Rudyard Kipling rightly said, “Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.” We agree and in this age of space crunch, we have to go all green. And this is where Growhouse.in comes in. The online portal’s Facebook tagline goes like this – Your friendly online neighbourhood hydroponics hub. Growhouse brings everything you need to set up your homely hydroponic garden to your doorstep. For those new to the term, hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water and without soil. Non-soil methods like gravel or nutrient soil is used to grow the plants. Started in 2013, the founders, Sharan Shirur and Nikhil More wanted to give gardening fanatics a way to get hold of best in their hobby especially with hydroponics.
Nikhil prefers calling Growhouse.in that platform where Indian home grower can get the best products and information. “Today, Growhouse.in is an online store which deals with specialised gardening and hydroponic equipment. We are working towards bringing in the best in gardening and hydroponic equipment. However, the bigger picture we are looking at is to create a platform for gardening hobbyists where they can connect with experts and help one another kick-start the home hydroponics scene in India.”
Both Nikhil and Sharan were always into growing plants before getting into business. “While we were dabbling in hydroponics around three years back, we were struggling to find nutrients, equipment and other technology required to grow hydroponically. Our quest for this equipment would often lead us to forums where we found other Indians making similar requests. We realised a void in the Indian hydroponics scene and created Growhouse.in.”
With day jobs in hand, it meant working on Growhouse in the evenings till late nights and early mornings. “We were working against the clock to get the site up and running, dealing with vendors, packaging, social media etc. – but it was all worth it in the end. Hydroponics is by no means a new technology. But there is still not enough awareness about the simplicity of the process. When we tell people about Growhouse.in, most are excited but there are still a few who get intimidated by the scientific sounding name and the technical sounding terms. We want to break this notion that hydroponics is a geeky world full of numbers and formulas. It’s actually so simple, that anyone can manage a home vegetable garden and actually bring vegetables, herbs and fruit straight from the plants to the table.”
“We know we are at the beginning of a very large wave that will take over the urban gardening scene in the future. We are constantly working towards creating awareness about hydroponics. The most important thing is that we are in the right place a little before the right time. We have made a conscious effort to look approachable enough for everyone and so far it seems to be working as we expected,” he proudly states.
Nikhil believes that hydroponics is the future in foods. “As we run out of farmable area, it seems unfair that forests are being cleared out every day to create farms that can provide food for the millions living in cities. Cities are doing nothing but consuming without returning the favour. Urban farming is the solution for how food will be produced in the years to come. Self-sufficiency is the key. When you grow your own vegetables, you are saving all those gallons of fuel that were burnt up to transport that food to your doorstep. You can use of almost 1/4th of the space a plant requires in soil. These plants consume almost 80 per cent less water since the water is continuously being re-circulated. The best part about growing hydroponically is that your plant roots don’t need to develop a massive root network that is constantly in search of nutrients. This means we can grow up to eight herbs in a 2-3 sq.ft area. That’s why our systems are small and will fit perfectly on your window sill or kitchen counter.”
Nikhil feels the future of Growhouse.in in the near future is clear and planned. “Our first phase of Growhouse.in involves building awareness of the ease and possibility of growing at home, while providing access to products via our web shop. Our next phase will involve setting up of physical information centres and grow shops across major cities in the country. Our final phase will involve setting up of the Growhouse Agro-farm and launching our own line of products. All in all, we look at Growhouse.in growing into a thriving community of urban home growers. We can and will bring farming back to every household.”
Website Link: www.growhouse.in
Facebook Page: Growhouse