1. Success Story

This UP Man Grows Organic Veggies in PVC Pipes to Save Space & Money

Know more about the man who started growing vegetables in PVC pipes and has been working to spread this farming technique with interested growers all over the world.

Shruti Kandwal
Uttar Pradesh born Mithilesh Kumar Singh has created an urban vertical garden using PVC pipes to save on cost and space, and also runs Veg Roof, a farming startup that shares gardening tips.
Uttar Pradesh born Mithilesh Kumar Singh has created an urban vertical garden using PVC pipes to save on cost and space, and also runs Veg Roof, a farming startup that shares gardening tips.

Mithilesh Kumar Singh, who is from the village of Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, spent the majority of his youth playing outside and watching his family work in the fields.

But when he moved to Azamgarh for his schooling and then to Delhi for a career, everything changed. "Like many young people, I relocated to Delhi in 2007 after finishing my degree in computer science engineering in the hopes of finding a well-paying job. However, I was unable to join any organization, so I decided to pursue my love of writing by working as a content writer,” Mithilesh said.

He has over the years worked for many portals as well as a global media content company. Although he was happy with his job, he recalls that the environment in the capital city was monotonous and extremely unhealthy. He explains, "I missed my village, with its green fields and farm-fresh food.

The 38-year-old and his wife Vindhyavasini had a garden on their terrace. “We reside on the top level of an apartment, and we originally used the terrace to grow ornamental plants. When the pandemic started, we considered producing vegetables as well,” says Mithilesh.

However, Mithilesh and Vindhyavasini returned to their village for almost a year while the virus started rapidly spreading throughout the nation. “I gained a greater knowledge of farming and its practices during that time. This gave me the motivation I needed to start an organic vegetable garden at home in Delhi. My goal was to produce enough food for my family's needs while also giving away any surplus to others.”

Mithilesh decided to focus on unused PVC pipes in the apartment in order to save a lot of room rather than utilizing pots or grow bags. PVC pipes are often affordable, accessible, and can save a ton of space. Furthermore, it doesn't require a difficult setup.

Mithilesh enlarged his garden in 2021 using this vertical farming technique to his advantage. He now grows chili, coriander, tomato, brinjal, okra, peas, bitter gourd, and other common vegetables.

"The PVC pipe garden gained popularity, and people began coming by our home to see how it was built up. They expressed an interest to find out how to create a similar garden. I developed a gardening portal called Veg Roof since I enjoy writing and am knowledgeable about website design," he claims.

His first move toward creating a farming startup was this. Additionally, he started producing videos to upload on his similarly named YouTube channel. He registered Veg Roof in April of this year.

"Despite the abundance of information available on several websites and channels, many individuals still find gardening to be a tiring activity. The lack of available space is a significant problem for many. I discovered that this issue is largely resolved by growing vegetables on PVC pipes. I've created a working project where I distribute plants, I cultivate in PVC pipes to locals. They gain an initial push and realize it is achievable in this way,” he says.

The first 18 plants of each kind were given away for free at first. Mithilesh has begun offering the same to anyone who is interested because the results were promising. On the other hand, the YouTube channel is jam-packed with videos that share advice on farming methods, how to build up a garden, and how to grow food efficiently.

"I want to make sure that no poison is consumed by the city's residents. Being a city person myself, I've learned how difficult it is to find organic vegetables here. I want people to realize that even a little balcony can be used to grow organic veggies. Nowadays, ready-to-use items are popular. I give them partially developed plants in PVC tubing because of this. They only need to harvest and pour water,” adds Mithilesh.

Additionally, he claims that the COVID-19 period has substantially contributed to the growth of his startup by teaching people how to eat and live healthily.

Recently, Mithilesh took part in the Dreamdeal Challenge, which was sponsored by Anupam Mittal, a shark-on-Shark Tank India. In the challenge, Mithilesh's startup proposal was warmly welcomed, and the businessman offered to guide him.

"My ultimate goal is to encourage more individuals to pursue farming. I believe that this small startup would encourage everyone to grow their food," he says.

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