Here’s one family Whatsapp group you won’t want to mute. The Thakkars can be messaged any day of the week for organic fruit, veggie and grain needs, which they will source from their Karjat farm and deliver to your doorstep. You don’t even have to pick up the phone to exchange hi-hellos. Plus, Aunty and Uncle Thakkar won’t forward you Santa Banta jokes or fake news posts. The Onion means something else entirely to them.
What they sow
Rajendra Thakkar, a practicing lawyer, and his wife Leena, started the Karjat Farm in 1992. Last year, their son Aakash joined them and launched The Farmer, a delivery service that can be contacted via Whatsapp or their website.
When we call Aakash on Monday he is in Mumbai, but still has mud on his shoes from Karjat. He returned yesterday with new plans of starting a Famers’ Market, one that will hop from Colaba to Goregaon on the Western line. This was decided on their 70-acre farm, where the family is split into two teams. “Mom and dad handle the production, and I oversee sales and marketing,” he tells us.
We haven’t visited the farm, but Aakash paints us a picture: “We grow 60 varieties of fruits and vegetables in Karjat. We have 450 mango trees (hello hapus!) and 50 free-grazing Gir cows from Gujarat, who provide the milk we deliver and also the only fertilizers we use to grow our produce.” What the Thakkars can’t grow on their own soil, like strawberries for instance, they outsource to a contract farm in Mahabaleshwar.
The Thakkars can be messaged any day of the week for organic fruit, veggie and grain needs, which they will source from their Karjat farm and deliver to your doorstep. Plus, Aunty and Uncle Thakkar won’t forward you Santa Banta jokes or fake news posts. The Onion means something else entirely to them.
Chefs who shop here
The Thakkar farm is in an eco-sensitive zone so there are no industries in the 35 km radius. “We are also located at a height, so there are very few farms in the vicinity, thus reducing the chances of pesticides seeping in from neighbouring land,” Aakash tells us. They stock all your usual exotic fruits and veggies, even grains and medicinal plants like aloe and insulin leaves. “But regulars really get excited when we introduce new entrants. Like right now, our special is Purslane (ghol bhaji), an edible succulent with a reddish stem and yellow flowers. We have people calling us for advice on how to cook certain unusual produce and we always have tips ready that we source from our chef clients.” These include Birdsong Café, The Village Shop and a host of vegan chefs and home bakers.
The Good Slice, for instance, Instagram’s frothiest new wellness geek account who also tipped us off about The Farmer, gets its greens from here. “I scored this recommendation from another organic farm owner in Jaipur. All my organic mulberries and greens for my smoothies come from The Farmer,” founder Neysa Mendes tells us. (If you’re nice to Neysa, she might make you one of her Tropical-Goa-Missings smoothie, that you can pick up from Bandra. Tell her we sent you).
How to buy
The Farmer delivery service also offers red cabbage and raw mangos; banana leaves you can use as plates; crates of golden-orange alphonos; heads of lollo rossa red lettuce; cape gooseberries, fresh turmeric, jackfruit (new addition based on popular demand.), non polished red rice, finger millet, cow milk, paneer and more.
Aakash makes it super convenient, allowing you to pay via PayTM, online or COD, and charges just Rs 50 delivery for orders under Rs 500.
Leave the money on the dresser for these hoe-bags.
Getting there: Order online on http://thefarmeronline.com or Whatsapp your orders on 9833907750, Rs 60 for 500 gms of raw mango. Delivery radius from Colaba to Navi Mumbai.
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