Bengaluru's Manyata Tech Park is breaking new ground by having decided to grow its own food. During their free time, the employees of the tech park have been hard at work making it an organic campus.
An employee, K Jayasree, told Bangalore Mirror, "I am growing baby corn and spinach in the plot. My plants are still tender but I am excited to reap what I have sowed. This is a great initiative because unlike earlier, now my breaks are very fruitful and gardening in itself is a very relaxing exercise. I am having the best time of my life during my gardening breaks." Interestingly, there is also a facility for employees to take the crops grown on campus home. Embassy Services CEO Pradeep Lala, in a chat with Bangalore Mirror, said, "This idea was first suggested to us by our landscaping department and a pilot project was started. Soon we received a huge response and then we planned to take it forward."
The employees here are proud of their work, and would rather water their plants manually than use the drip irrigation system. Also, this organic farm is self-sustaining. Waste plants like grass and dry leaves are put into a compost pit which in turn could be used as fertilisers.
This enormous tech campus, which has an area of 110 acres, has allocated 15 acres just for the gardening. Right now, there are 144 plots installed where the employees can grow their own food.
Senior Manager for Corporate Initiatives, Raj Gaurav Bhandari, said, "We provide the seeds and also the fertilisers that are required. The seeds are selected keeping in mind both their value addition to the landscape and at the same time its viability as a food crop. But the plants are tended by the employees under the supervision of our gardening staff. The initiative has caught up so well with the employees that we are also planning to earmark some plots outside the campus for the same." An IBM employee told Bangalore Mirror, "This is a very good initiative as many people have an interest in gardening but due to the paucity of space and time they cannot do it. Now gardens have been brought near our office and it is a great feeling and I am sure this is going to be a big success. Likewise, if companies promote employees to grow fruit trees instead of ornamental plants within the campus it will be a big hit."