There is something organic about plucking vegetables from your back yard. However, with sky scrapers and the like consuming the land, more and more people find that they no longer have the luxury of picking fresh produce from their garden.
That is where vertical farming comes in. Automatic drip irrigation, automatic fertigation, space optimisation, precision farming including less water-soil usage are some of the concepts in vertical farming introduced by Green Chip.
“These modern gardening systems provide an excellent option for those gardeners lacking in space. A garden trellis is a structure used to support plants and it can be constructed almost anywhere. One can grow climbing plants as well as flowers and vegetables. A trellis can be made into a decorative structure as it can be made of vertical, horizontal or diagonal bars which are usually spaced in between; it is a designer approach to gardening,” says Girish Chandra Babu who started Green Chip with his friend Prasanth R. Nair, two months ago.
This innovative way of gardening is already making waves. “We have received quite a few requests for setting up trellises. Most of our customers lack space to plant herbs and vegetables and opt for these sophisticated but simple techniques. You can place the stand on your balcony or on your terrace. One can plant 40 to 100 varieties of vegetables with these methods,” he says.
He goes on to add that agriculture contributes to only 11 per cent of Kerala’s GDP. “We depend on sources from other states for our fruits and vegetables. Modern precision and vertical farming systems are steps in the right direction as one is growing one’s own produce, which is also free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.”
A base model starts from Rs. 2,000 and goes up to Rs.40,000.
Green Chip also provides seeds and seedlings. “We offer customers seeds of Indian perennial plants such as Pisonia Grandis, a variety of spinach, as we wanted to go back to the roots. These plants last for years and give a good yield too. We suggest a package of edible plants, medicinal plants, aromatic plants and spices with special provisions to grow climbers.”
Apart from supplying a variety of seeds, Green Chip also provides training in precision farming techniques and has an annual maintenance programme, wherein the company sends their trainers to check on the growth and health of the plants.
Green Chip has introduced hydroponics systems in which plants are grown without the use of soil. “Instead, we use a nutrient rich water solution.”
The benefits in opting for a vertical farming method of gardening according to Prakash, are plenty. “They provide support for plants to climb and grow, the fruit and vegetables are easier to spot and pick, it ensures maximum productivity in minimum space…”
Stands which support 12 to 100 plants are available at Style Plus, Nilgiris, Pothys and Margin Free Markets.
The office of Green Chip is at Mummy’s Colony, Kowdiar. Contact: 9633305955