Kerala to go fully organic by 2016; Kasargod has already switched over


Copy-posting from http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/organic-farming-in-all-assembly-segments/article6747476.ece

[Kerala] To make State fully organic by 2016

The government has initiated efforts to promote organic farming in all Assembly constituencies.

Minister for Agriculture K.P. Mohanan said here on Thursday that the initiative was designed to encourage farmers to switch over to organic methods of cultivation, under a project to convert Kerala into a fully organic State by 2016. Kasaragod district had already switched over to organic farming in the pilot phase of the project.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting to review the performance of public sector undertakings, Mr. Mohanan said the agriculture sector in the State had registered a Gross State Domestic Product growth of 5.26 per cent over the last year. The production of paddy went up to 5.376 lakh tonnes though the acreage of 2.148 hectares showed little increase. The productivity of other crops such as coconut, cassava, mango, pineapple and other fruits and spices, including pepper, ginger, and turmeric, also registered an impressive growth. The domestic vegetable production had gone up to 11.9 metric tonnes.

The Minister said efforts were on to procure vegetables from farmers through Krishi Bhavans and market them through outlets of Horticorp and Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam. Simultaneously, Kerala Agricultural University and the Agriculture Department were involved in a drive to promote processing of agricultural products under the “Safe to Eat” brand.

Vending machines

The government, he said, was planning to install vending machines in every panchayat to dispense neera, vegetable seeds and products manufactured by Kerafed. The project would be implemented by the departments of Agriculture and Panchayats. The daily production of neera was expected to go up to 20,000 litres by February with the commissioning of new plants by the Coconut Development Corporation at Aralam and Elathur and the KAU campuses at Vellanikara and Vellayani.

Mr. Mohanan said Kerala was expected to become self-sufficient in milk production in another three years. “By that time, we will have added 6,00,000 milch cows to the domestic bovine population, raising the milk production potential to 60 lakh litres.”

Officials from 20 public sector units participated in the review.

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Vellore model of Solid Waste Management (seen in Satyamev Jayate’s “Don’t Waste Your Garbage” episode)


Cows, hens, frogs, ducks and earthworms—these are only some of the ‘workers’ helping C. Srinivasan to convert garbage into gold. Srinivasan, who appeared on the Don’t Waste Your Garbage episode, spoke about the ‘Vellore model’ of solid waste management which involves both animals and human beings in reusing and recycling waste. After the show, people from all walks of life approached him to learn more about handling waste responsibly. He us tells us more here.

C. Srinivasan

After the episode was aired on the morning of March 16, my phone was engaged all day, till late at night. I used to think garbage was a dry subject and nobody was really interested in it. But I was surprised that so many people want to see India clean.

Through the show, people learned about the reality of garbage and began to realize that the problem is solvable. They now want to see change in their own localities and become involved in bringing about that change. So, making India clean may not be far off. You have lit the fire and it has caught on like a forest fire; it cannot be stopped.

I was contacted by people from 16 states, and received nearly 300 emails. Out of these 50 were from total strangers. The people who contacted me wanted to know more about our Solid and Liquid Resource Management programme and implement it in their own areas. Some people even said, ‘I will give my land for this project, but I need your help with the technology.’ It isn’t so easy for people to promise their land for a project like this. Students contacted me to learn more about the SLRM project so that they can get involved in it soon after they graduate.

I also noticed that highly qualified people want to get involved in managing unwanted materials. Normally, such people want to sit in AC rooms and expect that people will come to them. But here, people with MBAs, MScs, PhDs and other postgraduate degrees contacted me. Most of them want to get involved in the field, to use their hands. Some want to use this method to develop a business; others just want to help society. At the moment, two people with MBAs are being trained by us. I feel that all these people are definitely going to be change-makers. Earlier, we were on the lookout for change-makers, but here they are waiting for us!

In addition to this, I received 12 emails from outside the country, including from a Madagascan diplomat stationed in Poland, who has approached the president of Madagascar and asked for the implementation of the SLRM programme in that country. Many people have expressed the desire to visit us and see the project site in Coimbatore. Looking at this response, we have decided to set up a training centre not only for people in Tamil Nadu but for people from across the world. They can come for a one-day visit or for a 15-day training programme, which will help them understand all the different aspects of treating and recycling unwanted solid and liquid materials. They could also stay for a year and get certified as a Grassroots-Level Consultant in SLRM from a local university.

