Planting With a Purpose


From the moment she stepped onto this campus, Freshman Anuskha Shah was making her mark.

Anushka’s mother and I were talking at future Lancer night and her mother introduced her to me,” Principal Eric Bergmann said. “She shook my hand, said hello and then handed me her resume. I think my response was “holy cow, that’s impressive.”

Shah has continued to show her commitment to the school by joining various activities including basketball, computer club and is currently playing on the JV lacrosse team.

“Anushka contributes to the team by bringing a competitive edge that is hard to match,” Coach Anthony Estrada said. “She is always ready to face a challenge with no hesitation. It uplifts everyone in the program.”

Even though she commits time to her multiple sports, Shah is still able to keep up on her high placement classes.

“I start second period, I have AP Human Geography, then AP Biology, Honors Chemistry, English, Algebra 2, and then Spanish 2 C,” Anuskha Shah said.

When Shah isn’t doing school work or on the lacrosse field, she is taking time to evolve her family’s business.

“In the beginning it was really hard because we didn’t have the connections,” Shah said. “Not many people know about the moringa, so we started by calling a lot of local businesses and getting the word out.”

Shah’s parents currently own a 20 acre farm in Moorpark, which originally was a lemon and avocado farm, but due to the poor water quality, there were not receiving sales on lemons.

“So we changed to moringa, which is practically this major superfood. It’s this new up in coming thing,” Shah said.

The moringa has a high level of antioxidants and is made up of specific molecules that can help reduce inflammation. With the idea of helping the community with the product, Shah currently runs her business with the help of her seventh grade sister, Andrea Shah.

“We both run the business together,” Shah said. “She’s in charge of how we bring [the business] to market, and how to commercialize moringa.”

Moringas reap several benefits that come from the use of the small leaves, including regulating blood pressure, increasing mental clarity, inducing hair growth, and acting as an anti inflammatory.

Both Anuskha and her sister started the business about two years ago, at that point in time it was their parents business.

Before taking over the business the sisters helped filing and preparing the farm for the moringa.

“It wasn’t a business then. It was more just planting moringa and getting stuff like that done,” Shah said. “Then the actual business evolved about a year later.”

In the future they hope to expand their reach, they are currently communicating with several local businesses and grocery stores so their product can reach a larger audience.

In the future, Anuskha Shah will not only be in The Center for Advanced Research and Studies but also working to branch out. She is currently developing a website and getting the word out to more small businesses, providing insight on what the moringa can do for the future.