I have been working in the world of gardens and farms since 2009, starting when I was in college. Since that time I’ve farmed fields of wheat in the foothills of the Himalayas, converted my parent’s suburban tract home into a forest garden, run a small farm out of a backyard in Los Angeles, and helped thousands of people start regenerative gardens and small farms. Throughout this time, I’ve always had teaching as part of my work as a farmer, as I love to share what I know and help guide people into this world of plants and soil and magic.
Being in this field of work has not been easy, and there are definitely times where I’ve felt overwhelmed by the challenges. Fortunately, these challenges have brought me many lessons and those lessons are what I share through my work. I am always trying to help people remember their relationship with our Earthen heart, and find gardens to be one of the best avenues for that.
I was attending UC San Diego, as a Computer Science major, when I began to question some of pathways that had been laid before me. After spending day after day staring at a screen for school, I started to feel like the computer industry wasn’t for me. So, I began to learn about what it means to be healthy, and some of the practices that might cultivate health. I experimented with different diets, starting practicing yogasana and meditation, and doing regular exercise. Eventually, I became interested in the concepts of organic food, which finally led me to gardening and growing my own food.
Since then I have experienced gardening and farming in many different forms: starting a community garden on my college campus, learning to farm at Dr. Vandana Shiva’s farm in India, converting my parents home into a model for suburban ecology (known as The Growing Home; watch the documentary Urban Fruit for more info), starting and running an urban farm (Sarvodaya Farms in Pomona, CA), teaching others to farm through my Farmer Training Program, and now helping urban gardens open up their local communities through my new company Healing Gardens.
After all that, I feel I am still learning so much. The last few years especially have been ones of intense growth for me, as I’ve been forced to practice inner gardening after forgetting that caring for a garden also means caring for the gardener.
If you are just getting connected with me, I encourage you to read through some of my writing, follow me on Instagram, check out my YouTube channel, sign up for my newsletter (bottom of this page), and reach out to me if you are interested in connecting further.
May we all leave rich soil, running rivers, and smiling faces with our each footstep.
- Farmer Rishi