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India: Bengaluru city slickers cultivate farming habits in vacant plots

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 15:10
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bagvac Vacant land in Bengaluru.

In a gated community in Whitefield, efforts are underway to establish a full-fledged community farm within the premises. With less than 40 people working on it on weekends, the farm is already a hit among its residents, especially children.

By Nirupama V
The Economic Times
Nov 10, 2016


When he was a little boy, Harshvardhan Shitole’s grandmother taught him to how to grow a plant. When he moved to the city, he continued growing plants in his balcony but was never satisfied. A year ago, Shitole, along with five other families, decided to ‘give life’ to an empty plot in their neighbourhood, near the Jayadeva hospital flyover.

They made a compost pit, brought cow dung from a goshala nearby and set out to grow tomatoes and greens. “Our intention is not to take the produce back,” he said. “It is an unfenced plot.

Anybody who passes by can take it if he she wants. We are just doing it for the love of growing. A seasoned gardener, Shitole said that while growing plants by oneself can get boring, doing it with a group keeps one more motivated and satisfied.

Irked by the number of empty plots in their gated community near Sarjapur Road, Balaji Tadepalli, a hardware engineer, decided to convert them into mini farms. With an internal composting system, the community had access to a lot of compost. It started with a 2,500-sqft plot. Permissions were sought from the owner and the residents’ association. About 35 people, most whom were already growing vegetables in their balconies or terraces, got to work.

Read the complete article here.


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