Sustainable Living

Herbs

Herbs

Herbs have played an important part in the existence of Man for millennia’s. These are the foremost constituents of Ayurveda: translated as Science of Health, that is probably the oldest existing system of natural healing in the world. Nearly suppressed by the English during their occupation of India, Ayurveda is finally making significant inroads of acceptability throughout all countries of the Western world. To fight biopiracy and unethical patents, the Government of India, in 2001, set up the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library as repository of 1200 formulations of various systems of Indian medicine, such as ayurveda, unani and siddha. In …

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Salad Garden

In the last article we described how to grow tomatoes, carrots and cucumber. This article will take you through a few more do-it-yourself farming, on growing your own little salad garden. Salad is often considered as a healthy diet food, but the benefits of eating a salad go well beyond dieting and weight loss. Salads keep you hydrated, add fibre, increase the intake of vitamins and nutrients in your body, reduce calories and improve digestion. Here are a few important ingredients to making a sumptuous salad. Onions: How to Grow: Onions grow to a height of around a feet and …

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First Seeds

Nature is a humongous assembly line where every being on the planet is playing an active role in the process of creation of food. Some help either pollinate or till the soil, while some eat the produce. It’s a perfectly harmonious system, where every being in the process benefits. Apart from Man, no other being alters the role that it plays. Astonishingly, when one changes its role, the entire system shakes. That is exactly what is happening now. Our intervention in this process of creation of food is leading to mass extinction of species. Man is suffering too. From never …

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Successful Water Conservation in Awalkhed Village, Nasik

Rainwater impounded in contour trenches infiltrates into the soil and helps recharge the ground water table

“Water is the driver of all nature”, said Leonardo da Vinci. Every monsoon, heavy rains flood some parts of the country and in other areas the rainfall is less than normal and forebodes lower productivity, crop loss and agricultural distress. This state of affairs need not always be the case. One can harvest the rain water and make sure that it percolates into the soil and replenishes ground water. The accompanying pictures depict water conservation on the 14-acre campus in Awalkhed village, Igatpuri Taluka, Nashik District, Maharashtra state where the Aseema Educational Trust has established a primary school for tribal …

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Useful Insects

Lady Beetle

Beneficial Insects As plants grow, it simultaneously creates a world of its own. With your care, other plants begin to emerge. Earthworms, ants, etc call the soil their homes. Butterflies add some colour to your garden and bees give it a beat. Apart from these insects, there are others whose life revolves around your plants. Some love to eat the plant, also known as pests, while others protect your plant from these “bad guys”. The good guys are called ‘beneficial insects’ and they are very effective in managing pests. Today we’ll profile a few of them and also suggest on …

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Do-It-Yourself | Plants in Pet Bottles

To get started with growing your crop you don’t need to have hectares of farm land. You can use just about anything that can hold the medium where your crop will be sown. To prove this, take a regular ‘dahi ka dabba‘ fill it with soil and leave it in the open. In a few days you’ll see the brown soil bearing some greens. Take that as a signal from nature as a bout of encouragement. Nature is kind, rewarding and enjoys experimentation: and today is what we’ll get our hands dirty in.  Things that you need are: Waste Pet …

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Romancing the Wilderness

Change begins in us, in the choices we make for the things we believe in, says Sanjay Sondhi who took to full-time conservation at the age of 45. My love affair with nature began as a young child. During summer vacations in the serene hill station of Dalhousie, where my grandparents lived, long walks livened up the holidays. Loads of early memories linger… the sight of a Himalayan yellow weasel climbing up a pine tree in order to get to a bee hive, and scurrying back comically, after being stung by the bees. Plucking wild strawberries to make home-made jam, …

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Organic Pesticide – It’s time you made the switch

A gardener’s enemy are pests. They can destroy your entire garden by the time you finish reading this article! To see that you continue reading this fortnightly column, we’ve listed a few tips that will keep that smile on your face. The column stresses on Organic practices because it not only helps you, but also the beneficial insects, your plants, the soil and birds. World pesticide use exceeds 5.0 billion lbs at a total cost of approximately $ 64.5 billion but less than 0.1% actually makes it to the target pest, the remaining either enters the food chain, seeps into …

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Lively Soil and Happy Plants!

Mulch

Many a times you’ll notice that, especially, as a beginner that your plants have shrivelled and died or have become someone else’s food (pests). At such times you need to realize that such things are natural and not to be hard on yourself. It’s ok. Learn and re-plant. Gardening is fun, healthy and one of the most popular hobbies. Through this column we plan to make you a well informed gardener so that correct methods, precautions and care can be practiced. For every plant, the most vital ingredient apart from Sunlight, Air and Water is Soil or Dust. This contains …

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A Green Holiday

The first thing you notice when you drive down to “Our Native Village” is how dramatically a landscape can change. You might begin stuck in a long beeline to get past Mekhri circle, but an hour later you find yourself off the tar, on a dirt road charting through an endless expanse of grassland. Positioned ahead against the horizon is a small passage through a vast expanse of trees. This longs to sound as a narrative from a Tolkien book, but it isn’t. It is the surprisingly unique entrance to the eco-resort, “Our Native Village”. Located roughly 30 kms from …

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