Cactus roof !!!


excerpts from the facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/SteveMartino.LandscapeArchitect/posts/866162183415784

cactus roofcactus roofcactus roof

My first cactus roof is 6 years old……i have posted this roof in the past and i have seen many internet comments ranging from it being really brilliant to being really stupid, the majority of comments are wondering when the roof will collapse from it’s increasing weight as it grows.

It has grown as i predicted, it stopped growing at 2 years and has maintained that size for the last 4 years. i have observed that when i go to transplant old over-grown succulents out of a pot there would sometimes be no soil left in the pot, it had disintegrated over time and the pot would just be a solid mass of roots without any soil. the plants would be doing fine so i figured that the prickly- pear cactus could grow without soil if it had some gravel to support it while it sent out roots.i think it reached the growing capacity of the gravel base,a horticulturalist may have a better explanation.

i have also observed that pads can fall off and land on pavement and continue to grow, the new growth will turn up vertically, they can even develop new pads and flower before they use up the moisture in their leaves.

the cactus pads are planted in 2 inches of 1/4” minus crushed granite, we added micro sprays for irrigation and that’s it.

From Wardboy to Independent Filmmaker


post originally published at : http://stagephod.org/filmmakers/santosh-padwal-from-wardboy-to-independent-filmmaker/ 

Santosh M Padwal is a storyteller, always in shorts and from Mumbai.  According to him, this is it and his introduction ends here. Well, he had also travelled 70,000 km in 13 months all over India doing photo/video documentation. He also knows a lot of cooperative games and has been associated with Shikshantar, Udaipur and was a Khoji in Swaraj university in the very first batch. Here are the excerpts of the talk we had with him:

Tell us about your life journey in brief?

I am basically from Mumbai, studied till 10th. Post that I spent 5 years working as sales executives in max york life insurance, airtel, vodafone etc. and then as a Wardboy. After that I got a chance to join Swaraj University (It follows a self designed learning philosophy with no degrees and no exams) which completely changed my life and my thought process.

What prompted you to start filmmaking?

Well, I didn’t have much interest in filmmaking initially but I had an inclination towards camera. Whenever I used to get a camera, I used to try clicking pictures from various angles etc. Slowly from photography, I learned filmmaking and then I learned editing on my own. At that time, I got my first opportunity as a filmmaker from Kisaan swaraj yatra which I took and thats how I became a filmmaker. Post that yatra, got another projects because of my work including projects from Jan Satyagraha. In the meantime, I also attended mentorship sessions form Abhivyakti – Nasik etc. After all these experiences, I realized that film making is a very strong tool to communicate stories and with youtube and other social networking sites, reach of a video/ film has increased. So, I decided to pursue it full time.

S padwal

What kind of films have you made?

I like to make documentary films. It helps me in telling stories of people who are doing real good work. In the process, I also come to know about the challenges people are facing, how they are overcoming them etc. I have made films on Jan Satyagraha, Om Creations, Cycle marathon initiatives etc. Somehow fiction films don’t give me that kind of kick. In future, if I get a chance to make a fictional film, it would be a docu-fiction only.

What is your dream/ vision?

My Vision is that documentary films should get the same (if not more) recognition like fiction or feature films. I would like to work in this regard on how to make documentary films more entertaining and interesting.

What difficulties you face as an independent filmmaker?

I can make good films with my simple camera also, but when you have to execute a project, there are many things you require and there is a project cost involved which many people don’t understand. You need equipments, there is a travelling cost involved, if you are shooting in a village you need lights so it becomes very difficult to manage project cost. Having said that, its all part of the game and thats how you grow as an individual and and as a filmmaker.

S m padwal

Any fun/ memorable incident?

Once we were travelling for shooting and we took a wrong turn and reached a place full of mines. Very big vehicles were looking so small there. So we thought of shooting that place. We hardly shot for 2-3 min and suddenly a group of 40-50 people came running towards us. We got so scared that we all sat in our car and drove as fast as we could. If they would have caught us, they must have broken our camera else our bones :)

What advice you’d like to give to someone who is interested/newbee in filmmaking?

I will not call it an advice but my belief is that when you are making a film, whether its a fiction, documentary or anything else, the audience should connect to it. They should have ‘some’ feeling after watching the film. Also, you must financially sustain yourself, and you must have a plan for it.

Tiny organic garden right on your terrace !!!


With the rising number of buildings and the decreasing open space, terrace gardening is emerging as a great option to have the best of both worlds. Want to grow a terrace garden at your home? Our reader and contributor Vikram Kapoor shares with us his guide on how to grow wonderful veggies, flowers and fruits yourself.

