Our Sacred Space hosted Chapter 3 of Tuning In Lecture Series in collaboration with Mrs. Vani Murthy titled, “Home Composting Techniques.”
Mrs. Vani started off by sharing why she began her composting journey. “We generate waste and it comes back to us in the form of air and water pollution that we consume again”.
So she decided not to do that anymore.
Indians love cooking fresh food making
60% of our waste, organic.
So it is easy and viable for us to pursue composting.
The five essentials for composting are:
- Greens as they are high in nitrogen and moisture
- Browns such as dry leaves, coconut fiber, sawdust, and cardboard. They are rich in carbon.
- Microbes can produce using fruit peels, moist soil, sour buttermilk, cow dung, Bio enzymes, etc.
- Oxygen is a must as we are aerobic creatures. Turning the compost and mixing it every day will aerate it enough.
- Containers – Terracotta containers, mud pots, buckets with holes are some of the ways to store it. The container can close with netted or mesh cloth to keep away the bugs.
- Composting all about the balance between nitrogen, carbon dioxide, wet and dry waste.
- Mixing the compost instead of layering it will help in keeping it aerated and prevents sogging.
Apart from the traditional composting method she also explained the Bokashi/Anaerobic Composting. Additionally, in which the container has a tap and is suitable for indoor composting.
The only issue would be the smell of fermenting and nothing else. A basket placed at the bottom along with a newspaper to drain out the water. It is exactly opposite to aerobic composting as you put your waste in the bin, leaving no room for air. Then you add the bokashi powder and cover it. It takes 2-3 weeks for fermentation to start. White fungus is a great sign in this method as it indicates that pickling and fermentation are happening. The water from this method used for plants at home.
She also spoke about another method of Vermicomposting as every farmer’s best friend is an earthworm. In this method, dry cow dung that at least a month old soaked along with coconut dust, fiber, and cardboard. Then some kitchen scrap added to the mix. Worms can found in a few days as long as it has a good environment. Since the worms breathe through their skin, the mix should be moist and aerated.
People can buy worms in horticulture shops. And also, they can be introduced to the bedding that is at least a fortnight old.
In the hour-long, highly informative session attended by almost 200 participants across Zoom and Facebook platforms. Additionally, the Q/A session was equally interesting.
Mrs. Vani busted myth and gave useful tips on the topic. She said that leftover food used but she doesn’t suggest it for beginners. Only once you get the hang of it can you compost anything. Ensuring that you have enough browns to compensate the dense food to have enough microbes in using leftover food.
She busted the myth that there are no 24-hour composting machines available. Composting is a natural process and it takes time. She left the participants with the enthusiastic message of not giving up as composting will pose challenges.
There you find farmer hid in each of us, just have to make our own soil to grow own food. Getting people excited about this is my life’s mission. This one action that we can take every single day to combat climate change, reduce waste, and nourish the soil!” she said as she signed off.