Edible Weeds

Increasing awareness, access, and action around edible weeds/uncultivated greens as a vehicle to address food security/nutrition, climate resilience, and reconnection with wilderness and wellbeing

To know more about the project and it's goals, write to [email protected]

Edible Weeds and Naturally Growing Plants in Auroville

Coloring Book Series for Adult & Young (Botanical Drawings)

Plants in the book, found all over India, in the tropics, and some in temperate areas as well

By Nina Sengupta

Price : Indian Rs. 630 (Price at this site Rs. 590)


  • ISBN: 978-93-82474-04-3
  • Binding: Paper-back - hand bound with handmade paper cover
  • Publisher: Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Educational Research
  • Pages: 56 (44pages of B&W line drawings in scale for coloring + 12 page colored inset - as a color and information guide)
  • Dimensions: 27 x 21cm
  • Language: English


This book comprises botanical line drawings of 40 plants, with their vernacular, common, and scientific names. These plants, all of which are edible, but are considered just “weeds” are found not just in Auroville and its surroundings but across India, across the tropics and some of them occur seasonally even in cooler temperate climates. The book also includes a colored insert to serve as a coloring guide but is also handy for somebody who would take nature walks. Readers, adults, or young can relax over, learn from, and have fun with, this book at their own pace. The insert also tells the reader how to pre-process and use the plants as food.


The book's second edition is a testament to its journey that started years ago (literally) underfoot as its author went about her daily life in Auroville, an international township located near Pondicherry. Her growing appreciation of tiny weed flowers along the pathways and little clumps of greens sticking out of the concrete as tiny representatives of wilderness made the author wonder about their identities, origins, and resilience in a world facing the threats of climate change.  As an ecologist, she explored further; as an ardent doodler keen on science communication, she wished to share her finds visually; and as a foodie, she picked out 40 plants that stand to enrich the palate as well as the plate.   The artisanal publication with hand-made paper cover, and the hand-stitched binding, are designed to convey environmentalism.


The first edition of this book introduced for the first time in India a coloring book for people of all ages, including adults. Even now this book remains a unique knowledge-oriented coloring book—which would be a totally new experience for many. By now people know that psychiatrists and neurologists recommend coloring as an effective and mindful antidote to stress and anxiety for busy professionals. Most people find coloring to be joyful, wondrous, and relaxing.

In its journey since the first edition, this book has inspired gardeners, permaculturists, chefs, artists, and other enthusiasts. It has most certainly also inspired its author to learn further and add newer details to this second edition. It has also led the author to offer weed walks, podcasts, seminars, and workshops intended to connect people to nature, in form of these wild, weedy plants growing around them – if in part because this type of knowledge would serve us all better as we strive toward global food security as well as climate-change resilience. What's more, the book has effortlessly brought people's attention to the green wonders around them—perhaps the first step toward letting nature work its wonders.

Nina Sengupta

Trained as an ecologist and a wildlife scientist Nina Sengupta works globally, in rainforests and other natural habitats, looking at them primarily at landscape level to figure out how to make biodiversity conservation practical and aligned with sustainable development goals. Part of her work is to develop and evaluate projects and programs to bring synergies between biodiversity conservation and sustainable development options such as access to energy, water etc. She has a Master’s in Ecology, and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Science.

Always interested in art, craft, and miniatures, she was naturally attracted to the wild, tiny flowers of some of the weeds, but did not have a chance to engage until much later, when she was briefly convalescing and had the opportunity to dig deeper into finding out more about the flowers and plants growing naturally around was pleasantly surprised that many of the natural remedies that we find bottled in the store shelves were growing right around her. "This gave me a sense that nature was holding me. It provided me with a sense of joy and wellbeing. I wanted to share that knowledge, and also the beauty and joy."

Multiple environmental concerns, signing petitions, are good but she felt she was really not engaged with any of the causes and unfortunately there are always so many to focus on. Taking a step back she realized that perhaps her shifting focus has to do with her not being anchored to wilderness in our daily lives, living in an urban area, like say a tribal person who is leading a tribal life would.

Wilderness growing around us in the form of wild weedy plants provides an egalitarian access to people anywhere they live, rural or urban. “We need to connect with the wilderness in our daily lives”, she realized. She thought of a series of 3 coloring books for people of all ages, including adults - for the first time in India. Being a foodie she started to share about edible weeds and naturally growing plants, which is book #1. The book was sold out and now the second edition of the same is getting printed.

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