While organic, natural, and sustainable have been the buzzwords in the food industry for a few years now, it’s still not easy to find these qualities in our everyday produce. Sources of finding organic fruits and veggies are restricted to farmers markets or scattered supermarkets, and even then, you may not necessarily know the extent to which these offerings are organic. So it really boils down to finding the right source. If you’re looking for healthy and holistic produce, we scoped out nine organic, sustainable farms in India where you are guaranteed to get chemical-free, seasonal produce.
Former chef Achintya Anand started Krishi Cress in 2015, and four years later it is the go-to farm for fresh, quality produce for Delhi. Lavaash, Le Cirque at The Leela Delhi, Fig & Maple, Together at 12th, Tres, and many more popular restaurants swear by the produce at this farm in Chattarpur. They offer vegetables, herbs, kombucha, and on-request culinary requirements, and home deliver as well. If you’re looking for farm fresh produce right in the heart of the city, they’re your solution.
Doing both Indian and exotic vegetables, leafy salads, and herbs, Tijara Organic Farm is a two-hour drive from Delhi, and contributes to the farmers’ markets in the city and Gurgaon. Started by Sneh Yadav in 2011, she and her husband practice Vedic and bio-dynamic farming through eco-friendly modern-day technology at their 100-acre farm. Letting nature and season decide what they grow at the time, they also welcome farm visits and stays, should you want a front-row experience of the organic, sustainable farm life.
After he faced a health scare, S Madhusudhan started Back2Basics as a way to give people access to fresh produce grown using natural, sustainable methods. Growing indigenous and exotic fruits, vegetables, and greens, they even export their produce to different parts of the world.
Started in 1974 as a dairy farm in Semancheri village, over the years The Farm has also developed an organic vegetable garden, fields, and plantations. Greens, root vegetables, seasonal rice fields, and fruits can be found here. Not just procuring produce, you’d love to visit it too – a restaurant and farm situated right in the middle of the working farm. With different menus for breakfast, lunch, and tea, and organised farm walks, it’s an experience unto itself.
Swadeshi Mushroom, Delhi
Pranav Bahl took the 32-year-old mushroom spawn supplying Swadeshi Mushroom to also being an exotic variety growing one in 2012. Button, oyster, medicinal, and other specialty mushrooms can be sourced from the lab-farm on the outskirts of Delhi. If looking for mushrooms, this is the place to head to.
The city’s first hyper-local farm, Herbivore Farms in Andheri East was started by two youths who were inspired by Krishna Mckenzie of Solitude Farm in Auroville, Puducherry, after a visit to the town two years back. Today, they use hydroponic methods to cultivate about 2,500 kinds of greens. Sent to the customers on the day of harvest, they have pesticide-free kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, roquette, and many more varieties. They deliver to your doorstep in Mumbai, and also have a subscription farm box, where you get 300 gms of assorted greens every month.
At the foothills of the Aravalli Range, 14 km from Gurgaon, Aman Bagh was started by Harsh Lohit to practice farming like it was done before the Green Revolution swept the country. Locally sourced, seasonal, chemical-free veggies are grown here. They also allow for guests to try meals made with the homegrown produce at the farm – give it a try the next time you’re around.
Tapovana Organic, Chennai
A tool of the Pasumai Organic Farmers Association, Tapovana Organic brings produce directly from farmers to you. An online-only platform, it is an organisation for small farmers, helping alleviate their economic conditions and simultaneously providing people with fresh, chemical-free vegetables, fruits, and other groceries.
A venture of Vrindavan Organic farms, The Weekend Farms was started in 2015 with an aim to make India switch to ‘the organic way of living’ by 2020. Along with growing organic fruits and vegetables, they also enable organic tourism at their farm, help you setup terrace and vertical gardens, and farm development. About three hours off Mumbai, this farm in the neighbouring Somnath area is one of the most holistic spots to source organic produce.
All images: Courtesy brands