Sweet Fruit Of My Labor

In 2013 I started an urban farm on my Mumbai terrace to learn firsthand how to grow veggies in our city’s climate. There were a few self-imposed conditions: I would use local soil, organic means, and grow everything in containers only.

Three years and fifty veggie and herb experiments later (most of which were successful and their ‘How-To’s’ are listed in my Plantopedia), I needed a new challenge.

Fruit was the logical next choice. How nice it would be to go up to my terrace and pluck fruit for the day, I thought. And well, you know how that goes….!

So in 2016, the great fruiting experiment commenced! Watermelon, cantaloupe, amla and black sugarcane were the first to come through. Check out these pix of the fruit we enjoyed…


We’re in 2018 today, and I’m proud to say I’m now also growing papaya, mango, sitaphal, banana, starfruit, guavas, lime, lemon, orange, avocado, love apples and pineapples!! All of these in Mumbai, using local soil, organically, and each and every one of these trees – in containers!


Mango flowers in February, and its gorgeous fruit in April!


Flowers of Starfruit/Carambola and a new born Papaya/Papita – the promise of more to come!





Guavas/Perus growing easily in containers…






…and Custard Apple/Sitaphal too!



I am now hooked on growing fruit 🙂

I just cannot wait to eat those sitaphals. I wonder for how much longer I can remain patient. When our starfruit tree fruited, I had missed it as I was traveling at the time. I so don’t want to miss starfruits and sitaphals this year!

I wonder about the avocado and love apple trees, and my three stoic pineapple bushes… They do seem to be taking their time, but I remain hopeful. There’s less hope for the orange and lemon trees though, knowing how challenging Mumbai’s humidity must be to them.

My experiments have been interesting till date, to say the least…. And you may be thinking by now that I probably have far too much on my little terraced urban farm, than I should have… But, you’re wrong 🙂

There’s still more to come! Yessssss – I now have my sights on Fig/Anjeer and Soursop Graviola (the bush of the “anti-cancer” fruit), both of which I’ve ordered online and am expecting any day now. Chikoo/Sapodilla is another experiment that simply has to take place, and after seeing spectacular hanging fruit at a friend’s terrace in Goa, there shall be passion fruit too! I’m fascinated with the other types of gooseberries besides Amla (which I have) and would love to get cuttings of the cute orange ones with feathery leafy coverings (cape gooseberries?). I continue to  feel ambivalent about grapes (Will our Mumbai humidity let it live? Should I even bother?) but would definitely like to give cashew a good shot. As a native of the bountiful Konkan, it seems only loyal and right! Now if could only get a good quality sapling here in Mumbai….

And so until the fruits of my next happy experiment, and updates on the new trees in my life, happy growing to you too!

7 thoughts on “Sweet Fruit Of My Labor

  1. aalif

    Really enjoying your blog. Thank you for the effort to maintain and update it… Hopefully my experiments will be as successful as yours 🤞🏻please do let me know when you have your next workshop in Mumbai. I am based in Andheri West …


    1. Mandy Post author

      Thank you for the feedback Asif! Glad you like this blog and I wish you happy growing – with all the successes and failures (yes, that too, for it to be complete) and learning that comes from real growing!


  2. Pooja Choudhary

    I want to join your community and want to learn farming here.so is there any way to reach out to you.
    Kindly let me know as I am very interested in this.



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