India has been an agricultural country for centuries. With agriculture, our farmers were also livestock owners and rearers. Our forefathers grew their food and managed wastes in a way that nobody was harmed. These cattle and other livestock are used for agricultural purposes and dairy products like milk and butter.
Even today, farmers manage their livestock and household waste in the most efficient way possible. They compost and convert the cow and cattle dung into bio-fuel.
What is Composting?
India is a country with a rich history in terms of sustainability and zero-waste practices. Despite being a developing country, we have a fair share of experience in waste management and biofuels. Our farmers used the cattle dung, agricultural by-products like hay, leaves, and crop-cover dust.
Along with these, household or kitchen waste like vegetable and plant peels, eggshells, and food wastes. Composting is a technique where we use our everyday waste from our houses to increase the fertility and strength of the soil. Composting, when done indoors, is a simple and effective procedure. One does not need to spend on expensive supplies.
Why is Composting important?
Composting is a simple, inexpensive, and efficient way to improve the soil quality in and around us. It is a simple technique of creating natural and chemical-free fertilizer and manure. The compost is a dark, black mixture rich in nutrients that improve the soil quality and provides plants all the extra nutrients they need.
It enriches soil, helps retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests. Composting reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. Encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material. Later, the humus mixed with soil instead of chemical fertilizers in household gardens and agricultural areas.
It is beneficial for the environment and, it reduces organic wastes in landfills.
How is Composting done?
All you need for composting is the household, green organic waste like vegetable and fruit peels and pulps. You could also add in eggshells and other green leaves. These comprise of your greens or organics for the composting.
For the browns, you could use dried leaves, hair, and hay, dry paper cups, and cardboard cut into small pieces. Mix your browns with soil that has worms in it,
To kickstart the composting process, users could buy bio-enzymes or add in half a cup of sour buttermilk. You could decide on the quantity of bio-enzymes based on the quantity of your greens and browns.
For the container, make sure you do not use cardboard boxes. Use old plastic buckets or big clay pots with lids. Inside the container, add in the soil first and then the browns and greens. Add your bio-enzyme and mix them up. You could make it a continuous process by adding in food scrapes every week or twice a week.
Depending on the quantity and what you add in, it could take a few months to breakdown and for humus to form. Once the compost is complete, mix the humus with soil in your pots or garden and see how well your plants grow.