Adding some shiny mustard microgreens growing in an old dabba to your salad, plucking juicy tomatoes blossoming on your kitchen sil, or brewing tea from self-grown chamomile flowers — making meals out of your own produce sounds lush. The dream, however, often fails to even germinate for the uninitiated, when they begin to think of space constraints, how to source seeds, and pick the best fertiliser. Realising that there are many who may not be willing to take that headache, Bhayander-based couple Tanvi and Ankur Agarwal decided to simplify the process for them. “We thought we could put together all the materials one needs to begin home gardening, and list the steps so that even a child can do it,” shares Ankur. After nearly two months of R&D, the couple launched their brand Bombay Greens in May-end, offering DIY kits catering to different kitchen needs.
The seeds of the brand were sown when the markets shuttered in March-April and there was a dearth of fresh produce, says the couple, who also own a mobile accessories brand. “The price of produce spiked and the quality deteriorated. But, since we had a terrace garden, there was a steady stream of tomatoes, microgreens, lettuce, spinach, etc,” informs Tanvi. That is when they noticed that most people are too dependent on market produce for everyday meals. “We wished to cultivate the idea of home farming,” she explains, adding that they take care of the daunting part of it — the research, sourcing materials, and instructions.
Ankur and Tanvi Agarwal
On offer are five varieties of microgreens kits, each containing two types of seeds such as basil and mustard, radish and amaranth, etc; containers; compressed coco pellets; plant markers and a detailed guide. “Microgreens can be harvested in a few days and are four times more nutritional than mature greens,” elaborates Ankur. There are 10 choices for grow kits, each suited for a specific purpose such as salads, teas, detoxification, herbs, etc. “We weren’t keen to put random seeds in a box. We wanted to excite people. For example, if you prefer drinking tea, we offer three flowers which can be consumed as herbal teas; or if you’re a salad person, you can grow lettuce, bell pepper and tomatoes.” They also offer organic fast-release fertilisers.
The contents of a grow kit
“Once you start growing your own produce, you won’t feel like buying it,” Tanvi shares, while Ankur adds that the small size of their kits ensures they are ideal for space-starved Mumbai flats. Their tip for beginners? “Get started; you will enjoy your meals more,” he signs off.
Log on to bombaygreens.com
The other Bombay Green
A herbal tea grow kit that contains seeds of chamomile, roselle and butterfly pea
The centre of the original Fort had a large open space called the Bombay Green where cotton bales, opium and other goods were stored due to its proximity to the docks. This was also the space where 22 stock brokers traded under a banyan tree as part of the Native Share and Stock brokers Association; it formed the origins of the Bombay Stock Exchange. As Governor Bartle Frere’s first commissioned project, he structured it into the Elphinstone Circle, named after Frere’s predecessor, Governor Lord John Elphinstone. Frere laid the foundations for the Circle buildings in 1864. It was a place of recreation for children, and remained so when the Elphinstone Circle Gardens came up. The gardens were laid out in 1869, covering an area of 12,081 square yards. It was ready before the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit in 1872. In 1947, the area was renamed after BG Horniman, a British editor of the Bombay Samachar Press who supported India’s freedom movement.
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