My first ever visit to a Miyawaki forest in Bengaluru, was a fantastic experience as it exposed me to a whole new concept of afforestation in our cities.
It was also slightly strange because there is a distinct demarcation between an urban area and a forest in my mind. But, there I was. In a dense forest in someone’s backyard and that too, in a city!
For Dr Sudhir Pillai, a cardiologist based in Mumbai, the fact that thousands of trees can be grown on a relatively small piece of land was nothing short of inspiring.
He had read about Pamela and Anil Malhotra, a couple who grew an entire forest in Karnataka, and that prompted him to convert his agricultural land near Nerul, Navi Mumbai into a lush forest of native trees.
The Better India had written about the Malhotras in 2015, and four years later, we are fortunate to be narrating the story of someone who was inspired by them!
“I had always loved the idea of working with the soil, and to foster this passion, my wife and I had bought a piece of land in the Raigad district,” begins Dr Sudhir.
Dr Sudhir and his wife, Dr Neeta, are both busy professionals, so they could only travel to Raigad on weekends. But the couple and their children, Siddharth and Maya, truly looked forward to these trips, as they were a wonderful getaway from the fast urban life.
“For a couple of years, we only grew leafy vegetables there. However, after I read about the Malhotras, I decided to make a permanent shift and grow a forest,” says Dr Sudhir.
“We own two plots of land, and one is already a lush green space. So we decided to leave that patch alone and concentrate on the other one which is rocky, and measures approximately 6000 sq ft,” he adds.
Miyawaki is a technique developed by Akira Miyawaki, a Japanese botanist, which helps you grow a dense forest in a restricted patch of land. The method dictates that you grow native species of trees, sub-trees and vertical-growing shrubs in a limited space of land.
Read more at TheBetterIndia