Plants also need love. They can’t express their feelings but if you take proper care they will bloom,” says Kishore Kumar, a Bangalore resident who owns a terrace garden at his home in Shantinagar.

A few decades ago, almost all houses in Bangalore had a garden since plenty of space was available. However, since the IT boom, this space has been shrinking and today, it is almost non-existent. In spite of scarcity of accommodation, many people have come up with novel ways to grow plants even in the little available space. Terrace gardening is one of them.terrace garden

To read full article click here — http://www.thebetterindia.com/15579/terrace-garden/

The music of plants !!!


Ever wondered, what would the music by plants be like ??

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Plants are very much alive. Not only do they dislike human noise but they also posses the capacity to learn and communicate.

Perhaps even more astonishing is that plants can also make music.

Have you ever heard the incredible music of the plants?

Plants can actually sing and compose music and listening to it is truly beautiful and relaxing!

read the full post at : http://www.lifeadvancer.com/amazing-phenomenon-of-singing-plants

Sick of pesticides in food ? TRY THIS !!!


Most of the chemicals and pesticides found on food is due to spray over them and hence sticks to surface of the fruit or vegetable, unless it has been injected into fruit.

Well you can also remove artificial wax coating over fruits and vegetables by adding little baking soda while using this technique.

Simple Trick To Remove Pesticides From Your Fruits

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Lately we hear more and more about cases where fruits and vegetables exported from different countries are full of pesticides. Therefore the fear of how fruits and vegetables we buy are good for our health is totally justified.

We recommend you try this trick in order to relax and be sure that everything you consume is healthy: Put water and some vinegar (1 cap) in a container and soak fruits or vegetables in this mixture. Let them stay for 15 minutes and then wash fruits or vegetables well.

Vinegar kills 98 % of bacteria and pesticides stuck on fruits and vegetables. In this way, fruits and vegetables you enter will be healthier for your body.

POST ORIGINALLY SHARED AT   — http://www.wesupportorganic.com/2014/11/simple-trick-to-remove-pesticides-from-your-fruits.html 

Zostal !!! The chain of backpacker’s hostel …


CHECK OUT THE INDIA’S FIRST EVER CHAIN OF BACKPACKER’S HOSTEL….

Zostel is India’s first chain of branded backpacker’s hostel. What? Sounds weird! a backpacker’s hostel! Read on Sires and Madams,and allow me to help you.

Zostel is not for you. I repeat, Zostel is not for the ‘Regular’ you. Zostel is only for that crazy traveller hidden inside you. It is an accommodation facility for your social self who wishes to meet new people and exchange travel stories. It is for your casual self who prefers a safe, hygienic, centrally located and affordable stay but at the same time want a relaxed and super friendly experience. It is for your playful self who feels that travel keeps them young at heart. It for your comradely self who believes that friends should have non stop fun while travelling in a group. It is for your dreamy self who dreams but never dared to step out for a solo trip before.

In short for your crazy travel freak self, Zostel whips up a perfect brew that will leave you wanting for more. So Why are you waiting? Bring out your crazy traveller avatar and experience Zostel, because more travel,more friends, more stories, more fun and more awesomeness.

check out more at — http://zostel.com/

The free store !!!


EVERYTHING COMES WITH A PRICE TAG ???

With total crises situation with environmental crises as well as economic crises very rarely voices of hopes are being heard. A system built by us which is no longer serving us, on the contrary damaging us to an extent that survival of our species is at stake, there are new experiments popping all over us with the intent to work in cooperation with mother nature instead of competition or take over, few of them are aimed at reinstating the faith into nature and its abundance. A feeling of trust in universe that there is abundance of everything on earth and scarcity lies only in human mind.

DARIYA DIL DUKAAN !!!  As it is commonly called is a experiment happening all over India with same intent among several communities.
 
THE FREE STORE  is another small experiment to channelize this vast abundance. 

 

About the store —-

We are The Free Store !!!

An initiative towards a more effective and need-based redistribution of resources.

We are modelled on the concept of the non-monetary Free Stores that have been working in the US and several countries in Europe.

We are NOT barter-based. We believe in people chipping in resources they have but don’t need and taking away what they require.

So you have that extra keyboard you don’t think you’re gonna require? Let’s put it up!
And you see something up on our table you think you need? You can have it. :)

It’s just a small realization – it’s not give-and-take; it’s sharing.

To know more  check out there facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/FreeStoreThane

Pump that runs without electricity


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A pump that doesn’t need electric power to run… "Ram" or water-hammer pump.. an old design that was around before the advent of electric pumps.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Worlds-greenest-water-pump/?ALLSTEPS

I don’t quite understand this one right now, but someone out there might!

