Ever seen corporate executives toiling in the fields with their families? Head to Garethpur bas village —15 kilometres from Gurgaon. In the age of online vegetable markets, residents of several upscale localities in the city have taken to organic farming in Garethpur Bass village.
As there is growing awareness about the harmful effects of chemical fertilisers and pesticides sprayed on crops, the idea is to grow unadulterated fruits and vegetables that are safe for consumption, residents said.
Under the banner of Green Leaf India, formed by a group of residents and farmers, more than 70 families have started organic cultivation on plots of 600 square yards each.
The project that started in October 2016 and supported by the horticulture department of Haryana is now a hit among residents. Currently, land is being leased to these families by the horticulture department for community farming.
“This is a pilot project and we have been approached by many residents from various parts of the city. We are also helping people here who do not have any idea of farming. Local farmers provide the basic support to these residents and take care of these plots on a regular basis.
We have launched two phases of the project until now,” Deen Mohammad Khan,district horticulture officer,
The corporate executives said working in the fields with their families has helped them connect with nature again.
“This is not just farming, but a weekend activity. Living in a city like Gurgaon where people rarely get fresh air, this kind of exercise is a blessing,” Prasant Yadav of Central Park 2 said.
He said he is getting a good yield, and has distributed the harvest among family and friends in the last few months.
Similarly, Mohit Agarwal of Sector 47 said, “I have been growing palak, methi, cabbage, cauliflower and dhaniya in my 600 square yard plot.”
People said they come to the farm every weekend. “It binds the family together as the entire process of digging, sowing the seeds, watering and monitoring the growth of vegetables is done by each member of the family,” Neeraj Yadav, a corporate executive, said.
Residents also said it is a good learning experience for children as agriculture has become alien to city dwellers.
Anil Kapoor of Preet Vihar, New Delhi, said, “There is no better way to teach children about how they are getting food. They are learning not to waste food as they now understand how difficult it is to grow it.”
Residents said the project has become so popular because they cannot get fresh organic vegetables that are free from toxic elements in the city.