Ex-ISRO Scientist Grows 70 Food Crops At Home, Making Her Own Soil From Stubble

This wonderful news comes to us from Gurugram, India.

When we hear the word Farming, the first thing that strikes us is the scenery of a village and farmers working in the fields. But that is not the case with 54-year-old, Poornima Savargaonkar, a resident of Gurgaon. She has always been a lover of nature, an urban gardener, and an advocate of sustainable living. She said, “I was raised as one with nature. My parents lived in Ahmedabad, and were very fond of gardening. They would ensure that one meal every week was made entirely of produce grown in their garden. Even if we were living in a rented home, my father would grow a few varieties of flowers, and my mother would grow fruits or vegetables. When I was staying in a hostel during college, my study desk always had a small pot with the money plant growing in it.”

Poornima is an ex-ISRO scientist and quit her job in 2003 to take care of her family. She runs ‘Enriched Soil and Soul’ which sells seven varieties of soil made using stubble waste and other organic material. On her 300 sq ft terrace, she grows over 60 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs in pots. During the lockdown, she started her own YouTube channel to inspire and help others with their terrace gardens. She added, “There were also very few articles or videos that explained the soil variety that can be used in India’s climatic conditions. I did my research, and started preparing Amrut mitti, which is a mix of compost, dried leaves, cow dung, and urine, to grow these plants. To date, I do not purchase any soil, and only prepare my own. The raw material is sourced from my society, home kitchen, and farmers in a village.”  For this, she collaborates with a farmer family in a village located on the outskirts of Gurgaon.

Poornima used stubble waste to make soil. She has one processing unit and every three months, she uses about 1,500 kilos of stubble waste to produce at least 12 tonnes of organic soil. She moved to Gurgaon in 2003 where she was introduced to a new synthetic world as the people in the city were highly dependent on plastic. Every Saturday she conducts live sessions providing training to urban gardeners explaining the way to grow organic fruits and vegetables on the terrace and make compost at home.

Poornima has shown a path from going garbage-to-greens and now it is up to the people whether they take her suggestion or not. We wish her all the best to move ahead with her projects regarding terrace gardening.

Image Source: Anasuya Life

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