Excerpt:

"last season, it hammered over 145,600 gallons of pond water up a steep hill to our garden over 700 feet away and over 100 feet higher than the pond! In the process, it saved us over 485 liters of diesel fuel we would have normally used to drive our diesel tractor to pump and tow the water around our farm.

The pump was built for about $50 worth of plumbing parts and a bunch of stuff that I had sitting in my scrap pile."

Aasvishkaar !! a learning space …


Recently came across the facebook  page of Aavishkaar which is a learning space for young minds to have fun with hands-on science, math, reading, writing and music in a curious and creative way and focus on shifting our educational system from teaching to learning. Working with various schools in the region of kandbari (himachal), AAVISHKAAR  team visits various school promoting practical learning with special emphasis on science and maths and even hosting science fairs or Vigyaan mela’s and are even open for volunteering opportunities.
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Started by a Amazing couple Sandhya and Sarit along with there home-schooled daughter Shyamli.Do check out there facebook page for amazing pics from there journey and any further information:
facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/AavishkaarPalampur
Or e-mail at – aavishkaar.palampur@gmail.com

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Vermicompost project in slum area creates earnings for residents while taking care of organic waste


http://www.wealthywaste.com/kalmanthai-slum

Excerpt:
Vermiculture uses worms in a controlled environment to do what they are best at- converting organic waste into nutrient-rich compost in nature’s way of recycling.

Members of the community groups underwent training and initiated a small-scale trial project investing Rs.2,200 (£29) they had raised from the sanitation blocks. They bought 4,000 red worms, Eisenia foetida, commonly known as the red wiggler or manure worm, which are best suited to composting.

Encouraged by the initial results the community then set up a larger scheme. An area of land by the communal toilet blocks was set aside with a small shed and composting arrangements for the worms.

Now in every 45 day cycle, for an investment of Rs.500, nearly one tonne of compost is produced. The compost is packed in bags and sold for Rs.5 per kilogramme, making nearly Rs.3000 per cycle.

The success has spread to other slum communities and individual households, which are now also carrying out vermiculture projects. The original project now even breeds and sells worms to those wishing to follow its example.

Organic Food is Nutritionally Far Superior to Non-Organic Produce


Organic Food is Nutritionally Far Superior to Non-Organic Produce

A ground-breaking meta-analysis of 343 studies led by Newcastle University, U.K., has found that organic food delivers significantly more benefits compared to non-organic food.

Among these are that organic food contains up to 69% more of key antioxidants and significantly lower concentrations of cadmium (50%), nitrates (30%), nitrites (87%) and pesticides. The frequency of occurrence of pesticide residues in conventionally grown crops was four times higher than in organic produce. This increased to seven times in the case of fruit.

Antioxidants are linked to reduced risk of various diseases including cancer. Conversely, high nitrate and nitrite concentrations in food are considered as potential risk factors for illnesses such as stomach cancer.

The researchers stress the urgent need for further studies specially designed to identify and quantify the health impacts of switching to organic food. The abstract of the study and a briefing note on it are reproduced below as Items 1 and 2.

Why you should take your kids out of school !!


THEY DISAPPEAR FOR HOURS. WHEN THEY RETURN, THEIR BASKETS ARE HEAVY WITH SMALL TREASURES OF THE WORLD AND THEIR HEADS ARE FULL OF SMALL STORIES OF THEIR WANDERING: THE MOOSE TRACKS THEY SAW, THE FORKED MAPLE THEY SAT BENEATH TO EAT SNACKS.

This phrase above mentioned in the article made me remember my childhood days.

As it further mentions:

It is already obvious that unschooling is radically different from institutionalized classroom learning, but how does it differ from more common homeschooling? Perhaps the best way to explain it is that all unschooling is homeschooling, but not all homeschooling is unschooling. While most homeschooled children follow a structured curriculum.

 

The first incidence of compulsory schooling came in 1852, when Massachusetts required communities to offer free public education and demanded that every child between the ages of 8 and 14 attend school for at least 12 weeks per year. Over the next seven decades, the remaining states adopted similar laws, and by 1918, the transition to mandated public education was complete and from there on it spread to world.

With recent rise in awareness about compulsory education, several movements and people have risen up to the challenge to provide better model of education for our people, making industrial model obsolete.

To know more about alternative learning spaces in India scroll down a bit in our Alternative spaces section .

To read this beautiful article about the homeschooling adventures of Fin and Rye “WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION”  click here.

Free energy generator from India, another hoax ?


