Cactus roof !!!


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

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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.

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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

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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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

Indian knife innovation


Jugaad has been integral part of Indian life style,  creating useful items from the limited resources is the basis of jugaad technology,   Check out this amazing Indian knife innovation.

 

Nature’s lap – herbal organic products


Looking for a safe and healthy alternative for your household cleaning.Nature’s Lap has come up with a solution that is safe, healthy, ecofriendly as well as effective.Now no more need of those harsh,chemical based cleaners.
Nature’s Lap Herbal Floor Cleaner is a concentrated formula that has powerful and effective cleaning ingredients. It is made of essential oils that makes it a completely natural, non-toxic, environmentally friendly alternative for cleaning floors and surfaces. It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, child-safe.Gives a smooth shine to floors and has a pleasant aroma of citronella.It is antibacterial,antifungal,repels mosquitoes and flies. It is cost effective compared to other cleaners – only a few drops required per liter of water. Ideal for use in homes as well as public places like hotels, hospitals and schools. Certified by CSIR CIMAP (Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: a Government Research Institute). does not contain any preservatives, chemicals, Artificial Colors and Fragrances.Usage: Mix 4-6 drops per medium sized bucket of water and mop floor. Can be used to clean surfaces as well. Safe for adults and children of all ages.

Nature’s lap also has other herbal products,
For details check http://www.natureslap.in/products.html
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acebook them – http://www.facebook.com/natureslap

Arthakranti – a socio-economic proposal for better India


The ArthaKranti proposal is a well researched Scientific approach designed to completely transform the current Indian socio-economic scenario. This approach will enable ‘Principled, Prosperous and Peaceful living’ for all citizens of our country.

Apart from strengthening the economy internally India will achieve the prominent position on global canvas. Such a position of strength will enable us to lead the world towards our long cherished philosophy ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’ or ‘The world as a family’!.

We are sure that the time for this proposal has arrived, keeping in mind the current state of affairs. Of course, the Government will need to be petitioned and pressurised through our elected representatives.

The need of the hour is for every like minded citizen to contribute in speeding the process through their active support.

To know more visit : http://arthakranti.org/

Rainy filters for Rain water harvesting


`RAINY’ First of its kind Dual Intensity Rainwater Harvesting Filters with self cleaning and auto flush out arrangements.

‘RAINY’R Dual Intensity Rainwater Harvesting Filter™ is the result of over 10 years Continuous R&D done by the team of FARMLAND RAINWATER HARVESTING SYSTEM, by studying the pattern of rain fall in rural and urban India, intensity of rainfall, type of houses, pipeline used for rainwater outlets, re utilization, recharging of ground water and Tube well etc. In the past decade we have witnessed phenomenal changes in global weather patterns. The unpredictable and erratic weather patterns have resulted in torrential down pours and rainfalls of very high intensity. These heavy duty Dual Intensity Rainwater Harvesting filters are so designed; keeping in mind the capture of rainfall loads varying from 5mm to 75mm/hour without affecting the efficiency of filter and the operating required less than 0.06 kg/cm2 (2 feet) so the filter can perform even in low Roof areas. The design, stability and filter function efficiency is directly proportional to the intensity of rainfall. Different models of filters were set in place to capture rainwater from varied rooftops. This brought in affordability, to all cross sections of households and Industry.

Rainy filters are designed with self cleaning mechanism and can be fixed to the wall by connecting Rooftop rainwater drain pipes. The rainwater along with dirt particles enters into the inlet of filter through the hollow pipe tangentially to the filter housing and rotating slowly along the periphery of upper housing so as to flow into the SS 304 filter element placed in lower housing of the filter unit in angular motion at specific velocity, which creates cohesive force and segregates dirt particles and clean water individually. However when the intensity of rainfall increases the high volume of water moves in circular motion with high velocity in the upper housing and creates a centrifugal force. In both situations, involving low and high intensity of rainfall , the working principle of the filter based on cohesive and centrifugal force respectively, aids the filter element to divert clean water into the cistern/ recharging well and simultaneously flushes out automatically sand, debris, and dirt particles through the drain outlet.

For more info visit – http://www.rainyfilters.com/rainy-filters.html

Alaknanda – rain water harvesting systems


Rain is an ultimate source of all water resources on earth. Therefore, all water in use is, in effect, rainwater-harvesting systems. The process of rainwater harvesting would include catching rainwater, filtering or treatment and directing it to storage or recharge. Storage could be in tanks, ponds or lakes wherever appropriate and recharge of ground water through well/tube well/bore well or a specially designed well. Rainwater harvesting or rooftop rainwater harvesting is the technique through which rainwater is captured from roof catchments and stored in tanks/reservoirs/ground water aquifers.

 

Rain Water Harvesting  Rain Water Harvesting   Rain Water Harvesting

To know more and request quote visit : http://www.alaknanda.co.in/rain-water-harvesting.htm

Desi (heirloom) seeds by Sahaja Samrudha


Sahaja Samrudha or Bountiful Nature, a brainchild of a group of organic farmers was born over a decade ago mainly out of concern to protect our mother earth. Sahaja Samrudha started as a farmer initiated to exchange ideas, seeds and share knowledge on sustainable agriculture. The formation of Sahaja Samrudha was the culmination of their individual efforts into a more exciting and powerful force to make sustainable agriculture a way of life of the farming community. Sahaja Samrudha has spread out its network on publications, workshops & trainings, organising different melas and on marketing in order to encourage more farmers towards organic farming.

To know more visit these links :

http://www.sahajasamrudha.org/

http://www.sahajaorganics.com/

facebook them at : https://www.facebook.com/sahaja.seeds.3

to know the prices of various seeds or teh price list email them at  – sahajaseeds@gmail.com

Pedal-A-Watt – stationary bicycle power generator


A DIY idea to make a power generator which can be made to produce power using any bicycle. just take it along with you anywhere in the wilderness and your laptop and mobile will never fall short of power. All you need to know is the idea , which you will get in this link and basic electronics and mechanics which you can learn easily on net by googling the terms charge controller or voltage stabilizer to supply constant supply of electricity to your device, asking help to your engineer friend would make things further easier. Setup is similar to small generators attached to wheel for lighting headlights on bicycles easily available on many diy sites.


So check out this link to get the idea of making your own power generator —  http://www.econvergence.net/The-Pedal-A-Watt-Bicycle-Generator-Stand-s/1820.htm

Video link -

TOXICS ALERT – An environment news bulletin


Each and every second 310 Kg of toxic chemicals are released into our air, land, and water by industrial facilities around the world.This amounts to approximately 10 million tons (over 21 billion pounds) of toxic chemicals released into our environment by industries each year.Of these, over 2 million tons (over 4.5 billion pounds) per year are recognized carcinogens. This amounts to about 65 Kg each second.

Toxic substances can range from naturally occurring toxics like arsenic and bacteria to man-made chemicals like flame retardants, or pesticides.We can’t help but come into contact with a range of chemicals in our daily lives. More than 70,000 chemicals are currently in commercial use and little is known about their effects on our health. Substances can pose very different risks depending on how we come into contact with them, the amount that gets into our bodies, and for how long and how often this occurs.

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Whether or not a substance poses a risk to our health depends on many things, including individual sensitivities. Sometimes we sense an odor in our environment that we think is making us sick, and even if we are not being exposed to toxic levels of chemicals, that smell can affect our quality of life.

To keep yourself updated about toxins and its affect in India follow this bulletin – http://enews.toxicslink.org/

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