oota

ABOUT US

 Oota from your Thota Organized by Garden City Farmers.

 

Garden City Farmers’ (GCF) was founded in Bengaluru, India (www.gardencityfarmers.org) in 2011 with the prime aim of showcasing organic urban farming and terrace gardening and to create a better world for future generation. The activities are taken up to make terrace gardening a citizen’s movement across the city, state, country and the globe. Seminars on Urban Farming and Terrace Gardening were organized at State and National level to share experiences and to develop a concrete agenda to move forward.

It was started by Dr. B.N. Viswanath, Born on 12-July-1943 in Bangalore, took his B.Sc., in Agriculture from the university of Mysore in 1965, M.Sc.(Agr.) in 1967 from University of Kerala and Ph.D. degree in 1977 in Agricultural Entomology from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. He started his carrier as an Instructor and became Associate Professor in the Department of Entomology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. He quit his job after 16 years of service, went to USA to specialise in professional videography and film production. After his return he produced a number of agriculture related documentaries which stand testimony to his commitment to agriculture. He pioneered terrace gardening and regularly organizes training programmes for housewives in Bangalore. Dr. Viswanath has several professional affiliations to his credit including ex-member, Board of Regents UAS, Bangalore. He has published nearly 40 scientific papers in national and international journals. He is also an authority in bio-fertilizers and promoted Kadur Agro for commercial production of the same. Currently, he is a freelance consultant in organic farming, terrace gardening, landscaping and bio fertilizers.

At Bengaluru, GCF started organizing the event ‘OFYT-Oota from your Thota’ (Food from your garden) since 2011 with a purpose to promote Organic Urban Farming/Organic Terrace Gardening among urban dwellers, making available all gardening related materials in one place along with knowhow. The event is also to expose the urbanites to different enterprises related to organic urban farming. The event will have demonstrations/discussions and exhibitions on organic urban farming, inputs and products/foods.

It is time for all of us including the law makers, nutritionists, civil engineers, architects, industrialists, businessmen, farming scientists, to realize that just industrialization is not the progress. Something beyond that is required to lead a healthy and peaceful life in cities. The terrace gardens in particular and urban farming in general, have the basis/principle of “Grow what you eat and eat what you grow”. While the commercial viability of crop production is expected, the major targets seem to be fresh, safe and functional (organic) food (vegetables and fruits) required for a family or for local needs, to develop greenery and to reduce pollution in urban areas. It is also to have a space and place for physical exercise, to relax from pressures of urban living and to get the extraordinary pleasure of growing crops, to convert the household wet waste into compost to use for growing crops, to practice safe grey water practices in houses and workplaces to protect the aquatic systems and having green natural ambience and surroundings to the dwelling place.

Training events, workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions on urban farming and terrace gardening are the need of the hour to promote the cause effectively. Organic terrace gardening workshops were organized by Dr. Viswanath at Bengaluru in 1995 to train and help urban farmers to set up their own terrace gardens concentrating more on vegetables and fruits. Since then, organic terrace gardening workshops are being held on regular basis at VMSRF, AMEF, BRICS, My Dream Garden and by Department of Horticulture, training thousands of urbanites on the practices of terrace gardening. The feedback and suggestions from participants have helped to evolve various terrace farming technologies, in terms of growing containers, practices, plant care and resource management.

Urbanites are more informed, educated and understand the basic problems better. However, there is always a lack of motivation to take up simple activities like waste segregation, recycling through composting, rain water harvesting and use, safe grey water practices, vegetable gardening and so on..

Going forward, urban farming is a simple but definite step towards increasing our green cover and is a more sustainable option for our food needs, irrespective of space restriction. People from various walks of life, from various corners of the world are contributing in their own way to improve the methods, processes and techniques used in organic terrace gardening or farming. However, the learning has to happen experientially because of diverse needs and other growth situations. It is therefore, time for each one of us to instigate the innovative gene within us and be a part of this ‘Oota from your Thota” movement.

‘Garden City Farmers’ (GCF) was founded in Bengaluru, India (www.gardencityfarmers.org) in 2011 with the prime aim of showcasing organic urban farming and terrace gardening and to create a better world for future generation. The event ‘OFYT-Oota from your Thota’ (Food from your garden) was started in the same year to expose the urbanites to different enterprises related to organic urban farming along with making available all gardening related materials in one place.

The terrace gardens in particular and urban farming in general, have the basis/principle of “Grow what you eat and eat what you grow”. Training events, workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions on urban farming and terrace gardening are the need of the hour to promote the cause effectively. People from various walks of life, from various corners of the world are contributing in their own way to improve the methods, processes and techniques used in organic terrace gardening or farming. However, the learning has to happen experientially because of diverse needs and other growth situations. It is therefore, time for each one of us to instigate the innovative gene within us and be a part of this ‘Oota from your Thota” movement.

Organizing Committee

Chairman

Dr. B N Vishwanath, President, Garden City Farmers, Bengaluru

Members

Mr. B.N Prasad, Managing Director Hopcoms, Bengaluru

Mr. Gangappa Hombal, Asst. Hort. Officer, K.R. Puram, Bengaluru

Mrs. Vani Murthy, Member, S.W.M.R.T., Bengaluru

Dr. Rajendra Hegde, Co-founder, BRICS LLP & Trustree, Garden City Farmers, Bengaluru

Mr. Ashok Kumar K.C., CEO, My Dream Garden, Bengaluru

Mrs. Anamika Bist, Founder, Village Story, Bengaluru

Mr. Anil Nadig, Co-founder, Jivabhumi Agri-tech, Bengaluru

Dr. Rajesh S., Principal, B.M. English School, Bengaluru

Mr. Nataraj Upadhya, Convener, Basavanagudi Terrace Gardeners’ Group

Mrs. Indira Ashok Shah, Convener, Uttarahalli Terrace Gardeners’ Group

Mrs. Noor Fathima, Convener, Cantonment Area Terrace Gardeners’ Group

Mrs. Prithi Narayanan, Convener, R.R. Nagar Terrace Gardeners’ Group

WHY OFYT?

Eating chemical food continuously will allow it to accumulate and affects our genes as it has been shown on children in the group of villages around Padre in Kasargod, leading to the birth of handicapped children. The book ‘Silent Spring’ by Rachel Carson gives details about the ill effects of chemical agriculture as early as 1960′s.

The only way to counter the health hazards of chemical poisons in food is to take up organic gardening. With the pressure building on land and its cost in the urban areas, there is hardly any space to have a garden. So, if one wants to grow vegetables and fruits domestically the only alternative is organic terrace gardening which provides the ideal space.

Due to increase in population and migration of people to urban areas, fertile agricultural land has been converted into houses and other infrastructures thus, reducing the land for cultivation. By 2030, people living in cities will reach nearly 60 per cent.

Terrace gardening is a simple but definite step towards increasing our green cover irrespective of space restriction. This is an option yet achievable activity for many urban dwellers to cultivate the food crops of their choice. This felt need can be a real movement by sharing and spreading know-how amongst us. However, the learning has to happen experimentally because of diverse needs and other growth situations.