Yet another 24-hour piece of junk. Yet another distraught customer.

When I visited an apartment complex in Electronic City yesterday, this is how the story went…

The community wanted to have its own composting system and carved out some space for it in a corner. What ended up in that corner was this 24-hour fully automatic composter. To the residents who knew little about composting, this sounded like a fantastic idea. Why not when someone promises that the manure comes out in less than 24 hours and that this box can take in up to 150 kgs a day? Continue reading

Soil Recipe-8: Easy-to-prepare, low-cost Thrishakti tonic keeps your garden robust & pest-free

This cost-effective and easy-to-prepare liquid fertiliser is one of those old-time golden farming solutions meant to offer multiple benefits to the soil and the plants and safeguard farmers’ interests. Noted soil activist SOIL Vasu has been propagating Thrishakti tonic among farmers and documenting its positive effect on various types of crops. Thanks to him, we are able to learn this method in detail and also its effects as demonstrated in the pictures shared by him. Continue reading

The so-called 24-hr ‘compost’ harms the soil and all its produce, warns noted ecologist Dr Sultan Ahmed Ismail

Soil biologist and ecologist Dr Sultan Ahmed Ismail

If one were to sum up the entire body of work of this renowned soil biologist and ecologist in one word, it would be earthworms. Dr Sultan Ahmed Ismail’s lifework is centred on the techniques for recycling biodegradable waste into fertilizer using local varieties of earthworms and soil bioremediation. Dr Ismail, MD of Ecoscience Research Foundation, Chennai, has conducted extensive awareness sessions especially among schoolchildren to promote vermicomposting and environmental awareness. For him, the two are inseparable.

Here’s his statement—reproduced verbatim—on 24-hour or automatic composters being manufactured and sold all over India by various firms claiming that their machines produce ‘compost’ in just 24 hours or sometimes, 48-72 hours. Continue reading

Community composting method-16: These composters can solve city’s dry leaves burning problem. Is BBMP listening?

One of the Soil and Health’s leaf composters at Sobha Althea-Azalea, Bengaluru, busy doing what it does best: compost.

All this new stuff goes on top
turn it over, turn it over
wait and water down
from the dark bottom
turn it inside out
let it spread through
Sift down even.
Watch it sprout.

A mind like compost.
― Gary Snyder Continue reading