Kochi: Vertigrove, a revolutionary facility to grow vegetables indoors developed by Maya Varghese, a woman entrepreneur based in Kochi, was launched in Kerala. Vertigrove makes vertical farming a convenient reality and was inspired by Maya's own motto of Grow Your Own Food (www.gyofood.com).
Maya Varghese said for the last few years, she was in search of finding a way to produce leafy vegetables in our restricted space conditions without using chemical fertilisers and pesticides. "Take the case of Kerala. We are a consumerist state and most of the foodstuff we require are coming from elsewhere and we have no control over the usage of chemical pesticides and fertilizers used for producing such supplies. Hence, the threat of cancer is looming large and there is a huge and increasing demand for leafy vegetables produced without using harmful chemicals," she said.
Vertigrove is designed in such a way so as to grow vegetables vertically even inside small houses and apartments.
While conventionally it needs at least 200 sq ft of space for around 30 vegetable plants to grow, Vertigrove makes unbelievably smart use of space and fits them in just 4 sq ft. An added advantage is the aesthetic appeal in design which makes it suitable even in sitting and living rooms. As the units come fitted with castors in the bottom, it can be rolled across rooms, considering convenience or availability of sunlight while one can grow floral plants in hanging models as well.
When the family is away for a few days, Vertigrove can take care of itself with its automated rechargeable battery which can water the plants for up to 7 days without human presence. "We have also ensured to use only the most productive and disease-resistant seeds and the planting is done in treated organic mixture. There is an additional option to fit it with a vermi-compost system," Maya Varghese says.
VertiGrove units are available now in three models including pedestal type with compost column and castors; pedestal type without compost column and hanging type without compost column. Though a unit is priced at Rs 6,500 with 30 saplings, Vertigrove now offers an introductory offer, at Rs 4,900 per unit.
Maya Varghese said Vertigrove is suitable for almost all of our favourite vegetables, especially the much-needed leafy ones, including various types of spinach (cheera), amaranths, Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, paalak, pudina, oregano, coriander, celery and parsley. The nursery production unit of her firm Grow Your Own Food in Karumalloor, near Aluva, is already in full swing to supply the units across Kerala. For more details, please visit www.gyofood.com or call tollfree 1800 103 7322.