Since 2015, Sharana has been receiving interns from an Agricultural University in the South of France, Ecole D’Ingenieurs de Purpan, once a year for 3 months. With the support of these interns and the local farm staff at Aranganur, Sharana has set up an organic vegetable garden in Aranganur. Sharana received four volunteers from Purpan September-November 2016. They worked intensively on the kitchen garden and planted new seeds, working closely with the social workers.
After preparing the ground for planting in September, different vegetables were planted in the beginning of October: bhindi, brinjal, chilies, bottle gourds, snake gourds, radish, pumpkins, carrots, beans, cucumber, ridge gourds, bitter gourds, tomatoes, and beet roots. The social workers and volunteers also planted aromatic plants, such as coriander and basil, which can be used on a daily basis to garnish cooked meals. There are additional plans to triple the size of the kitchen garden, to plant more vegetables, and to create compost pits in various programs.
This project had been conceptualized keeping in mind the nutritional aspects of our various programs. The goal is to produce as many fresh vegetables as possible for the various kitchens in which meals are cooked in all of Sharana’s programs every day. The aim is to produce all ingredients internally within the next 2-3 years. Excess amounts of food will be used in Sharana’s café, and further excess would be sold.