India: Self-taught grower harvests veggies from PET bottles

Rudrarup was in class eight when his father, a mechanical engineer, came home with a library book on Hydroponics, long before urban farmers in India began experimenting with the farming method.

It was as if a different world had been opened up for the young boy. Armed with earthen pots, the father-son duo conjured nutrients like scientists in a lab and grew different leafy vegetables without soil.

Cut to 2018, at 41, this Pune-based IT professional is helping people, even those with no farming backgrounds, grow everything from herbs to mustard, tomatoes to spinach in PET bottles and homemade planters using hydroponics.

While Rudrarup lost touch with the hydroponic method of farming after he graduated school and moved to a hostel, he decided to return to farming nearly three years ago.

When he looked for workshops happening around the city, he was surprised there weren’t any.

In an exclusive conversation with The Better India, the weekday IT professional who doubles up as a farmer by the weekend shares his journey.

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