Non-profit

Celebrating Earth Day with Urban Mali- A Friendly Neighborhood Gardening Fraternity

Urban Mali is an online community for all gardening needs.

Every year on April 22, Earth Day is commemorated to promote awareness about worldwide environmental challenges such as pollution, deforestation, and global warming. The day is significant because critical challenges, such as growing pollution and climate change, are depleting the global environment.

To commemorate this day, we had a talk with Vandana Ritha Krishnamurthy, CEO of Urban Mali. Professional gardeners are provided by the nonprofit to assist in creating, maintaining, and managing native gardens. They also help you find the proper plants and deliver them to your home.

Q
Tell us about some of the initiatives at Urban Mali?

Vandana Ritha Krishnamurthy: We mainly help people set up their gardens or renovate their existing ones. We also have maintenance and an online storage system. We realized that many people don’t maintain their gardens. We provide options for different maintenance subscriptions to people who have just set up their garden. The gardener comes regularly and looks after your garden space for a three-month, six-month, or one-year plan.

We primarily work with local and indigenous plants because they are plants that evolved in this region of the world and are, therefore, low-maintenance. We have an online store where individuals can purchase these blueprints and any other gardening supplies they may desire, such as soil and other materials. You’ll find gardening tools and anything else a gardener would need in that room.

Q
How has your journey been so far?

It has been a fantastic journey till now. We have got an outstanding response, and many people have joined along so far. And we primarily work with a group of friends, trying to learn as much as possible.

One challenge we have faced along the way is grooming migrant farmers. Most of our gardeners come from remote places in search of job opportunities. We have to train them regarding gardening and how to present themselves in front of our customer base.  These gardeners often also come with their baggage of alcoholism and drug addiction. Although we try our best to provide them with all the support they need, we are not always successful. In the end, it is their journey. And as a result of this, we are forced to ask them to leave, which breaks our hearts a little. As I mentioned, we at Urban Mali work as a family. And to ask one member to go is always a tough call for us.

Q
What are some of the tips you’d give to someone who wants to start a garden?

Vandana Ritha Krishnamurthy: If you want a garden. We need to let the roots acclimate to the new media we’ve prepared for them to grow in and then grow and thrive in that environment. Taking care of plants is similar to having pets at home; they are your plant pets, and you are their plant parents, so you just need to look after them with love and care.

We hope you gathered some valuable insights from the discussion. Gain access to the corporate volunteer world. Get in touch with our team and share your Impact Story on our platform.

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