We talk to farmer Rishi Kumar from the non-profit organization The Growing Club — Sarvodaya Farms, in Pomona, CA about urban farming, sustainability, and more.
The 1/2 acre plot run by Rishi and his mother is home to a vibrant ecosystem of vegetables, flowers, insects, etc. Sarvodaya Farms has a heavy focus on community, as they donate a portion of their crop to food pantries as well as offer a 28-week farmers training program that encourages urban farming, growing food in small settings, and backyard and school gardens. With an emphasis on being environmentally conscious and giving back to the ecosystem, Rishi has a “no-till policy” for the farm, and collects data on water usage, plants, feed used for the garden, and everything else that goes into the farm. The farm is a $5000 grantee of the FruitGuys and will use their grant to make a hedgerow habitat around their annual vegetable fields, in turn increasing pollinators and beneficial insect population. They will also create a curriculum on native plants and peoples for their farmers’ training program.