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
There’s something inexplicable about this organic connection. It grows so deep and wide in such a short time that you wonder whether these connections were a tale of a time long past but just needed human encounters to happen in person to spring forth. Continue reading
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
It’s all getting quite confusing to those who are looking for safer and better alternatives to traditional plastic bags to store and dispose of their waste. But are these so-called alternatives truly safe? Continue reading
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
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
Dr C N Manoj, Pelican Biotech.
Quite often, I find myself involved in long-winding email/social media conversations or phone calls with green volunteers of large communities discussing automatic or 24-hour composters to deal with huge quantities of kitchen rejects and garden clippings generated in their communities. It so happens that the individuals who care to discuss this issue threadbare are invariably those souls who believe in Nature’s perfection and are ready to live by its rules, patiently.
The following nuggets of wisdom pouring light on this topic are from scientist Dr C N Manoj, Founder-Director of Pelican Biotech. I have collated all the information he has shared with me through emails and phone calls here. This should help you bust any myth about these menacing machines of various brands that have carved out a sinuous trail through urban concrete jungles all over India and arm yourself with scientific facts to put forth your argument in favour of sustainable composting methods. Continue reading