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A pot of flowers

When 26-year-old Maithili Deepak married into a family that ran a coir business in Pollachi, it was an opportunity to be creative and innovative.

Maithili began to use coir as an education tool by designing a kit for kids called Grow Your Own Flower by Coir Plus.

Meant for children studying in std I to VIII, the kit comes packaged with a grow pot made of coir and filled with coco peat, a biodegradable seed bag, a plant marker, a know-your-plant card and another on plant maintenance, tips on how to make cut flowers or gifts for others, and instructions on how to grow the plant.

It was initially launched with cosmos flower, which “easy to handle for children and can thrive on ordinary soil,” says Maithili, who plans to launch ‘Grow your own beetroot’ kits in September, which is the best time for beets. The kit will pack in details like how to make a nutritious beet salad, dosa or chips. Along with this, there will also be DIY kits on beetroot art.

The kits can also be used marigold, nityakalyani , zinnia, and petunia.

The pots and peat are made in-house and non-GMO certified seeds are procured from a firm. “The pots are designed to be stable when placed on a surface. For beetroot I plan to mix vermi compost with the coco peat,” she says.

Maithili, a graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Bengaluru, saw schools abroad use such grow kits as an educational tool and wanted to try something similar for children in India, especially in urban areas. Since her husband was already into coir business, she started working over six months ago on the natural material.

Initially, the kits were developed as return gifts. She, however, re-jigged them, to target the school children. “We have made about 9,000 kits so far. The response is much better than what we expected,” she says and adds that they plan to enter the e-commerce space soon to reach out to more children and a larger geography.

EDITOR : M Soundariya Preetha

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