When I started my wonderful experience with growing veggies in 1998 my motivation was to grow colourful bell peppers red, yellow and orange. I can say this was a pioneer product for Pune and so the demand was selective. Along with peppers I grew Broccoli, Iceberg lettuce, Snow peas, Zucchini and a few other special veggies. These veggies being new to Pune only a niche market demand could be targeted through premium retail shops like Dorabjee’s, Natures Bounty and theme restaurants.
Within a period of 10 years the market changed from a premium demand to a general demand. Prices came down rapidly well within purchasing power of many. No longer did they merit a ‘special status’. The so called special veggies started selling briskly in our main vegetable markets. The picture taken last week in our Shivaji Market shows a good range of such veggies.
However by 2001 I decided to move on to growing culinary herbs. This was mainly because I discovered herbs can be grown without use of chemicals. I only use natural pesticides like Neem extracts. Whereas veggies like bell peppers, broccoli, iceberg lettuce, zucchini need heavy doses of powerful chemicals which are harmful to health.