One of the conditions, she determined, was that it would have to be something that wouldn’t take her away from her family.
After staying home for several years to care for her child, Shivani decided to find a hobby once she entered school. One of the conditions, she determined, was that it would have to be something that wouldn’t take her away from her family. That’s how Shivani started down the path to managing a hydroponic lettuce operation. Nine years later, Shivani’ hobby has evolved into a successful business that she enjoys and takes pride in, and her family has played a major role in helping shape it.
Shivani, who has a degree and background in teaching, has always liked to garden.
When Shivani first started Shivaangi’s Farm, she called around to different restaurants and wholesale companies to ask what they would buy. She started out growing and selling lettuce, and it didn’t take long to catch on with customers. “As requests for more lettuce came in, Shivaangi’s Farm’s operations expanded.
By hydroponically growing her lettuce in a greenhouse setting, Shivani has been able to produce year-round and protect against plant loss. She plants in the nursery, where it takes the seeds about a week to germinate. Then she moves the plants to the hydroponic system, where they remain for about 4 weeks until they are ready to be harvested.
Shivani sees more advantages to hydroponic growing than traditional soil farming. “From my experience, there are too many issues when you leave your plants out in the open,” she says. “Is it going to rain? Is there too much sun? Is there not enough sun? I can fix all that in my greenhouse. If there’s not enough sun, I can up the nutrients to get my plants to grow faster. If there’s too much sun, I can lower the nutrients so their tips don’t get burned. I have more control being in a hydroponic setting than a person out in a field has.”
Shivaangi’s Farm attains most of its customers through word of mouth. At the same time, it is able to offer up credentials that show it is a safe and established operation.
The fact that her family built the business into what it is now, however, has been immensely satisfying, Shivani says. Because of Shivaangi’s Farm, she says she feels more empowered and is able to confidently walk in public spaces and make her presence known.