:
- An introduction to how this farming method is fit for a city dweller.
- How you will benefit from farming at home.
- An in-depth explanation about how you can start a hydroponic farm at home.
- How you can start the agriculture method on a commercial level.
- The different equipment you’ll need for these methods as well as how a domestic level farm can be built using readily available equipment.
- Busting any myth that you may carry about hydroponics.
This promises to be a day well spent, where you will get valuable information about how you can grow your food at your own home.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)