Monday, July 29, 2013

All about Kambha-composting in your backyard

I still remember how we got introduced to the Kambha. We had gone to a friends' house and there we saw a set of three pot-like units one on top of each other.We got curious and asked them about it.They told us that it was composting unit made out kitchen waste! We were  impressed.So much that we bought our own Kambha few months later. We took a bigger one considering the amount of kitchen waste we generate every day ( We are a family of five). It cost us around thirteen hundred bucks.So just wanted to  enlighten those who are new to it and want to try it out.

How does it look like?
This is the three tired  unit we bought.You can check more varieties in the daily dump site(search for "daily dump"  in Google). There are various sizes according to the kitchen waste you generate. There is even a small,cute one for kids!

Kambha 3 Tiered Large

How do you use it?

We first start by dumping all the kitchen waste the top-most (call it A). We keep doing it until it becomes three fourths full.Remember to stir the contents once in a while.Once the pot is 3/4ths full ,you need to transfer its content to the second pot (called B) .Your A pot again ready for use.Once it is 3/4ths full again we need to shift the contents of B to C(the bottom-most post) and after this we need to shift contents of A to B .Your A is empty again and is ready to use.After a month or so (initially it may take longer) you will find that the contents of bottom-pot have turned into manure.Trust me the smell coming from it will be like the smell of soil.

What all kitchen waste can we dump/not dump?

We dump vegetable peels,fruit peels(all fruits),coffee and tea decoction,dry leaves. We are not supposed to add coconut shell,seeds etc because they don't decompose.Do not add any plastic material to it.They say we can dump leftover food as well but we don't as ours is an apartment and we feel it may emanate bad odour.
(Maybe it is our imagination,but we have never tried it).

How does the manure look like?
Here is how the manure looks like.The one you see in the bucket.

What are the issues you may face with it?
- if yours is an apartment then unless you have a sit out or an balcony big enough it would be advisable to use a smaller one.

-Flies : During summer we faced a major problem with the flies.When I say flies I mean the fruit flies.They were virtually everywhere. Then we found a golden solution for it!. In Apple cider (vinegar, we found it in a supermarket) we poured some liquid dish-washing soap and added some water into it We used a wide transparent bowl for it(plastic).All the flies fell right into it and that was the end of it :).

- Bad odor :This you may get when you go closer to the Kambha. But otherwise there wont be any strong odor.

- You need to allot 1 hour of your weekend time once a month to move the contents from A to B to C.   But trust me its worth it.

What do you do with the manure?

You can use it for your own plants or give it to your friends and neighbors. The manure generated is very rich and the plants will grow very well organically.On the daily dump site you would find a leave-it pot as well for you to store your manure.

Where can I buy one?

We bought it from a nursery Check out more details on the daily dump site.

The site has detailed text on using the Kambha and other FAQs you may have.
After the use of Kambha our wet-waste has come down to one fourth! We are very happy about it :).

Guys go for it and do your bit for the environment.

Happy Composting.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Symbiosis in LIfe

Sometimes I keep wondering,what is it that is driving us to do a thing and not do a thing?  But I am sure many will come up with the answer "happiness".But I would say that what we actually want from life is "contentment" and feeling of completeness.  This alone opens the key of happiness. But the question is when do we feel content? i.e. when can you say confidently that "Ah,today every thing happened the way I wanted" . So what leads to contentment is "being in control". I know this sounds like maths and set theory :). How is this possible? This is possible only when we maintain a symbiotic relation with the environment (which includes our family,our work place and the society in general and of course the present circumstances) we are living in. 

Whatever day to day decisions we take if we take them keeping the rest of the environment in mind then we will be happy.But if the decisions taken are with half heart then you will not feel happy and content. For instance if we wanted one kind of movie and your friend wants to see another.And somehow she manages to take you to her choice of movie if you go grudgingly than you will not be content at the end of the day. But if we build our personality in such a way that we learn to accept small oppositions with complete heart and not fuss over it then your contentment quotient will definitely rise. If we refuse to change ourselves even for a small thing then we will end up with more bitterness and discontentment. Its better to use our judgement in these kind of cases,by asking ourselves this question " By giving into the other person ,am I jeopardizing  my personality and life in anyway?".If your heart tells you "No" then you will accept the decision with complete heart. But remember that life is too short to grudge and fret over silly things.Think long term always.

But sometimes we come to a state which you can call a "crossroad" state. This is the state in which where you go  determines your coming future and may entirely change your life. That state we all go through while picking up our careers,switching careers/giving up a career/getting married/ becoming a parent/buying a house /investment involving risk etc. But for these decisions our complete approval of heart is a MUST. If go in one way and finally regret it then nothing can be worse than that. You suffer and you contentment quotient comes down and so does your happiness.While taking these decisions it is very important to understand how your path will impact you and your environment. If we only think of only ourselves and forget the environment than it will lead to conflicts and confusion. Its very important that the whole environment is in the same page as you before you go ahead. The symbiosis is the key. 

But there is another case where after you have taken your decision and have gone ahead with it ,you realize that things are actually not going as smoothly as you anticipated.Then what to do? Then place yourself at "crossroads" again and revisit the decision once more. Sometimes life is not about YOU always .We need to consider people around us .But if you mind is clear about the decision you made in the first place and still people around you are not cooperating with you , plan your path in a way as to not involve those who are not interested in your path . I know it is not that simple. But life is all about workaround isn't it?

There are thousand ways to reach a place but what path you choose makes all the difference to your life. Its good to concentrate on the path rather than the goal. Because after you have reached your goal with no symbiosis then there will be no one around you  to appreciate it and will that give you happiness?

Monday, July 01, 2013

Dance of Shiva

When we read stories about Shiva's tandava ,we wondered if its possible that a person's dance in fury can evoke so much destruction.Today we have no choice but to believe it! When Shiva danced in Kedarnath destruction unleashed and trampled many on its way. But why did Shiva dance? What provoked him to dance in such a way that the entire population could be wiped out through his single pose?  I am sure many know the answer to this in their hearts.Humans!

We humans alone provoked him  .We abused the God given nature .We didn't let the moutains be as they were.We plundered them for coal,minerals,ore .We broke mountains and joined them again by road! We cut all the trees on the mountains ,which held the precious soil on to its roots, leading to landslides. We became greedy and  made lodges at Shiva's abode. We traded,bargained, sold in front of HIS eyes. We  burdened the mountains with more feet .We sliced the rivers to have light in our house but not realising that this will submerge many more houses in the process. We pushed ,pushed hard and asked the nature to perform miracles to fulfill our needs.And nature has given you its answer in action.IF YOU PUSH ME,I AM GOING TO SHOW MY TANDAV.

 All in the name of love and affection for God..He doesn't want our love in pretensions .He wants it in our actions.He wants us to be a true human first .To help others in need.To have a charitable mind.To understand that His purpose of life is indeed helping the humans to understand that our purpose of life also should be help others. Today to see a child lose his parents or other way round makes our heart bleed.Let us pledge not to cross the limits with nature.If we do then we have to do it at the cost of a life of your loved one.Lets not burden our mother nature more.Let us first stop what we are doing first and think and then re-plan the future of our children.