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Delhi couple produce 350 lettuce and 250 spinach heads weekly in backyard farm

"We are growing 500 organic crop heads weekly, which are sold for 30 rupees each. That is a total income of 15,000 rupees (~180 USD) per week. That brings the monthly total to 60,000 rupees (~725 USD) Peter shares. It's a great income on the side, with very little work truly. Two people can make this happen in a 10 by 16-foot facility, done by two people, counting 10,000 plants," Peter Singh, Co-founder of Aanant Aquaponic Farms, proudly shares.

With his wife Neeno, Peter Singh from New Delhi has constructed a low-tech vertical farming facility in their backyard. "We really enjoy doing this and particularly share our crisp, organic, freshly picked greens for people to enjoy and to get the nutritious benefit of it," she shares.

The 10 by 16 feet (~15m2) unit includes an inverter AC that keeps the overall temperature to a stable 25 degrees. Additional lighting is added for the crops cultivated inside, which are lettuce and spinach. Using both vertical towers and horizontal growing racks, Peter is maximizing the entire cultivation area. With their self-made recirculating aquaponic system, the plants are fed through a constant water flow with nutrients.

"In 2015, we heard about aquaponics and started learning about it. We first set up a trial unit in the garden of our house in Delhi. After setting up two pilot units, we are experimenting as our story continues. We're developing and making more efficient aquaponic- and permaculture systems now for growing food," Peter says.

The vertical racks are used to germinate young plants in growing media, whereas afterward, they'll be transplanted into the towers. Five layers of seedlings are stacked. Every week, one layer of lettuce is planted so production stays constant. According to Peter, given the density of the plants, the area with the stacked layers is able to produce 350 heads of lettuce a week and 250 heads of spinach a week.

As Peter calls her, Neeno, the plant expert, explains that each tray comprises 30 plants. Onto that, the bottom layer is the youngest plants, then once you go up every layer, there's 'one week of age' in between.

After a week in germination, as Neeno explains, they will be transplanted in pots. Two weeks later, they will be placed into 3-inch pots, growing there until the roots come out. Once the roots are big enough to absorb nutrients, they will be placed into the aeroponic towers, where the crops will stay until they are turned into fully grown heads. Besides lettuce and spinach, Bok choy, beetroot greens, and celery are the latest additions to the farm family.

For more information:
Peter and Neeno Singh, Founders
Aanant Aquaponic Farms
Tel.: +91 852 700 2024