KARMUHIL ORGANIC FARMS
Silt deposited in the water collection ponds is excavated and used in the compost making process.
Cow dung from own farm production.
Goat dung from own farm production transformed into compost.
Vermi Compost from own farm production with support from cow dung from own farm production.
So far no commercial manures were bought and used in all the registered farms.
Organic Compost Heaps in accordance with BDA Farming Methods
Dr. Fatima Rani & Fr. Clement Joseph made the first BD Compost Heap in Muhil Gardens in 2004, after attending the BDA Training Program (2004) organized by the BDAI in Kodaikanal, India.
In 2005, Mr. Peter Proctor, Ms. Rachel Pomeroy and Mr. Jaison J. Jerome trained the farmers and men and women farm workers of the First BDA Training Program in MUHIL to make Compost Heaps in Muhil Gardens.
In 2006 nearly a dozen compost heaps were made to enable Trial Cultivation and Adaptive Research Analysis of cultivation of aromatic plants in 4 acres of Vanmuhil Gardens of of Karmuhil Organic Farms.
The impact is impressive among the local farmers and farm workers who consider composting work as the heart of the organic (biodynamic) agricultural activities. The soil initially (and still) needs to be replenished and ameliorated. There is a herd of cattle (cows and goats) being kept solely for their contribution of dung. Meat and milk are only byproducts for the Karmuhil Community and not sold in the open market so the cattle is fed accordingly to improve the dung quality.
Composting takes place all the year round. The heaps are made of different layers. First there is a layer of dry grass or bushes and so on which is well watered. Then cow dung and water is well mixed into a slurry, applied and covered with a thin spread of limestone dust and borwell dust as well as ashes and sand. The next layer will be green material such as branches with leaves. After that this will be repeated four more times. At the very top five holes are made with a stick and the bd-compost-preparations (502-506) inserted well into the depth of the heap. Valerian preparation is being stirred and sprinkled over the compost. The compost will eventually be covered with bundles of dried grass to keep moisture and the temperature in check.
Every third day the heaps need watering and every month they have to be turned. The compost will be ready within 3-4 months.
At present there are three vermi compost sheds set up. Each contains five ridges of cow dung. As the earthworms digest the dung the ridges are being stocked up with new material. The compost can be distributed on the lands, the worms are also spreading from the sheds throughout the surrounding areas.
The earth worms are of Indian origin, robust and well acclimated to the conditions on the farm.