Here is another add-on to the farming mania that has gripped the city—Green Thumb Mini Farms.
Run by Anand Maddur, a software engineer who returned to Bangalore after a brief stint in the US, the mini farm provide patches of land on lease to anybody who want to experiment with farming without the limitation of containers.
After returning to the city, Maddur wanted to grow vegetables in his backyard like he did in the US. However, as he moved into an apartment and did not have the required space, he thought of renting out agricultural lands from farmers.
“I was not happy with the quality of vegetables available in the market. I wanted to grow organic vegetables. With no farmer agreeing to let me grow vegetables on his land, I decided to buy a few acres of land for this purpose,’’ he says.
He bought three acres of land at Kodathi village off Sarjapur Road, and turned half of it into a banana plantation. As he was wondering what to do with the remaining land, he stumbled across the concept of mini farms. Green Thumb was started in April last year.
“Initially, I tried to convince some of my friends to avail of this facility at my farm. While some of them agreed to grow vegetables, the others did not. Later, this concept gained momentum. So far 50 people have availed of this facility,’’ Maddur says.
According to him, using locally grown produce is gaining popularity across the world as people are increasingly getting aware of the benefits of consuming fresher and palatable food, which is packed with nutrients.
In an urban environment like Bangalore, where a majority of people live in small homes or apartments that have little or no space for gardening, a small green space nearby to grow vegetables is much in demand.
Take the case of Namratha, an entrepreneur who hails from Bihar. She has two mini units (each measuring 400 sq ft) at Green Thumb Mini Farms. She spends three hours on every Sunday morning at the units on which she grows pineapple, vegetables and greens.
‘It’s like meditation’
“It is like meditation. I get immense satisfaction and it is a de-stresser,’’ says Namratha.
In addition to providing fresh produce, these mini farms also give families a way to connect with the nature and enjoy the pleasure of simplistic living. Many of the ‘urban farmers’ also bring their children to the farm.
“Kids will learn where the food comes from on the table and the complete plant life cycle. I have seen many children spending time playing and helping their parents,’’ Maddur remarks.