Knowing a little bit of urban farming, even in cities like Hyderabad, in today’s day and age comes rather handy. We could do with growing our vegetables; wholly organic and chemical-free.
Manvitha Reddy, the founder of Homecrop, agrees, and which is why, she is holding a workshop in Hyderabad, where she teaches the participants how to grow their own vegetable garden.
Started in 2017, the enterprise is known for its phenomenal 15 sq ft urban farming units, which can be set up on terraces to grow a variety of vegetables and exotic herbs.
Inspired by the Cuban method of organopónicos
Reddy is a civil engineer and management graduate from Vellore Institute of Technology but maintains that home-gardening has always been her first love.
Seeing the quality of food declining every day is what propelled her to take up home gardening as a full-time job.
She says that she draws her inspiration of growing your own home vegetable garden from this system of organopónicos that the Cubans resorted to in the 1950s when there was a ban on them importing fertilisers for farming.
“Just like the Cubans became self-sufficient by growing their food in their surroundings using organic manure in the mid-90s because there was a ban on them importing fertilisers, we teach people how to grow their fresh produce in their backyards,” concludes Reddy.
What can we expect from the workshop?
“In our upcoming workshop (February 22-23), we’ll be focusing on everything from the importance of growing vegetables, the prerequisites of starting a vegetable garden, to discussing the problems one may face and how to handle them. We’ll also have a DIY kit wherein we give a live demo so that the participants can relate theory in practice,” says Reddy.
She adds that they will also focus on how to go about it if you have a small space (like a balcony or a window) or a bigger space (such as a terrace). Click here to book your spot now.
The importance of growing your own vegetables
Reddy says that on an average, vegetables travel for at least 100 kilometers before they reach us.
“Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a balanced diet, and they have the maximum amount of nutrition when they’re fresh. The vegetables you see in the supermarkets might look fresh, but they may be ten days old,” she opines. In fact, most of the moisture in the vegetables is lost by the time they arrive from the farm to the table. So growing them at your place, would give you the luxury of having them fresh, thereby reaping their full benefits.
Commercial vegetables versus home-grown ones
Reddy shares that a recent report from National Institute of Plant Health Management, Hyderabad says that upon surveying the vegetables available in the market, residues of around 11 kinds of pesticides were found in them.
“With the rampant use of pesticides to grow our food today, there’s no way we’re consuming vegetables that are free of chemicals. And the highest pesticide residue content is found in the leafy greens,” she states.
The silver lining, though, is that leafy greens and herbs hardly need any space or extra effort to be grown. And you can learn the techniques to grow everything from spinach to fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes and brinjals at her workshop.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)