Barren Aravali land bursts to life as ‘urban farmers’ get to work

Sunil Bisht grew up in the hills of Pauri in Uttarakhand, in a space with a backyard the place his mom had turned a patch into a ‘kitchen garden’. Much of the family’s staples got here from there but it used to be the distinct taste of the homegrown vegetables and fruits that stayed with Bisht.
When his telecom task brought him to Gurugram, Bisht (46) too sought after to make his own kitchen garden. He couldn’t do this in his Sector 56 rental advanced and used to be looking for opportunities when he chanced upon a government scheme to tackle rent a patch of land for farming. “I grew up seeing my mom rising vegetables and fruit in the backyard and fell in love with farming. But in a spot like Gurugram there's hardly ever any space for that,” says Bisht, who works with a telecom corporate.

Since the autumn of 2016, his unfastened time has, moderately actually change into more productive — the farmland has yielded a lot of vegetable, from large organically-grown cauliflowers to succulent cucumbers.

The group farming scheme used to be floated by way of the horticulture division. It leased out 52 plots of 600 square yards each at Teekli village. Nearly two years on, the plots now not simplest produce an array of vegetables, they've created a group of urban farmers who complement and encourage each different, a bond cast from the toils of tilling and sowing in combination. “Since purchasing land only for farming used to be out of the query, I jumped on the alternative. Now I have been farming for just about two years,” stated Bisht. He grows more than the wishes of his family of 4. The rest is going to his friends and family, who can’t forestall talking concerning the taste of his organic vegetables.

While Bisht picked up urban farming from his mom, for Kavita Kaker, it used to be her father who instilled in her the love for farming. “My father used to be in the Army. We all the time had spare land in our homes, the place he would maintain a kitchen garden. As I moved to town, I began gardening at the terrace,” says Kaker, who describes herself as a freelancer.

She echoes Bisht’s thoughts that the taste of homegrown organic vegetables is one thing she may just never overlook. Hence, when she came upon concerning the group farming scheme, she signed up. She too has been farming for just about two years. “We in most cases grow seasonal vegetables like women finger, bottle gourd, pumpkin and capsicum in summers, and leafy vegetables in wintry weather. We attempt to visit the farm as soon as a week,” she says.

One unit of land on the group farm costs Rs 27,000 for 6 months. There are two ploughing seasons annually. Kaker first of all took two plots, however later cut up them up with buddies. Alka Gupta, who started farming there eight months again, is so hooked to it now that she plans to change into a full-time urban farmer, selling organic produce. “The produce is organic and unfastened from toxins that pollute vegetables grown at the Yamuna banks in polluted water. I plan to set up my own small trade,” says Gupta, a homemaker.

While two years of farming in the Aravalis has been an enriching enjoy for these urban farmers, it got here with challenges. Bisht says the land that used to be allocated had remained barren for seven years, requiring a lot of time and effort for it to be turned fertile once more. Growing organically, with none chemical compounds, used to be a big challenge as smartly. “Organic produce takes more time as we did not use fertilizers. While in summers, the produce can be harvested weekly, in winters it takes more time,” says Kaker.

District horticulture officer Deen Mohammad Khan is a cheerful man. The reaction to the initiative, he says with pleasure, has been extraordinary. “When we started, we didn’t be expecting this. So a ways, round 150 other people were associated with the undertaking. We hope to proceed urban farming in Gurugram,” says Khan.

Barren Aravali land bursts to life as ‘urban farmers’ get to work Barren Aravali land bursts to life as ‘urban farmers’ get to work Reviewed by kailash soni on July 21, 2018 Rating: 5
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