Homegrown fruits and Veggies | Sunday Observer

Homegrown fruits and Veggies

Have you ever noticed how fresh newly plucked fruits taste? If you have, you definitely are a fan of home-grown fruits and veggies. Trust me; the taste of naturally grown fruits is that much addictive. Recently Youth Observer came across a story of a young couple that inspires the community about growing 100% chemical free fruits and vegetables. The story of Medhini and Abishek who are the co founders of Us on Earth will make you realise the true purpose of Us on Earth.

If you are spending a city life, the super market may be your quick decision to get away with fresh fruits and veggies. This quick choice is now a regular habit, but that’s definitely not the best choice. We often believe that living a busy life doesn’t let us grow our own food, and the small space in the backyard is our other excuse. It’s time to get rid of this negative perspective. Let’s see how Abishek and Medhini won the challenge of farming.

“I am an architect and Abishek is an engineer. We were both born and bred in cities, but we have always loved plants and just being in the midst of nature. We have grown up with gardens in our respective homes all our lives, but we would have never imagined that it would have led to a full-fledged farm. We were always looking for better and more varieties of fruits and vegetables and realised that living in Colombo we were always sacrificing on quality. This led us to start a small patch just to feed our family, but it kept growing to occupy almost most of the land. Now a year later, we are absolutely in love with the whole process, and we only want to develop it more and expand in any way we can!” Medhini said.

“We grow our vegetables on a 2-acre area near Ja-Ela. With all our effort and passion towards this, now our motive is to go back to our roots, to be more connected to the food we eat and the earth we live on,” said Medhini. “We were extremely dissatisfied with the quality of fruits and vegetables in the Colombo markets. They were almost never fresh, or grown with harmful chemicals, and the rare organic produce was also exorbitantly priced.

“Cultivating has become a fun activity which gives us so much of excitement, and we love being a part of the journey from start to finish. With the passage of time Abishek and I found that what we produce is excess for our daily usage.

This is the point where we came out with the idea of selling our excess harvest. What we grow depends on seasonal changes. We practice crop rotation based on the seasons, and also grow multiple varieties at any given point. This also helps improve the soil structure. Now, we have access to more varieties which aren’t available in the market. So, the excess produce is packed in assorted Earth Bags and delivered to the customers’ doorstep. We have recently launched Earth Jars which are a homemade series of jams and chutneys and are sold at a few retail stores in Colombo.

Medhini and Abishek are real game changers who change the future of a nation to become healthy and are the ones who strengthen the backbone of the country. This is what is truly needed for a country to develop. Young entrepreneurs with wise thoughts who are a good example for society are redefining the terms of growth.

Revealing the bitter truth about market fruits Medhini said, “ Those products come from distant places. Therefore, it takes two or three days for transportation. And when you pick it up it may be the fourth day. So, how do ensure they are fresh? When it comesto fruits, most of them are forcibly ripened and that makes a huge difference in the taste and the texture. This happens mostly with papayas and bananas. But the same applies to the other fruits as well. In contrast, when we deliver veggies and fruits to customers, we pluck it fresh and deliver within 24 hours. Even though we do it on a small scale, now our customers give us positive feedback which really makes us happy. The ones who regularly buy products from us know the value of naturally grown food”.

Everyone shouldt feel the worth of being self-sufficient as Medhini and Abishek. Why spend thousands for medicines when you can eat home grown food and keep the doctor away. As Medhini says, their biggest hurdle is that they are not educated in agriculture and have no prior experience. But learning by experience has made them better each day.When asked how they manage their professions and farming Medhini said,

“No, we are not. Abishek has now moved on to his family business. I’m a freelance designer and in the process of setting up a business in the tourism sector. Us on Earth is a passion project and business that the two of us work on together.”

Visit their Us on Earth farm online and join them in creating awareness among the urban youth about the necessity to become more knowledgeable about food sources. As Medhini said, “try to eat food from local and seasonal produce - Sri Lanka is blessed with good weather where you can grow food all year round..If we stop demanding for produce that isn’t available or doesn’t grow in the country, we can reduce the quantity of imported food and promote local farmers. Please never forget that as consumers you have the power to create a healthy demand in the market”.