If you happen to commute over the JJ flyover after November, do take a minute to scan the terraces of buildings around the bridge. You may spot what could be the city’s first urban farm on a rooftop. Fresh And Local, an organisation that specialises in urban farming, has now identified a mixed-use building on Mohammad Ali Road for setting up a flyover farm in the heart of Mumbai. Once completed, residents will be able to produce and consume organic produce grown on their own terraces.
“About a year ago, we met a woman who lived in this particular building and was interested in organic farming. She was fascinated by our urban farming projects and we realised that there was no organic produce or green open space within walking distance from the building. So this project suited us,” says Adrienne Thadani of Fresh and Local.
The pilot project saw 50 fruit trees being planted in the space a year ago. The area was also tested through the monsoon to ensure that the garden could be sustained. Thadani says that 2,500 square feet of space will be ready by this monsoon while the rest of the farm will be up and running by November. She adds, “The building has 50 families residing in it. Initially, 10 families will be introduced to the project, and composting will take place in their kitchens. They’ll also get priority for what is produced. But we haven’t decided whether there’ll be a membership fee or not.” The families will also help Fresh and Local track how much is produced, the number of people it can feed and how much it costs to produce.
What’s on offer?
The farm’s produce will be distributed through a rooftop grocery. People can visit the farm during open hours or volunteer there. Workshops on gardening and cooking organic produce will be conducted too. The project is up on Kickstarter.com and those who donate Rs 500 or more will get a free customised gardening class for them and 10 friends. The group also plans to help other city residents set up a flyover farm or start one for them.