Once dubbed the Garden City in the 1920s, Bangalore is undergoing rapid urbanisation and is quickly being named the Silicon Valley of India. The frenetic pace of such a transformation has led to consequences such as unsustainable farming practices to support the city’s ever-growing population. Read on to support the urban farmers and green warriors battling Bangalore’s concrete jungle.
Located in Bangalore’s rural district of Janthagondahalli, Kamadhenu is part of an area known for its sprawling agricultural land interspersed with colourful villages. It’s a far cry from the tech hub neighbourhood of Whitefield, a 30-minute drive away, where the offices of Xerox, IBM, Oracle and other large multinational corporations reside. The farm, one of the top organic farms in Varthur, used to grow only one type of crop – carrots – but was cheated of its sales by regular middlemen. It now grows over 40 varieties of vegetables on nearly two hectares of land.
Bangalore-based organic produce delivery service Back2Basics grows its own chemical and pesticide-free produce, using ground water from bore wells dug deep into the earth. It offers around 90 different varieties of domestic and exotic fruits, vegetables and greens, spread over approximately 202 hectares of farmland around Bangalore, and offers same-day-as-harvest doorstep delivery. It currently supplies produce to reputed grocery chains, retailers, organic stores and gated communities in Bangalore, and some produce are also exported to organic chains and retailers in Germany and Singapore.
3. Go Native
Farm-to-table restaurant Go Native, which has a solar-powered retail-and-dining space in the Jayanagar neighbourhood as well as three other outlets, serves an Indian-focused menu where dishes are rotated depending on the availability of seasonal and local ingredients. Supplies are sourced from local farms around Bangalore that practice environmentally sound farming and fair trade, and grow seasonal, non GMO, pesticide-free veggies and grains. It’s lifestyle store is a treasure trove of sustainable and local brands known for their zero-waste philosophies or organic products. You can get your hands on handmade condiments, pickles and jams, oils and nut butters there; as well as organic personal care products, homeware, clothing and more.
Another direct farm-to-home delivery service, Healthy Buddha was born out of frustration with the lack of access to affordable organic products. It offers fresh produce such as potatoes, pomegranates, gourds and beans, all seasonally grown and sourced from organic farmers near Bangalore as well as around Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Today, it delivers organic products to over 2,000 customers each week, with most of their clientele being health-conscious Bangaloreans. It also organises regular farmers’ markets as a way for consumers to directly engage with the farmers responsible for growing the food that lands on their plates.
Farmizen, an initiative which has its roots in Bengaluru, is an app-based service that gives regular people the chance to grow chemical-free organic food in a mini-farm. Along the way, aspiring farmers get assistance the specialists, from deciding what to grow to what nutrients go into the soil to harvesting the produce. The farmer managing the plot of land you’ve rented will prepare it with the vegetables you have chosen and you get constant updates on your app for every stage of the growth. When your naturally grown, chemical-free harvest is ready, you can visit the farm to pick it up yourself – or have the produce delivered right to your doorstep.
A 5.7-hectare natural farm in the middle of Bangalore, it hosts a weekly mini-market on the weekends selling direct-from-farm fresh and organic vegetables. The farm adopts chemical-free practices and fertilisers are naturally made from waste. A large variety of exotic and domestic fruits and vegetables is available, from carrots and brinjals to tomatoes, radish, herbs and leafy greens.