Unveil the Mumbai’s First Herbivore Farm
A Mumbai based couple is turning the tables upside down by their herbivore farm! This couple betrayed their well-paid job just to seek a nutritious life. They run their first hyperlocal farm and grows plants in less water, less soil, less manpower, and no pesticides. Not impressed? Then know that this approach is also helping them get a much higher amount of profit than their regular jobs. What’s so unique about this farm? Let’s take a look.
Not many, 24 years old’s switch their hands from clean computers to dirty soil. Joshua Lewis and Sakina Rajkotwala ditched their jobs many dream of and turned towards farming. Not pure farming but herbivore hyperlocal farming. But what made this couple actually turn towards this sector? It all started when they visited Auroville in Puducherry in 2017. For three months, they learned a lot about farming and got inspired by Krishna Mckenzie, who himself is an organic farmer and an advocate of eco-friendliness. While their visit to the place, they felt a lot more energy than back in their hometown Mumbai. According to Joshua, after lunch, most of us get sleepy and tired, but after eating stuff from Mckenzie’s farm, the duo felt a lot energetic and full. That’s where they found the difference between the fresh organic food and standard supermarket veggies. And once they were back in Mumbai, they opened their very own, Mumbai’s first hyperlocal, hydroponic farm. Initially, the idea was rejected by both of their parents, but later they succeeded in convincing them. They started their farm in an abandoned warehouse located in Andheri.
The experiment was growing plants with what they call ‘Kind Farming.’ According to them, hydroponic farming is lesser-known stuff, let alone in Mumbai, so without trying and experimenting, they couldn’t find out the merits and demerits of this technique. After their month-long do’s and don’ts, the couple succeeded. Today their farm, which is spread over 1,000 square feet area, manages to grow around 2,500 kinds of plants in a temperature-controlled indoor setup. As the plants are grown in a clean and sterile environment- zero percent of pesticides are used! Setting another milestone for the duo. The farm consumed 80% less water than the average farm would consume. As the setup is arranged vertically, they manage to grow 5 times more plants than their regular farm would. Today they grow several varieties of leafy vegetables such as kale, 7 types of Lettuce, 3 types of Swiss Chard, and 2 types of Rocket (Wild & Cultivated).
According to the couple, “Nutrients, freshness, and texture are lost during the process of packaging, transportation, and then the food sits on the shelves, where much of the beneficial factors of greens are lost.” Their idea was to maintain the nutritious value and freshness while the produce reaches the consumer. Determined to bring these at Mumbaiker’s doorstep, they started selling Herbivore harvest box, which is delivered just hours after harvesting. The delivery is subscription-based, and they provide the table once a week. The box contains fresh leafy veggies harvested only in the morning and packed in a plastic container. Though the cost of packaging is high, the couple is determined to provide freshness at your doorstep. Their harvest box cost up to Rs.1,500. The box is delivered in the areas- Andheri West/East, Juhu, Malad, Goregaon, Santacruz, Vileparle, Khar, Bandra, Worli, Lower Parel, and South Bombay.
By their approach, they are not only giving a contribution to one of the most crucial sectors of the country, but the duo is also actually changing the food you eat. About 90% of people who took a sample home wrote back to them, saying they loved how fresh and flavorful the leaves were. According to them, it is essential to eat fresh and pleasant because at the end of the day- the luxury that you should afford is your health!