Workshop Theme: Advanced Urban Farming
Workshops conducted: 925
People who attended: Over 65,000
People who actively pursued what they had learnt: 35,000
Result: 5200 terrace gardens across Bengaluru
Time Period: 6 years
Such is the impact of My Dream Garden (MDG), an organisation helping the garden city live up to its name.
Bengaluru-based Ashok Kumar KC, an MBA graduate, is on a mission to help enthusiastic city dwellers learn the techniques of growing fruits and vegetables.
The above numbers, for him, are just the beginning.
You too can learn from the organisation that has inspired thousands to transform their empty balconies into a lush space. Click on this link to enrol for his weekend workshop now!
From an MBA to a nurturer of plants:
Ashok’s comes from a farmers’ family in Kolar. When he shifted to Bengaluru for his post-graduation, little did he know that in a matter of months, he would take up farming willingly. After his MBA, Ashok secured a good job as a manager of a supermarket in Bengaluru. There, as part of his job, he had to observe the purchasing habits of customers in a local market. What he observed marked the beginning of MDG.
“A huge banyan tree in the middle of the market had shed many leaves and the authorities refused to clean them. Now, farming and composting runs in my blood. So in order to keep the premises clean for the shopkeepers, I called my mother and asked her to take the leaves home – and compost them. We managed to fill four 200-litre-drums and mother was positive that this quantity would be enough to nourish an entire garden,” Ashok tells The Better India.
She was right. And Ashok’s family started a garden as a hobby.
Soon, Ashok realised that all the materials essential for gardening are rarely available in Bengaluru. Always passionate about farming and gardening, Ashok quit his well-paying job and started MDG, a franchise of the USA-based Imagine Enterprises and Marketing Solutions.
Within years, Ashok would create an unimaginable impact! Excited to learn from him? Follow this link to book your slot in the workshop.
The journey of the Bengaluru-based organisation:
The very foundation of Ashok’s initiative was to provide information to the common citizens who want to farm. The small team of three people began operations in 2012 in Bengaluru, experimenting on a mix that would nourish the soil and make it ready for plantation. “The soil is the most crucial aspect of gardening followed closely by the correct container. We took a year to perfect a potting media that would provide the right amounts of macronutrients, micronutrients and secondary nutrients to the plant. With this mix, you won’t have to worry about your plant for five years!” shares Ashok.
When Ashok and team were confident about their mix, they started approaching government and private organisations, pitching workshop ideas. By 2014, they had conducted 200 of such workshops – explaining the techniques of urban farming to thousands of attendees and resolving their issues.
By 2019, the workshops quadrupled with the number of attendees reaching sky-high! You too can reap the benefits of Ashok’s knowledge and experience. Click here to book your place before the slots run out.
What to expect in the Bengaluru workshop:
Ashok takes pride in stating that this workshop focuses on the scientific and technical aspects of gardening more than anything else. Even their potting media, for instance, is developed on the basis of scientific research on the requirements of plants, the soil features in Karnataka and such points.
In this seven hour workshop, you can expect the following:
- How to start a garden and its maintenance
- How to identify the diseases and pests on your plants. How to address them
- Selection of proper garden stands for terraces and balconies; Raising different saplings at home; Easy to grow veggies and fruits
- Making and use of greenhouses; Implementable plant care methods
- The right methods to provide support for creepers, climbers and weak shrubs
- Nutrient management
- How to start with a few plants and expand within three harvest cycles.
“One needs to start small but with the correct techniques and ingredients, you can be a professional urban farmer within six months,” says Ashok adding that at the end of the session, you can take home five kilos of the potting mix, an empty grow-bag designed by MDG and saplings or seeds.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)