Organic farming is a form of agriculture that relies on crop rotation, green manure, compost, biological pest control
and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity and control pests.
Since in urban cities limitation is insufficient land for farming, the concept of terrace farming, vertical and container farmings are upcoming trends in urban farming. Here in this blog I will be sharing every single effort and techniques in building my Organic Roof :)

Location Details:

Country: India

State: Kerala

City: Trivandrum

Climate:Tropical, equable, hot, humid and dry.


Soil: Red soil in the Southern-most part of Kerala

Friday, August 21, 2015

Growing Mushroom at Home

Mushroom farming business can be mean big profits in just a few weeks. Plus, starting your own business growing oyster mushrooms for profit is fairly easy. In fact, here’s how to get started in just six easy steps
Oyster mushrooms are probably the easiest kind of mushrooms to grow. Though they are accustomed naturally to growing in wood, you also can raise oyster mushrooms in a variety of other growing media, including straw or sawdust. The easiest way to begin is with a kit/poly bag. If you want to experiment on your own, then oysters give you a greater chance of success than other mushrooms.  Mushrooms are basically fungi, which have a fleshy and spore bearing fruiting body.They have been in use not only for consumption purposes, but also for medicinal purposes, since ages there are over 14,000 types of mushrooms in the world, out of which 3,000 are edible, about 700 have known medicinal properties and around 1400 have been recognized as poisonous. In this post oyster mushroom spawn is being processed.Health Tips:Being rich in fiber, protein and Vitamin B, mushrooms help maintain a healthy metabolism. It has been found that mushroom extract helps stop migraine headaches and is beneficial for people suffering from mental illnesses, like obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Mushrooms contain about 80 to 90 percent water.
  • Mushrooms help fight against Cancer.
  • Very low in calories (only 100 cal/oz) and very low sodium and fat.
  • 8 to 10 percent of the dry weight is fiber. 
  • An ideal food for persons following a weight management program or a diet for hypertensive.
  • Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium.
  •  In fact, it is said that there is more potassium in a mushroom than a banana, Mushrooms are rich in copper, a mineral that has cardio-protective properties.
  •  Oyster mushrooms are said to be useful in strengthening of veins and relaxation of the tendons.
  • Mushrooms contains some very important mineral and vitamins like: Folate (Vitamin B9), Niacin (Vitamin B3) , Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B6, Copper – 0.3 mg, Iron – 0.5 mg, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium. 
  


Mushroom growing steps

1. Find a dark closed room or build one providing light proof cubical/cells.

2. Create a humid environment within the celland it would be good if a temperature is maintained less than 25 degree Celsius





3. Soak straw for 12 hours.

4. Use a pressure cooker to cook it for 5-7 mints in high flame


5. Spread the soaked straw on a clean and plain surface to drain the water content.

6. Straw when used in stuffing into poly bags it should be wet and never allow to get it dry.




7. Mushroom spawns (seeds) are required to start the culture.     

8. In this image, the spawns are processed using rice grains.





9. Encircle inoculated straw as showed in the image.


10. Place the inoculated encircled straw as the first layer at the bottom-most of the poly bag. 




11. Spread the spawn along the outermost edge of the first layer of the encircled straw placed in the bag.

12. Spawn should be spread around in such a such a way that it should be visible from outside after packing. 

 13. Repeat steps 9-12 until the poly bag is filled with 5-6 layers as appropriate considering the height of the bag 


14. Bags to be tied tightly from the upper most opening.
15. Use needle to poke holes on the sides of the bag every few inches. Mushrooms will grow out of these holes.



16.Hang the bag on to a stand and make use of a spray bottle with clean water to sprinkle/mist it a few times a day through the holes on the bag to keep it.


17. Mushroom starts appearing on their own at this point, or even a 40 watt bulb light need to initiate fruiting.
18. Direct sunlight may not be required, any light through ventilator is good enough.
19. The dark and cool room, should have a high level of humidity, temperature will need to be 24 to 28 degrees Celsius. Also it is good to have provisions of natural lights at least 3 hours a day. 

20. After 3 to 8 weeks, white mycelium has colonized most of the straw.



Now just enjoy! Harvest and have pest free and nutritious mushrooms



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Lessons learned on Carrot plantation

Lessons learned on carrot plantation

Carrots are a cool-weather vegetable. Since the seeds are of smaller in size using seedling tray would be preferable. Seedlings appeared in 2 weeks and was ready to get transplanted after showing up 3-4 leaves.
Tips

  • Carrot grows well under sunlight
  • Compost is better to be used as the root penetration will be easier
  • Remove rocks, otherwise carrots will split, fork, and become malformed if they grow into obstructions. 
  • Carrots require a soil temperature of about 40°F to germinate; germination will be slow in cold soil.