Today, I still receive emails and calls from people who have seen the show. We’ve been waiting for this kind of response for years. Satyamev Jayate was like a rocket that pushed the issue of garbage into space. Now we just need to get it into orbit.

C. Srinivasan is the project director of Indian Green Service, an environmental organization. He can be contacted on velloresrini [at] hotmail.com.

Sourced from Satyamev Jayate website: http://www.satyamevjayate.in/Dont-Waste-Your-Garbage/EPISODE-3Impact.aspx?uid=E3-Impact-A1

Do you want to get in touch with / involved with Mr. Srinivasan and his organization?

Join their network here: http://www.indiangreenservice.com/advocacy-initiatives.html

Earthrise : 9 min videos on the SOLUTIONS for a sustainable planet


earthrise_backgroundtop4.jpg.jpg

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/earthrise/

https://www.youtube.com/show/earthrise

earthrise explores solutions to today’s environmental challenges, taking an upbeat look at ecological, scientific, technological and design projects the world over. Our reporters meet inspiring individuals and communities leading the way in a field few can afford to ignore.

We need to dub many of these into Indian languages and spread them around!

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 ??

forest-wallpaper-designs-7

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

simple-trick-to-remove-pesticides-from-your-fruits-600x450

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 

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.

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.

Permaculture – Free Online Sustainability Course – Regenerative Leadership Institute


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Complete 72+ Hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course Covers:

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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.

A wonder farm in Kerala


“Since 2007, this research station has gone from being a sleepy government facility to an engine of innovative agricultural practices – some local, some with far-reaching implications. Much of the credit for this energy and vision goes to Prasanna Rajendran, 53, who heads the ARS with the designation of assistant director of research.

Rajendran’s success has been such that the ARS’s annual income is Rs 2.56 crores. For next year, it has set a target of Rs 3 crores.

Compare that to Kerala Agriculture University (KAU) which earns Rs 8 crores annually from 3,500 acres. The ARS with just 25 acres adds Rs 2.56 crores to the KAU’s kitty.

What has led to this transformation? Rajendran attributes it to “just a little common sense and team work”. He adds: “Whatever we’ve done here is possible in any other research institution.”

Started in 1963, the Anakkayam ARS was once a cashew research station with 25 acres of rain-fed dryland. Only one scientist and five labourers worked here. Every summer, drinking water had to fetched from outside. The station’s annual revenue was a paltry Rs 4.92 lakhs. It had been all but written off.

Today ARS trains youth in agriculture, works with self-help groups (SHGs) and produces a variety of fruits and vegetables, some of which are processed and sold.”

read more at Civil Society Online – A WONDER FARM IN KERALA.

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
f
acebook them – http://www.facebook.com/natureslap

Countless Uses for Coconut Oil


http://www.realfarmacy.com/countless-uses-for-coconut-oil-the-simple-the-strange-and-the-downright-odd/

This article gives and explains a huge list of uses of coconut oil.

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

Roof top gardening


There is an increasing awareness today about the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables to build immunity and good health, as well as about the harm that chemical fertilisers and pesticides do to our health as well as to the health of the land.

The vegetables and fruits in the market look bright and shiny but we have no way of knowing what chemicals make them look attractive. Processed foods boast of ‘added nutrients’, but how nutritious can dead packaged food be? Gardening at home is a great way to help everyone at home to learn about the goodness of fresh foods – especially children who’s contact with nature is minimal in cities.
To get your own garden on your roof top contact –http://www.chhatkisabji.com
facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/chhatki.sabji

Everything about bamboo – Sampoorna bamboo kendra


Bamboo has traditionally been used for centuries as a building and engineering material and in everyday items in various parts of the world and in India.  Traditional artisans have recognized its benefits for centuries, yet the modern world of engineers, architects and designers has failed to leverage this amazing natural resource to the extent that it was once used. Commonly mistaken for being a wood, it is actually a grass and has a set of features that make it tremendously beneficial to use as an engineering material in the modern context.
India has the 2nd largest amount of natural bamboo in the world.
hence this plentiful supply of bamboo in India helps to keep price down compared to other materials.

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services offered by SAMPOORNA BAMBOO KENDRA ARE :

  • Construction of Eco-friendly Bamboo Houses & Buildings
  • Building of Bamboo Furniture & Products
  • Teaching of Bamboo Craft, Furniture & Housing Trainings
  • Consulting on Bamboo-related Topics.

To know more visit : http://www.sbk.org.in/services.html