One morning, while scrolling through Instagram I found myself being transported to an alternate reality. In this world, just like my food heroes, I walked out of my house and into my sprawling farm and started filling the basket I was holding with fresh ripe tomatoes, clippings of basil, cloves of garlic and then, with a deafening sound I was jolted back to reality by my alarm (which by that point had been snoozed at least seven times). As I bolted out of my room to get dressed for work, I caught a glimpse of all the concrete structures outside my window and realised how unrealistic my daydream was, especially when living in a city like Mumbai, where a new high rise sprouts up every time you blink. But as it turns out, I was wrong. Having your very own farm does not need to be a farfetched daydream, even for those living a fast pace life in metropolitans.
Shameek Chakravarty, Gitanjali Rajamani, and Sudaakeran Balasubramanian have brought to life the extremely popular video-game FarmVille to life with their app Farmizen. Farmizen lets you grow your own fruits and vegetables that you have complete supervision over every minute detail - from choosing what to grow to which manure to use and when to harvest the produce. “Our food system has broken down, and unfortunately the existing system isn’t helping anyone – we as consumers go to the market and look for organic produce. However, do we know whether what we are buying is organic? Just putting a label does not make it organic,” said Chakravarty in an interview with The Better India. He attributes the deteriorating condition of our food system to not just unhealthy farming practices, but to consumers’ irrational approach as well. “We are looking for perfection in the vegetables we consume, and that sends out a terrible message to farmers. Looks seem to trump even the taste and nutritional value of the vegetables, and that adds a lot of pressure on the farmer who resorts to using methods that may or may not be sustainable in the long run,” he added. The most effective solution to this is creating awareness among consumers, Farmizen does just that by facilitating conversations between farmers an the consumers.
How to use Famizen:
The first step is to download the application. Famizen is available across operating system and can, therefore, be used by anyone with a smartphone. The next step would entail choosing a community farm. It is important to keep in mind that the community farm is located close to you to ensure easy access. Each mini-farm is divided into 12 sections, and it is entirely up to you if you want to grow one vegetable or fruit in your entire farm or a different one in each section. This is followed by picking the vegetables you’d want on your farm, after which you begin your monthly subscription that costs approximately INR 2,500.
As soon as you are one with the above state steps, the farmer at the community farm of your choice will start preparing the land and begins growing the fruits an vegetables of your choice. Farmizen sends you regular updates about the status of your farm and allows you to interact with other consumers using the same community farm.
Once the crop is real to harvest, you can heat to the farm, get your hands dirty and be a part of the process, or get the fruits and vegetables delivered to your doorstep.
Visit their website for more information.
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