PESTICIDES IN VEGETABLES – As the size of land-holdings of vegetable-farmers located close to the cities shrink, they resort to more and more lethal chemicals to “milk” every square inch of their arable lands. The residues of these lethal chemicals not only stick to the skin of the vegetables but are also absorbed into the flesh of the vegetable. In India, the Minimum Residue Level (MRL) limits for pesticides are about 5 to 10 times higher than the corresponding US limits. The daily intake of pesticides ranges from 147% to 7,218% of so called safe limits for adults, for a 10 kg child in India, the pesticide intake ranges from 214% to 7218% of the so called safe limit. Pesticides residue is the second largest agent causing cancer, next to cigarettes. Besides, the pesticides and fertilizers residuals that persist in the soil are harmful to the beneficial soil micro organism and earthworms thereby resulting in degradation of soil fertility.Farmers apply pesticides such as chlordane, endrin and heptachor that can cause serious neurological problems, kidney damage and skin diseases
We are thus EATING A LITTLE BIT OF CANCER EVERYDAY!
POWER-CUTS – Take a look at our barren un-utilized rooftops. They are exposed to the sweltering sun and thus get heated up. They in turn heat up the entire building resulting in higher power consumption. As the power consumption of cities sky-rockets, Power-cuts become the rule rather than an exception. We will soon run out of POWER!!
WATER-CRISIS – With the cities bursting on their seams due to burgeoning population, the groundwater-level in and around the cities keeps falling. Most Farmers have already given up vegetable-farming due to water-crisis!
INCREASING FOOD MILES – Decades ago, food was grown and consumed locally. Today, hundreds of trucks guzzle precious fossil fuel to move fresh vegetables over long distances. The cost of vegetables shall continue to sky-rocket!
THE SOLUTION ORGANIC FARMING ON THE ROOFTOP
Organic Farming on rooftops enables you to consume Fresh Organic Vegetables every day. It also helps in developing a NATURAL GREEN COVER on the rooftop and make your house cooler by 6-7 degrees. In order to do Organic Farming on the Rooftop you need a SOIL-LESS GROWING MEDIUM whose wet-weight should be just a fraction of the wet-weight of soil. It should contain Organic Biofertilizers. This soil-less medium should be filled in sturdy LIGHT-WEIGHT and LEAK-PROOF CONTAINERS. Each such container should be equipped with a SUB-SURFACE DRAINAGE, which allows instant removal of any extra water from the containers. The extra drained water should be collected and re-cycled. DRIP SYSTEM should be used to irrigate your rooftop organic farm with small quantity of water. LIQUID ORGANIC FERTILIZERS and ORGANIC PLANT GROWTH REGULATORS that should be applied to all plants using a FERTIGATION TANK. A LOW-TUNNEL, made of Green Net, should protect young plants from climatic extremes and also from the high reflection of light from the roof walls. On the rooftop, many seasonal vegetables can be grown organically. Some of them are spinach, methi, coriander, spring onion, cauliflower, cabbage, tomato, cherry tomato, broccoli, lettuce, leek, celery, parsley, zucchini, radish, carrot, beetroot, cucumber, turnip, mustard, brinjal, chilly etc.
Many clean-tech companies are now trying to assess the CARBON CREDITS that a house can earn by doing Rooftop Organic Farming.
A house can generate carbon credits due to the following reasons:
1. By using organic inputs, we are reducing the use of chemical inputs that are manufactured using fossil fuels.
2. By developing a natural green cover on the rooftop, the building becomes cooler by 6-7 degrees. This directly impacts the electricity consumption. The rooftop farming containers can be used for Rainwater Harvesting.
3. Food Miles are reduced to zero when u are producing your own vegetables which today are coming from long distances.
If every house could also earn carbon credits there would be a very string financial motivation for everybody to undertake organic farming on the rooftop. Urban Entrepreneurs can grow fresh organic vegetables on their rooftops and supply them to the premium restaurants and hotels in the city.
COMMUNITY-BUILDING THROUGH ROOFTOP FARMING
All families of an apartment block can come together to develop a lush green organic farm on the roof of their
1. Students can collectively develop Rooftop Organic Farms on the roofs of their schools.
2. Employees can develop collectively develop a Rooftop Organic Farm on the rooftop of their office building.