Urban Farming at an Orphanage for Boys

We paid a visit to the terrace garden at Our Lady’s Home, an orphanage for boys in central Mumbai, where we met Priti and her team from Green Souls. For the past 2 years, Green Souls have been building an edible garden to help educate the children of the orphanage about the gardening process as well as providing them with a space to ‘retreat’ from their everyday lives. Here the boys are learning how to grow and maintain fruit and vegetable gardens. “Being able to see a seed grow into a fruit or vegetable that can be harvested and eaten is a very rewarding experience – especially for these children”, explains Priti. Using mainly donated or found objects, Green Souls have managed to create a lush garden that yields papayas, eggplants, greens, berries and other fruit and vegetables. Old wardrobe doors, cardboard boxes and scavenged pieces of wood are used to create beds that are then filled with soil. The compost is made on site using organic waste from the orphanage and then mixed and added to the garden beds to produce soil that is rich in vital nutrients and minerals. The end result is a magical rooftop forest completely removed from the busy city below – a secluded oasis within a bustling urban centre.


The Importance of Good Soil

Recounting another beautiful afternoon spent gardening in urban Mumbai.  This time we had the opportunity to meet Julius and Priti from GreenSouls, an non-profit organisation supported by volunteers that create organic farms in Mumbai for vulnerable communities. Today we were volunteering at the Cheshire Disability Centre located in the heart of the city. Along with about 8 other voluteers, we set to work building a large garden that would eventually provide residents of the centre with fresh and organic produce. One of the most interesting elements observed was the care taken into using soil that would hold moisture and feed plants for expended periods of time. “We create our own ‘living’ soil,” explains Julius, “by using organic ‘waste’ matter like leaf litter, tree trimmings, branches, weeds, kitchen waste, tender coconut shells etc collected locally, to make ‘compost,’” In addition to using beautifully enriched soil, GreenSouls also make use of the land’s natural topography in the design of their gardens.  In this case, the garden was being built on a slope that directed water down trenches that had been filled with organic matter.  Not only was the water being purifying as it made its way through the leave filled trenches, but was also being directed to the areas of the garden that required the most nourishment.  A truly enlightening day spent with the wonderful people of GreenSouls.

Children’s Hospital Terrace Garden

I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting Dr. Hemant Samel and Dr. Smita Samel, both paediatric doctors and founders of the Ashwini Hospital for Children in Nalasopara, India.  Along with showing the Earthoholics team and myself the bountiful garden on the terrace of their hospital, they invited us in for a delicious meal cooked using their homegrown ingredients.  Inspiring people taking initiative to better their lives and the lives of those around them 🙂

Ringing in the New Year in Mumbai

It’s a new year – and after several years of guerrilla gardening in European and North American cities, I decided it was time to get a fresh perspective.  This epiphany has since led me to the busy metropolis of Mumbai in India to see how locals incorporate gardening and environmentalism into their lives.  I have been working with a wonderful group of people from #Earthoholics – following them as they teach city dwellers how to create terrace gardens filled with organic vegetables.  Today we ventured to the suburb of Navi Mumbai to install a new garden at the home of a couple who are eager to discover the joys of urban farming!

Stashed away with my Tic Tacs

Hidden amongst these little white peppermints is the seed pill I plan to sow tonight! #SeedTheRevolution

Look what I found!

Tucked away down one of the side streets near my home, I found these lovely little guerrilla gardens. Keep your eyes peeled folks, covert gardeners are up and active in the streets of London. Let’s #seedtherevolution together!

The Subversive Gardener @BOXPARK

The Subversive Gardener Pop Up is up and running at @BOXPARK in Shoreditch till Sunday July 17th. Come learn about guerrilla gardening and get the latest covert tools!


Gardening in Style

Today has been a beautiful day in London! I’ve been taking advantage of the sunny weather to do some stylish guerrilla gardening. Armed with a nail duster from the Subversive Gardener’s Tools for Her collection, I’ve been sowing seed pills in neglected spaces around London.

Jumping crackerjacks 

African crackerjack marigolds grown from seed pills are thriving – can’t wait for them to bloom! 

Spring has Sprung!


Spring is here and new seed pills are being tested. Already you can see the mustard is doing very well.  If you have a closer look, you can also see some poppies and marigolds sprouting as well! Happy Spring!

Blog at WordPress.com.