*Leaf 12 - New Moon - 23 Dec 2022*
It's time to sharpen our focus on Life's essentials - the taste and smell of Native vegetables & fruits, the great works of Leaf compost, the blissful state of spinning and more...
The last village tour to Sunkathonnur alemaney was fun and educational. Read on for more.....
Have you used Leaf compost for your Garden?
Adding compost to the soil increases its water holding capacity, maintains its temperature and facilitates the soil bacterial processes which improves the availability of mineral salts to the plants. When newly fallen leaves are added directly to the soil without composting it first, the microbes that decompose the leaves compete with the growing plants for soil nitrogen - leading to nitrogen shortage. The organic matter is a good source of food for the desirable soil micro-organisms. However, the nutrition content of a leaf compost is low compared to other composts with a decent amount of nitrogen availability. It greatly helps in increasing the soil porosity.
Cycles of Nature
Continuing our conversation on the cyclic nature of Time,
Finding rhythm in Life starts by synchronizing our lives with the cyclic patterns of Nature. Observing and acknowledging the impact of day-night cycle in our body metabolism is a good way to start the journey.
Farming requires a good knowledge about the seasons of a year in the given geographical context. For example, the cow dung is considered the most significant input material for maintaining soil fertility all over the world. While in tropical regions like India, the cow dung gets converted into manure almost automatically with very limited manual intervention. Whereas, in cold temperatures, it requires significant effort to convert cow dung into usable manure.
Mr. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) from Germany codified this conversion process which came to be known as Biodynamic farming (and he proclaimed that the western civilization would gradually bring destruction to itself and the earth if it did not begin to develop an objective understanding of the spiritual world and its interrelationship with the physical world). The key aspect of Biodynamic farming is its holistic integration of the moon cycle in the farm practices which explains when to plant seeds and when to give manure to the soil etc. A Google search on 'Biodynamic farming' would reveal a new world... [still spinning....]
The Blissful experience of Spinning
Mysuru Spinner's Group since the past two months has been continuously organizing weekend workshops and practice sessions of Hand Spinning by Box Charaka at Prakriti Food space. Their effort is recently recognized and published in Deccan Herald Statewide Spectrum supplement. Below is the link for you to go through the complete article:
Recently many colleges and groups are inviting Mysuru Spinners Group to spread the art of Spinning in their communities and institutions. At Mudabidare our friend K J Sachu and Abhilash took a Spinning workshop for Alva's Fashion Design Students, coming week Dec 24 and 25, 2022 holding workshop as part of Bhoomi College Youth festival Yugaantar in Bengaluru (Bhoomi College and Network is know for courses on Sustainability and its effort towards building communities on sustainable living).
Recently from Mysuru Shakthidhama 25 students visited Prakriti Food to understand Spinning.
Is our food becoming less nutritious?
Over the last few years, one would have noticed that the quality of Chilli and Papaya that's available in the market is declining gradually (I've noticed it myself as a Storekeeper). The varieties of Chilli and the smell/taste of papaya isn't the same anymore (please note that what we get in the organic store shelf is organically grown, not necessarily the native varieties). This unwanted change can be directly correlated to the flurry of seeds unleased by the multinational seeds companies on these crops in the recent years. Perhaps, sometime in the future, multinational companies will be sued by consumers for tampering with the original taste of fruits and vegetables
In an open field, cross pollination is the norm and when a farmer plants native seeds, his/her harvest need not be necessarily of the quality of the mother plant, if the neighbor is growing GM Seeds or other lab produced varieties. Based on experience from the experiments undertaken at Prakriti, one can arrive at the conclusion that commercial production of Vegetables using Native seeds is almost impossible because of various reasons (crop duration, harvest quantity etc)
So, if you are a food lover or someone who believe that the food we eat today is becoming less nutritious, please start thinking about ways to nurture the old native seed varieties. One simple step is to ask your friends & neighbors about these seeds (or wait for the next seed festival in your town) and plant them in a small container in your home (even one ore two would do to get started). Kitchen gardeners and small-scale family farmers are the only hope for us to be the torchbearers of our Native seed varieties. In fact, the samll family farmers produce a third of the world's food (read the FAO article here) and invaluable for its diversity and nutrition. SEED is LIFE, which dictates the direction of our future journey. Let's focus on it.
- Community Classifieds: To handle the ever-increasing need for connecting the people who has things to offer with people who are in need of, a new initiative called Classifieds has been started. Please use the comments section in the below URL to add your offers/needs.
- Our longtime friend and organic farmer Vasanth have produced some high-quality Leaf compost using the traditional formula of mixing 10 different leaf varieties and is now available the Store
- The last village Tour to Sunkathonnur jaggery making unit was a wonderful experience. The tour was helpful in many ways.
- It helped in knowing each other better. A better world can be built by knowing the co-inhabitants better....
- It helped as a certification process, connecting the consumer and producer
- It helped in knowing the life cycle of a farm produce - SUGARCANE and its impact on our health
- It helped in engaging children in activities connected to NATURE
and so on...
The photo album can be viewed at: