Just a few months ago, Chennai was parched bringing everything to a standstill. Such a serious calamity inspired Rahul Dhoka, an Industrial Biotechnologist to start a hydroponics farm that grows 100 per cent organic food at 90 per cent less water.
This weekend, learn hydroponic farming from the man who nurtures 6,000 plants! Click here to book your place now.
A Disaster in Chennai that Set the Wheels in Motion:
After having completed his PhD from the University of Warwick, Rahul worked for a pharmaceutical company in the UK. But soon, he realised that a desk job was not really his cup of tea and decided to return home, in Chennai.
“I had come to discover the massive amounts of oxytocin added to our vegetables while they are cultivated. This made me wary of the food whose source I don’t know. Back home in Chennai, I decided to start my own organic farm- just enough for my family,” Rahul shares with The Better India adding that he grew organic leafy greens, seasonal vegetables and such other things that the Dhoka family needed, on a 10,000 square feet land.
In 2016, the horrible cyclone swept away the farm, leaving the land barren and Rahul, shattered.
But that did not deter his will to consume clean food. Understanding all too well that open farming was at the mercy of the weather, Rahul decided to take it indoors. Thus, started his hydroponics journey.
You can read in detail about his farming journey by clicking on this link. To book your place in his weekend workshop, follow this link.
Hydroponics, a Way Towards Self-Sufficiency:
When he just started out, Rahul’s aim was clear. He was growing vegetables for his own consumption. After recovering from the losses of his farm, he started learning about hydroponic farming.
“Chennai’s water is as precious as gold. And this type of farming uses about 90 per cent less water for growth. Add to that the prevalence of hunger and malnutrition in India and on the other hand, farmers want to give up their occupation. Growing your own food can in a way lower the burden on farmers. Hydroponics is one way of ensuring food security,” he elaborates.
What can be Grown in Hydroponics?
You can start this farm in as small as 10 sq feet of space and if you plan your layers carefully, can grow up to 200 leafy vegetables. If you have the luxury of a balcony or terrace, you can also expand this to grow brinjal, cucumber, okra, tomatoes and other vegetables.
Excited about growing food that is chemical-free and always fresh? Follow this link to book your place in the Chennai workshop.
What to expect in the Chennai workshop:
In the four hour workshop, Rahul will cover the fundamentals of starting a hydroponics farm. You will get to understand what hydroponic farming means, what kind of water and environment it needs and what plants grow best in them. Shares Rahul, “We will show them plants in their various periods of growth and go over the details carefully. I can assure you that by the end of the workshop, you will be confident enough to start a farm. In case you fumble in the process, we are always just a call away. Our online classrooms will bridge the distance if you live in another city.”
Rahul will be teaching four methods of hydroponics farming: The drip method, ebb and flow, Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) and the raft method.
He also adds that anyone who is health-conscious and tired of eating food infused with chemicals must start their hydroponics farm. If you know the origins of your food, you have already half-won the battle against chemicals.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)