Urban Leaves India: January 2014

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Join us this Sunday 26th Jan at the SPIT College Rooftop Community Farm, Andheri

It is Republic Day on Sunday 26th Jan. We invite you to join us and celebrate the tri colours of our flag at the SPIT Rooftop Community Garden at Bhavans Campus Andheri. 

On every occasion when we see the tri-colour our hearts are filled with pride, love and admiration.  How about interpreting the tri-colour through the eyes of an organic farmer:

  • Saffron for the sun-the source of all life giving energy on our planet.
  • Green for the plants/vegetation that we nurture and grow.
  • Blue of the Ashok Chakra for the water which is life for our plants.
  • Ashok Chakra indicating the cycle of life, the time needed for life to thrive and grow.
  • And finally White, an amalgamation of all colours representing the unity in diversity of all life.

Just like the colors of our flag the season too brings us beautiful vibrant colours of vegetables and fruits.

While we learn to grow our food we would also like to extend our learning to un-cooking or eating our food raw and healthy. 
So this republic day join us in preparing and sharing foods having the tri colour in them!

Send recipes...or prepare a dish and share it at the community farm. Volunteer at the seva Cafe. 
Lend a hand to prepare Amrut Mitti heaps in this infant farm and carry home your own tub of Amrut Mitti heap with a small ( paid) kit.

In all, join us to celebrate the true Indian spirit in us by sharing our gifts, our joys and our generous spirit. A suggested donation/contribution of Rs 200/- towards the costs of the event and maintenance of the community farm is welcome.

Do bring along your caps, napkins, wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Those who would like to take back Amrut Jal may bring empty bottles to carry back the same.

There is no registration needed. Just join in with your family and friends. But please don't forget to send a  simple mail to urbanleaves [at] gmail [dot] com if you will be joining us  on Sunday.

Sunday 26th January 2014
7:30 AM on-wards till about 10:00 AM
Sardar Patel Institute of Technology's Rooftop Community Farm,
Bhavan's Campus, Munshi Nagar,
Andheri (West), Mumbai

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Seva Cafe -- Giving meaning to our motto of Reap what you Sow; Eat what you grow.

Hello friends

In 2009 began the first Urban Leaves  community farm. A community space where volunteers gifted their time, energy and love to build an organic farm on a concrete slab. The community grew form a humble 4 volunteers to more than fifty with 5 Community Farms in Mumbai today.

Volunteers at the MNP Community Farm- 2009 building Amrut Mitti Beds

Community Farm at the Bhavans nature and Adventure Center

Rooftop Community Farm at the SPIT college Bhavans Campus

Rooftop Community Farm at the Provincial House Don Bosco

Don Bosco rooftop

Gopal Garden school rooftop- Iskon at Borivali
Sagar Upwan - MBPT Colaba
Beginning of The Seva Cafe ( Read about the Seva Cafe Concept Here)

2014, we found inspiration with the work of few friends like Shammi Nanda, Abha Gupta, Sheetal Sanghavi, Mayuri Pandit, Mona Gandhi and we have a new activity included a midst our urban farming activity at the Community Farms.

Food and farms should go together logically..... These days we don't see the farms and see lots of cafes, and restaurants and food malls. We land up in various food courts, on weekends with friends and family....to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, get togethers, or just a lazy weekend. We eat a variety of food, chaat....continental , Chinese, etc....global in its flavour, very expensive.... but rarely do we feel satiated, happy, content, nourished or pampered after such meals. 

As we grow food in our community farms and share these natures beautiful gifts among volunteers, we take a step further to use this produce to cook up or rather uncook delicious raw salads and steamed healthy snacks and herbal Teas.The whole idea is for us to experience the wonderful textures, flavors and aromas of fresh food, grown and cooked with such love and large hearts, with a spirit of seva and community sharing. To inspire the young and the old to grow their own food and use it it to prepare healthy nourishing meals for their family.
growing greens at the Community Farm

As we take our baby steps in creating our city farms, we get educated in the ABC of organic farming. Local and seasonal says our first lesson. And so here we go in search of various local seasonal greens, herbs that will grow well on our balconies and windowsill and terraces. Spinach, Fenugreek, Malabar Spinach, Amarath, Dill, Coriander, Chawli greens, lettuce, radish greens, chana greens and so on. 

The first harvests sets us off seeking  new lessons in cooking up recipes with our produce. 
This sharing has also been instrumental in starting the Seva Cafe.It gives real meaning to our motto of Reap what you sow, Eat what you grow.
Mona Gandhi sharing her yummy raw salad at Don Bosco Rooftop Community Farm

Volunteers preparing a salad at the Don Bosco Community Farm

Salad making at the Bhavans SPIT rooftop Community Farm
Saroj Choudhary with her Yummy greens salad and energy Dip at Don Bosco Community Farm
Do join us on early Sunday mornings with your family and children to experience warm sunshine, gentle soft soil in your hands, lush green terrace spaces, a hearty healthy breakfast among a friendly sharing community.

Contribute to the seva cafe in the following ways:
  • Bring along raw greens, herbs/ salad ingredients
  • Contribute paper eco friendly cups and dishes
  • Contribute toward the expenses for seva cafe
  • Volunteer to cook up a snack/meal
  • Pay it forward for someone's meal
  • Or any other creative way...
Seva Cafe Recipes  (links below will be updated as recipes are uploaded)

The recipes of salads prepared at the Community Farms are detailed below. Try them out using the produce from your city farms or from the farmers markets. We hope their taste will change the way you look at healthy food.
Smiles and Happy Gardening and Harvesting
Team Urban Leaves