The concept of developing edible gardens has become a popular trend quite recently. Also known as Edible Landscaping, where vegetables, herbs, fruits, and edible flowers are grown on a piece of land. Edible gardens or the concept of edible landscaping has risen due to world food shortage problems, an increase in population, and the rise of urbanization, where people migrate from rural areas to live in cities.
An edible garden comes with numerous benefits such as:
1) Sustainable way of procuring ingredients for cooking meals
2) Growing food that is 100% organic and chemical-free
3) Better than doing just decorative landscaping
4) Improving the insect pollination process
5) Helps in pollution control and reduces carbon emissions
6) Requires minimal effort
7) Generates profits if grown for commercial purposes
8) Great business opportunity/venture
Major cities around the world have taken up the concept of edible gardens and molded them according to the challenges they face. Singapore has started the concept of rooftop farming, where papayas, eggplants, bananas, herbs are grown on rooftops. The major reason for this was that only 1% of the land in Singapore was dedicated to farming. So the lack of agricultural land and food demands led to the concept of edible gardens on rooftops. In India, the modern city of Bengaluru, during the lockdown, understood the importance of growing food plants in home gardens.
The city of Beijing produces Yuan 340 billion worth of produce annually with a growth rate of 6.1%, from edible landscaping in urban areas. Asia’s largest ‘urban farm’ is on a rooftop of a university in Bangkok and, last but not the least, a 14,000 square meter urban farm in Paris aspires to be sustainable and commercially viable at the same time.
The popularity of edible gardens has led to many corporate offices, universities, hospitals, houses, etc, turning towards edible landscaping.
Understanding the changing demands in the food industry has led to HPG Consulting, India’s biggest foodservice and hospitality consulting firm, to train its project consultants on edible gardens.
The project consultants at team HPG are trained to:
1) Assess the client and devise a strategy tailor-made to the client
2) Offer customized solutions to client problems
3) Planning and Implementation of the client’s vision
4) Strong quality control
5) Apply a result-oriented approach to reach the client’s goal
6) Take a cost-effective approach
7) Apply the latest technologies and knowledge, up to date as per market demands
In a niche area like Edible Gardens, the project consultants work on understanding what the client wants to achieve out of the project. Are they growing the edibles for consumption within the campus or a for-profit venture? The project consultants then further work on educating their clients on the food production, waste management processes involved in edible gardens. An important step of land preparation is also involved, where project consultants need to educate their clients on how to prepare the land for the edibles that are grown. The last step involves marketing the produce grown from edible gardens (if the edible garden is a for-profit venture).