Funday? Thinking what it could be… Well read on to know what goes in the life of a programmer outside the lab.
5.30AM: *Alarm goes off. *Snooze. ZZZ….
6.30AM: *Tring Tring – Anup calling…
Me: Yup say…
Anup: Get up man…time for gardening, getting late already 6.30AM.
Me:(can hear his voice outside the room) Wait man, you outside the door? *Yup. Let me open the door
(Awake). Anup goes to awake everyone else.
7.00AM: (In the mess hall) Yumm…it’s bread butter :). Finished breakfast and left from the mess hall. Everyone in their night-dress, half asleep looking like ghosts :P. Some in half pants,etc. I was the only guy in Jeans (all other washed – First time so many clothes were washed by me 😛 ).
Blasted off to the farms, through the way of our hostel, cottages, small uneven paths, and at last reached the farm.
The farm was just next to the backwaters. I seen some plants, all small plantings, great to see them. Then some guys brought the equipment’s and we all went to the main farm behind the house. We also saw an old government school, which was huge and awesome. So here we were, all waiting for what we gonna do today. One lady from California explained us a technique to suffocate the grass and weeds around the small Pineapple plantings, and around the farm so that the soil is not disturbed and the organic content is maintained. She explained that how we need to open all the waste cardboard boxes, which were brought from the Ashram’s recycling center. She opened the box one by one and placed it around the roots of the planting, but leaving some gap around roots, So she could put Cow Dung mixed with E.M. (Effective micro-organisms). Which is very good for the plants, and she also explained that cow dung alone is not good as it is highly concentrated. Then she put organic materials on the cardboard so there is no air gap and the weeds come out from that gap.
She also told that as we do this we need to step on the cardboard’s so that the gaps are filled completely. She overlapped the cardboard’s to make sure that the corners are fully covered. And after covering the soil with cardboard’s she added a layer of E.M. on it so that the grass below it will suffocate and no other weeds come out and also the plant will be fertilized by the use of E.M. So in the end, the grass will be removed easily without degrading the soil and also the plant will be nourished properly.
This image shows how the cardboard’s are placed in an arranged manner, it is made sure that there is no gap in between and then layered by organic materials and cow dung. It’s a dirty job but it’s really fun. All the cardboards which are thrown out as waste, can be used in such wonderful way, Farming + Recycling. Cardboards can be so useful besides being just a box.
While placing the cardboard’s, I was told to walk on the cardboards while placing the other cardboard’s, so that the grass below the cardboard will be crushed properly.
After few weeks, the organic matter will look like this on top of the cardboard.
The grass under the cardboard after few weeks will be all dead and can be easily removed as shown in img. above.
This method is very useful, as we can easily take out the dead grass, instead of pulling out the grass and degrading the soil. This method has been carried out on a large scale in California.