- Organic Gardening
Organic Waste – Should it be renamed as Organic Gold
For the Love of Plants
The best manure at your door step.
For the love of Plants
All those who are fond of gardening often purchase Compost Fertilizer or Plant Food for a better quality garden. We pay dearly for the same. But did you know that this could be made right in your own gardens or even use the spare open terrace for the same. All you need is little time, patience and a will to work on the same. There are many who already do this and few others wonder how it can be done. For those who don’t know yet or haven’t tried it may like to take a look at this.
Nature’s gift to us
They say that nothing in nature is a waste. Everything is useful and some day or the other it will find its use. Let us take the basic example of kitchen waste or garden waste. Organic Waste is from kitchen would include all those items which are not used in cooking other than plastic and tetra packs. The examples for this will be rotten tomato, Stale bread, Spoilt Milk, cabbage leaves, brinjal crowns, green peas pod, fruit skin, and other organic material which we do not use. Even yoghurt or curds or spoilt milk can be added to it.
Avoid adding seeds to it as it may result in sprouting which isn’t bad it proves the quality of manure but then you don’t want a custard apple tree right in you drawing room do you?
From the garden, this will include the fallen leaves, flowers shed by plants or trees or broken twigs. All these seem useless otherwise but if worked upon a little will give us amazing results. It is also considered as a natural pesticide depending on the mix that is added.
Ideally all of the above are rich in carbohydrates and cannot be treated as waste. Technical speaking after reading this you may think before calling it Organic Waste and rename it Organic Gold.
What do you need for this?
You need a small bin, a pot or a dedicated area in your garden. The bin or pot can be kept in the balcony away from children’s reach. In the garden a small corner will be of great help. In the garden if you dig a small pit for this purpose it will be more useful if not possible a bin can be placed in the area instead. If you have a set of gardening tools it will be great, nonetheless if you don’t it will not matter much but you definitely will need a pair of gardening gloves or rubber gloves to avoid your hands from soiling. Patience with the worms that help the decomposing process, you don’t have to buy the worms, once a little soil is added time and again the worms will start reproducing themselves.
While doing so please be careful that you do not add packing material, aluminium foils, wrappings or tetra packs into. Plain paper bags will not make difference, but any paper that is mixed with aluminium or plastic is a strict no.
A cover for the pot used for this purpose. The cover should be able to provide ventilation. It should not act as seal. A soil sifter or a strainer will be handy depending on the quantity you handle. If the quantity is little then you can use the kitchen strainer as an alternatively.
How do you go about it?
This part does not need patience it only needs to be aware what is bio degradable and what isn’t. As described above, all the material which is still in its natural form is very useful. If you can cut it to small pieces it will be helpful as it will fasten the process of decomposing, this can be done with the help of a kitchen knife, scissors or a pruning shear.
You can add a little of soil at the base of the pot and add the material from the kitchen or the garden to it. Mix the soil and the waste; there isn’t a specified ratio to mix the same as we require more of organic waste as compared to the soil component. The bedding can be newspaper or pieces of wood. The soil is only to enhance the growth of the earthworms within the mixture as they are the unpaid labourers for the entire process of obtaining our own Organic Gold.
What you need to do?
The waste will keep on adding on a daily basis. It will not stop. On a daily basis we will definitely have something to add to it, mind you even the edges of bread slice or the spoilt bread can be added to it.
Keep on adding the stuff on a daily basis. The pile will keep on increasing day after day.
On a fortnightly basis you need to keep a watch on the compost. Keep on mixing the same. Ensure that you are wearing your gloves on. This can be done with the help of a rake or even a shovel. Mixing the same allows you to ensure that the process is going on at a fine rate.
Strain the material and ensure that the stuff that is not decomposed as yet is placed at the bottom and also the fresh lot goes at the bottom. Maybe you can add the fresh stock of bio degradable waste at the base after you have strained the material. So maybe using two bins for this purpose maybe helpful but will not make much of a difference. Straining is useful as it will drain excess of water which will in turn allow the decomposing process to give good results. Mind you the mixture should not be dry but excess of water may will slow the process.
Nonetheless if you do not get to strain the matter please ensure that you mix it well, this will also help in clearing all the unwanted stuff added to the process. Sometimes in a hurry plastic bag or tetra pack may have been added.
Once the bin is full you need to only mix it regularly time and again ensuring that the bedding is in its place or change the bedding if required. Straining need not be as regular as mixing. Sometimes if required you mix it more frequently than a week.
During this process the most important thing is patience. The process takes weeks and at times a little more than a month or two.
During the process please ensure that the earthworms are retained in the pack. Like mentioned earlier they are our free labourers. Yes you need to keep a watch that they do not escape during the process and get them back into the bin.
So what is next?
Now is the time to see the results of your hard work. Everytime you are straining the material you will notice that the resulting strained material is broken down into finer pieces finally having dark brown or black colour just as if it were soil. It will smell like fresh earth and it will look like mostly like fine crumbs.
This part of the bin is ready and be used as soon as possible. You can dry it if you like but it is best to mix it with the soil to get better results from your plants or garden. Likewise mentioned earlier it takes about a month to two for your first batch to be ready. So please be patient with the same.
What you need to take care of?
You need to be careful as this process invites a uninvited guests. For example in the garden the birds may comedown to feast on the worms which are helping the process. Rodents and flies are a common hazard too but then if you have done enough straining time and again and mixed it properly it will avoid the nuisance. You need to be careful and see that excess water is removed to help the decomposing. Water level has to be adequate but not excess. If birds are not feasting there is possibility of worms trying to escape the area or bin, sufficient care needs to be taken for the same.
All in all it is not a difficult task but yes you need to maintain it and be patient and the rewards are amazing.
What is the result?
What you will be gaining from this piece of work? You will be amazed with the result is amazing. The yield is the best form of manure for your plants. The amount you save from the output is rewarding. And the best is the satisfaction at the end of the day.
The manure thus yielded has natural benefits and economic too. It helps in enriching the soil which in turn helps the growth of the plants. There is more to it and you will realise the fruits of it as you do it as a continued process.
At the end of day we can say it is a rewarding process and we can proudly say it another feather in DIY. If you manage to produce more of it then you can sell it too. So what was termed as waste until now would be resulting in economic benefits too.
So should we really say it is Organic Gold and not Organic Waste.