Meet Neha Oza and Bhavesh Vyas from Plano, Texas, United States

“We are full time Information technology and cyber security professionals, travelers, part time carpenters & cultivators, followers of sustainable life & inclined towards renewable resources. The journey of backyard-farming was part of life while growing up and we learned this art from family and friends. This passion reached at the next level after making Texas our home few years back. We live amidst this urban tiny veggie and fruit jungle in Plano.

After traveling and living in various parts of the world and coming across various aspects of food growing, handling & contamination, we realized that what we eat is always an area of concern. With passing time, we came to a firm conclusion that we should know the entire journey from seed to produce and we must cultivate, consume and spread this awareness of fresh, seasonal and organic way of urban backyard farming as much as we can.

The most interesting part of our urban farming is extremely challenging Texas soil. It’s all rocks and it is hard to grow almost anything. All our raised beds and containers are mostly filled with homegrown compost. Healthy plants growing in organic matters are capable of fighting most of the diseases and pests. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are not part of our growing process. Rainwater harvesting, sprinklers and drip irrigation are used for water conservation. We get average 250-300 lbs of vegetables, fruits, greens and herbs during an average growing season.

Backyard farming is an absolute meditative activity and we adopted a holistic spiritual approach of coexistence wherein all bees, butterflies, bugs, small animals and humans are sharing this common space.

A part of the produce goes to local food pantry. We love our volunteer moderators’ work in few backyard gardening groups. We help neighbors, friends and fellow gardeners by sharing our knowledge, free seeds and saplings. We started with a modest 100 square feet raised bed and now the area is 400 square feet. Few neighbors joined the journey and it became a community wide activity with few thousand square feet of fresh organic food growing space. We see ourselves evolving more into this passion. Community urban farming with veggies, fruits, seeds and saplings bartering culture is something we are working upon.

We would like to share our favourite quote by Sadhguru…”If you become aware of how many living beings are giving their lives to sustain yours, you will eat with enormous gratitude”