24-hr composters: There’s no microbe in this universe that can colonise in 24 hrs, says scientist Dr Manoj

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

Time to grow greens. Time to get back to basics.

Balconies don’t offer much leeway in terms of space and sunlight. I have tried growing many kinds of veggies including cauliflower, ridge gourd, bitter gourd, carrot, radish, etc. But the economics of space advises me that sticking to green leafy ones is the best way to go. Since I get most of the seasonal fruits and veggies from organic stores, thinking of keeping the limited balcony space exclusively for salad greens and some aromatic herbs, the ones that you want to just cut, rinse, shred and make a salad out of, all in a jiffy. Continue reading

Soil Recipe-7: Panchagavya, the magic begins with this spray!

(Pic source: Pinterest)

There maybe many kinds of soil recipes, but the most preferred one amongst urban gardeners is Panchagavya. So much so that this solution is sold in the market by various companies and is a common remedy prescribed by seasoned gardeners.

Similarly, there maybe many variations of Panchagavya recipe available depending on the type and proportion of the ingredients used. What is being presented here is the one which has been verified by experienced organic farmers who apply this amazing and cost-effective solution to both small and large agricultural lands. Continue reading

Soil Recipe-6: Gunapaselam, a plant tonic made with fish extracts has all micro & macro nutrients

Organic farming experts say Gunapaselam contains all the nutrients your plants need for their healthy growth and immunity. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, this may not be the solution for you. But those who do not want to throw away fish rejects can extract maximum benefits by preparing this plant tonic. Continue reading

Cauliflower and that unholy dip in poison

On one fine early morning, a farmer who was unloading a truckload of cauliflowers inside the farmers’ market (Raithara Santhe) in Yelahanka explained the process that goes into keeping them white and germs-free. He said each cauliflower goes into a barrel filled with diluted pesticides to prevent any post-harvest germs attack. What you get to see is the spotless white curd or the head of the cauliflower, pristine enough to satisfy the majority in this white-obsessed country. Continue reading

Soil Recipe-5: Fungal diseases? This coconut-buttermilk solution can pack a powerful punch!


The secret of this Soil Recipe lies in the simplicity of its ingredients. When prepared to perfection, this recipe containing coconut, buttermilk, turmeric, asafoetida and fruit rejects can help your plants develop resistance against fungal diseases. Plants grow healthy and begin to flower profusely. Try this recipe and share it among your friends. It does take a little effort to save our own living environment from being poisoned by pesticides. But it will all be worth it. Continue reading