With growing energy crises all around the world, and also search for alternatives there goes parallel search of FREE ENERGY. The concept is not new its mention dates back thousands of years, with its mention found in almost all ancient culture including Vedic, from which the great inventor Nicola Tesla was inspired and there were even claims that he did made possible to trap free energy from zero point.
There have been reports and claims from all around the world about free energy generators, but none came to light or was commercially produced, with added reports of big corporations never wanted such a invention to come out as would devastate their profits.

बिना ईंधन से चलने वाला जनरेटर!
So, well this time here’s another one from India itself, I am not sure if its another hoax or is true invention and this too will be suppressed  by big dominant corporate sector.

A 10th grade failure (failure according to present education system), have made energy generator which charges its own battery.

to read original news  : click here

Article: Why JP Singh is every Indian farmer’s best friend


https://in.news.yahoo.com/why-jp-singh-is-every-indian-farmer-s-best-friend-063823627.html

Excerpts:

How did an unassuming Varanasi farmer and school dropout come to be sought after by farmers, praised by experts and awarded by the government for his famous seeds?

His claim to fame? He develops indigenous, high-yielding and disease resistant varieties of plants. So far, he’s perfected more than 460 types of paddy, 120 of wheat, 40 kinds of arhar dal and three of mustard. He’s also grown a special type of wood apple or bel, one that yields 8-10 fruits in a single bunch, multiplying harvests for poor farmers.

One million farmers in about seven Indian states swear by the seeds he provides. He sells them for Rs 30-40 per kilo, compared to the Rs 200-300 that agents charge for genetically modified (GM) crops. Still, his crops outperform the GM ones on yield. And from their grain, farmers plant for the next harvest – something they can’t do with a GM crop.

How To Build A Solar-Powered Still To Purify Drinking Water


How To Build A Solar-Powered Still To Purify Drinking Water | Off The Grid News.

Step by step instructions to build a simple box that takes in open vessels filled with any impure water. The sun’s heat collecting in the box slowly boils the water, which condenses under the sloping glass top, and is collected in a tube at the edge. What is collected is pure distilled water. This simple device (and once you get the basics you can modify it for any range of needs… ) can deliver basic life-saving drinking water from the most polluted of sources, is inexpensive and does not need too much advanced skill to set up.. just spread the basic idea and you might just save a lot of lives in a disaster.

Permaculture – Free Online Sustainability Course – Regenerative Leadership Institute


FREE PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE

Complete Online Self-Paced Program

Learn from World-Class Instructors

Complete 72+ Hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course Covers:

Natural building construction

Pattern observation and site analysis

Renewable energy and appropriate technology

Reading the land and natural cycles

Rainwater harvesting and conservation

Soil regeneration and land restoration

Passive and active solar design

Food forests, trees, and garden design

Greywater considerations and system design

Business and financial permaculture

Waste recycling and treatment

Urban permaculture for sustainable cities

…and much, much more!

via Permaculture – Free Online Sustainability Course – Regenerative Leadership Institute.

Raju and Shalini Titus : natural farmers in MP, Rishi Kheti


Raju and Shalini Titus have been engaged in no-till farming for over 23 years. Contrary to pop wisdom, their net income has gone up because of increased yields and a reduction in input costs.

Click to see full article: Farm like the rishis!.

Credits: Amita Bhaduri, article shared under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 IN license from India Water Portal

Millet brings a windfall


http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/millet-brings-a-windfall/article5435704.ece

A farmer of Muthukadu in Tamil Nadu has been harvesting a conventional minor millet “kuthiraivali” on his
fields recently.

The minor millet, with duration of 90 days, was raised on three acres of land and he is able to harvest an average 900 kg an acre.
“The kuthiraivali is a minor millet which can be raised on any dry land or wasteland,” says farmer Appavu Balandar.

The crop requires minimum
irrigation facility and is suited for
areas with less or poor rainfall in
the district, he says. It could
withstand drought-prone conditions up to 45 days. Against an investment of Rs. 2,500, the crop is expected to fetch prospective returns anywhere between Rs.11,000 and Rs.15,000 depending
upon the demand in the market as the produce was priced between Rs. 15 and Rs. 20 a kg, according to Appavu .

The crop was being revived through an initiative by Rose, a non-governmental organisation, which has been motivating farmers to re-discover the conventional crops which were raised in this part of the region.
According to Appavu, it could be raised as an alternative to paddy.

The crop is free from any pest
attack or disease. Less expenditure on cultivation and labour were the major advantages of this minor millet. There was a growing demand for the millet as it could be utilised for various dishes on the lines of rice.

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