Vriksha nursery

Vriksha nursery is a second generation nursery based in Mumbai where we strive to change the face of urban gardening in India with over 25,000 gardens executed in Maharashtra/Goa/Gujarat. We have a team of dedicated professionals who will leave no stone unturned to give you gardens of the utmost quality. Vriksha nursery has been synonymous with innovation in our field be it set landscaping(over 15000 teleserials/movies/adfilms), temporary landscapes (over 2500 exhibitions and weddings),ikebana flower arrangements, urban farming, rooftop gardens,living walls etc.
contact us :9820704069 Email: shaan_lalwani@hotmail.com
or better still
Drop by at: 1 ganga apts ,
irla railway soc(2nd last bungalow lane opp papilon hotel )
mumbai 400056.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mumbai's urban railway farms:how safe are the greens you eat?

The 7 in the morning mandovi express ....brings back so many memories from college days...Recently i took the train to mangaon a beautiful little village on the outskirts of mumbai for some landscaping work .What i saw was just plain disturbing.

As a kid one of my Favorite cartoon was Popeye the sailor..., Popeye was depicted as eating spinach to become stronger. The animated shots depicted Popeye as ridiculously strong but liable to be hammered by the much larger Bluto before his eating of the spinach,he would eat spinach, which would instantly restore and amplify his strength to an even greater level infusing Popeye with his extraordinary strength.If Elzie Crisler Segar(creator of the series) was to have Popeye,olive oyl,bluto come to Mumbai, the episode would pan out with Popeye n bluto having a fight sequence on the overcrowded trains of Mumbai and Popeye ending up with food poisoning cause of the adulterated gutter water spinach that he ate from the sprawling spinach farms all along the train tracks.

Looking outside the windows of outbound trains in Mumbai have always been disturbing hoards of slum dwellers all along the track mooning you,open gutters heaps of garbage,swines,rats...and nestled among all this are the farms that produce roughly 40% of mumbais spinach,fenugreek,coriander&other local greens.Plants like radishes,bananas,paddy are also cultivated on these farms.
The railway officials, though, have a reply. V M Malegaonkar, chief public relations officer of Central Railway, said, "We hand over the land for cultivation to prevent encroachment. However, we do not keep a check on quality or the kind of water being used for cultivation. Our primary goal is to ensure that these vacant pieces of land belonging to railway are not encroached upon." It has been decided to allow growing vegetables along the tracks to save it from encroachers. Though the scheme for availing the land for growing vegetables is open to all, we prefer railway employees avail the offer,"

a senior Western Railway official said.
This cant be happening how can these guys be foolish enough to allow these farms to exist.All outbound trains run on diesel engines,the emissions of which have loads of harmful chemicals ..ever notice a waxy layer on the spinach leaves you buy from your local bhaji wala ... harmful chemicals like:•
1)Lead: May cause anaemia; blood, gastrointestinal and neuro-muscular disorders
2)Arsenic: Can lead to kidney and liver disorders and even paralysis
3) Copper: Can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and involuntary muscle movement
4)Mercury: Can lead to involuntary muscle movement and tremors.

are present in abundance.the water that these guys use to irrigate these crops is straight from the drain using diesel pumps to flood these fields.Most slums around the farms have no bathrooms hence the tracks ,drains and farms are visited regularly by the few lacks that stay in these slums.

What needs to be done: the first thing the railways should do is stop this foolish practice, the ramifications of growing these vegetables in this kind of environment are to serious to risk.Long term consumption of vegetables grown on sewage water can lead to early onset of Parkinson's disease, neuron degeneration, hearing and vision impairment and gastro-intestinal infections.
avoid buying your vegetables off the bhaji walas if you do wash them thoroughly before consumption.

The ideal solution is to grow your own greens chemical free,organic and half the market price.plants like coriander,spinach,mint will be soon available in pots/plugs at the nursery and all you have to do is water it for 20days before you guys can pluck the leaves to make yourself a healthy meal.


  1. I would like you to view the following web site for some other ideas for urban gardening.


    Low income people can use this method without paying too much money for containers. Your comments can be sent to technologyforthepoor@yahoo.com

    Dr. Job S. Ebenezer

  2. hi dr ill def send you some images iv made some low cost containers for walls etc ill get the pics up here asap...

  3. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

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