The Chlorophyll Estate — a farm stay on the outskirts of Mumbai — has been set up by two generations of brothers.
“My father (Girdhar) bought the land for my uncle who wanted to turn to nature and leave his business and city life behind,” says Keyur, Girdhar’s son.
At the time there was only a single tamarind tree in the middle of the land.
Now, 140 varieties of fruit trees, vegetables, spices, herbs, and flowers fill the space.
These 800-odd trees comprise five varieties of mangoes, four varieties of papayas from Indonesia and Thailand and seven varieties of citrus.
When Girdhar initially conceptualised the space, it was a simple village home.
Watching their father’s fondness for the land, Keyur and his brother Nishit joined in, trying to make the land more viable.
“We faced many setbacks such as wasted seasons, failed crops, unseasonal rains, cyclones, and extreme heat,” says Keyur.
But a conscious decision the brothers had made was to stay away from chemical fertilisers right from the beginning.
Their very first plants were ladies fingers and bottle gourds.
Their family eventually set up the farm stay at the property during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the onset of the lockdown, Nishit narrates how he and his family packed their clothes for three days and headed off to the farm.
Keyur pitches in, “We had so much space to move around, and we were cut off from the world.”
He adds, “We even bartered rice for vegetables grown on the farm! After three months, we realised that what we had was gold.”
The Barad brothers went on to turn the hamlet into a farm stay by extending the bedrooms and adding a 70-ft verandah.
They welcomed their first guests in April 2023.
Everything at the farm stay is done with a minimalist approach in mind.
As for Girdhar, he says his favourite spot is the tamarind tree that still stands and is their ‘Tree of Life’.