Subhashree Santhya experienced happiness with the arrival of her second child in 2019. However, her joy turned into concern when the baby was diagnosed with a heart atrial defect shortly after birth.

In 2020, her five-month-old baby boy underwent a seven-hour-long surgery. Post-surgery, Subhashree was advised to give her son a chemical-free diet.

So she decided to grow her own food on her balcony in Navi Mumbai as she could not find any reliable chemical-free vegetables.

“The very first thing that I grew was regular spinach, and then we tried to grow Malabar spinach, moving on to tomatoes and lady’s finger,” she says.

Wanting to grow enough for her family, she bought land in Khalapur, a 30-minute drive from her house, which is now an urban farm where she grows 20 kg of chemical-free organic food per week.

To understand organic farming better, she undertook a course at IIT Kharagpur in sustainable agriculture. Alongside working on her farm, Subhashree also created her own porridge mix under the brand name ‘Mud and Mother’ in April 2022.

“The prices of organic vegetables can be quite high and it is difficult to make them available in all seasons. So, I decided to make a porridge mix that would have the same amount of nutrition,” she says.

She chose red rice, black rice, and a few millets to make the porridge mix. It has zero preservatives and is 100 percent natural and organic, she explains.

She adds that the mix is packed in eco-friendly recyclable packs and costs only Rs 80. It is available to purchase from her Instagram account – ‘Mud and Mother’.

“I knew it was an unconventional path to take to become a farmer, but my family was extremely supportive. My son is now healthy and almost three years old; this is all that matters to me,” says Subhashree.