Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sustainable gardening practices

After a lunch and a quick siesta, we helped create some of the compost used in Navadarshanam.
After a lunch and a quick siesta, we helped create some of the compost used in Navadarshanam. The compost's main ingredient was cow dung and some brave souls helped to make the compost by using the same hands they eat with. The recipe for the IMO (indigenous microorganism) mixture is as follows:

  1. Mix cow dung and water into paste
  2. Mix molasses with water and add to paste
  3. Mix chickpea flour and water and add to paste
  4. Add small amount of an older batch
  5. Hold breath and add cow urine
  6. Cover and let sit for ~2 days
After the compost mix was made, we went to tour the land they used for agriculture. Some of the techniques they use to help maximize their crop yield is multi-cropping and natural pest control. Their natural pest control is mostly ensuring the soil is in its top condition so that the plants have enough nutrients to naturally ward off pests. They also help to ensure birds are around to eat the bugs by providing thickets for them to hide in and having all humans leave the garden for some hours during the day so they aren't afraid. Around three times a year, an elephant herd will bombard the garden and consume or destroy the garden. One elephant once ate a whole jackfruit tree. They have tried to keep the elephants out by building a fence, but they are smart enough to go over the fence with no injury.

By making natural compost and using sustainable gardening practices, Navadarshanam has helped to improve a once barren land into a forest. By touring their facility, we left more mindful of how important sustainable gardening practices.


  1. That is one heckuva compost recipe!! How many of you will use that when you get back home to the U.S.? Are there places in the U.S. that use similar recipes, do you know? Very interesting and informative! I'm really enjoying these blog posts, but they're almost done ...

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