Every Sunday morning, the members of Urban Leaves meet at dawn to tend their edible gardens. Established by Preeti Dehadrai Patil, Urban Leaves is a group of urban farmers that create rooftop gardens that can be enjoyed by all those who help maintain them.
“We are a group of passionate, gardening crazy, food loving friends.” reads their website. “We find joy in growing our own food, sharing farming techniques, cooking recipes, harvesting seeds and helping hands. Each day our stories inspire each other to reach our goal of greening rooftops in Mumbai…. to overcome difficulties and setbacks….to find creative strategies and alternative resources.”
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Preeti and her team and help out with the weekly maintenance of their Bhavans Campus garden located on the rooftop of a university building in Mumbai. I was one of twelve individuals who was pruning, weeding and spreading compost on at least fifteen garden beds that were bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables. Preeti and a few of the more experienced gardeners inspected each plant to ensure that it was healthy and to care for the plants that needed a little TLC. After the hard work complete, the morning’s harvest was divided between all participants and volunteers. A yield of papayas, peppers, turmeric, mint, lettuce, parsnip and other delights were ours to take home and enjoy – What a treat! Thank you Urban Leaves for sharing your delicious bounty