  • Keep carrots evenly moist to ensure quick growth and ensure that it should not be submerged in too much of water.
  •  Do not allow the soil to dry out. Reduce watering as roots approach maturity; too much moisture at the end of the growing time will cause roots to crack. 
  •  Spread wood ash over planting beds to provide extra potassium for root growth.
  • Shallow cultivation is necessary to avoid damaging the roots. Mulch carrot beds to keep soil temperatures even. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sappanwood - Pathimukham (Herbal Plant)


Pathimukham, Patang (Caesalpinia Sappan)
This is a herbal plant with medicinal abilities, I planted one on land and it grows 10 feets of height. In Kerala, we purify drinking water while using the  It also produces a valued type of reddish dye from it's heartwood which contains juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone), also an active antimicrobial principle. Homoisoflavonoids (sappanol, episappanol, 3'-deoxysappanol, 3'-O-methylsappanol, 3'-O-methylepisappanol and sappanone A) can also be found in C. sappan.

Image was taken from the neighboring plot.The wood is somewhat lighter in color than Brazilwood and its other allies, but the same tinctorial principle appears to be common to all. Sappanwood was a major trade good during the 17th century, when it was exported from Southeast Asian nations (especially Siam) aboard red seal ships to Japan.
If “Pathimugam” is boiled in water, the water gets purified and thereby drinking this water can prevent epidemic diseases spreading through water. This material is used as an ingredient in almost all Ayurvedic medicines and because of its nature it can be used by itself as a medicine.This herbal drinking water has the ability to cure anti-thirst, used as blood purifier, anti- diabetic, improvement of complexion and several other properties.
Source: The image or heartwood is copied from other articles.



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Micro Farm Setting up


Micro Farm 

An attempt and an experiment to grow organic vegetable. This should be functional by April 6. 

Also view: Drip Irrigation Planning

Landscape and Surroundings
This land is little fertile that I understood from the farmers working in adjacent locations. There is a stream adjacent to the plot.

An attempt to convert the barren land to a 
fertile land.

On the left image land with weeds and on the right side, weeds being cleared and getting it ready for vegetable plantation.

The pit is ready to prepare compost (organic). Dry leaves, weeds were chopped and dumped and covered with mud and watering it on weekends. The pit is filled now with dry leaves, weeds and watered it for decomposition.














Sapodilla fruit or Cheeku in India.

Sapodilla or sapota (Chikoo) is a popular delicious fruit. Its calorie-rich soft, easily digestible pulp composes of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly. It is a vital source of vitamins, minerals and health benefiting anti-oxidant.
Sapota is a tropical evergreen fruit-bearing tree belongs to the family of Sapotaceae in the genus: Manilkara. Scientific name: Manilkara zapota.


Planted one and the sapling is ready to get transplanted. Since this will grow in size I plan to plant this on ground instead of in Sack.


Transplanted the plant to land since it grows in size. This sapling is now one year old.














Not sure if required water every day , since four months I am watering once in a week and still it is green. The land is 30 kms. away from where I stay. Whenever I visit the plot on weekend, I water the plant.
 Source: Image with the fruits are from different articles.

Pineapple Plant on Rooftop

Pineapple known as a “King of Fruits”, having said that apart from its pleasant taste and flavor, it is a good source of vitamin A and B and fairly rich in vitamin C and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. It is also a source of Bromelain, a digestive enzyme. 

Planted one as an experiment. I pulled out the crown (Shoot Apex) from a fruit that I bought and planted that into a container.

It took almost 16 months to show up a baby
fruit. I did not use any compost or fertilizer. 
May be the soil I used was fertile enough that it could fetch me a good size fruit.













Fruit Benefits
  • Eating pineapple benefits in strengthening your gums, 
  • Beta-carotene present in pineapples empowers vision.
  • Pineapple fruit which prevent inflammation in arthritis patients and strengthens bones.
  • The abundance of antioxidants, prevent from several types of cancers.
  • Bromelain, vitamin C and dietary fiber are abundantly present,which promote digestion.
  • If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, consider the pineapple diet for hypertension. 
  • A key benefit from pineapple juice intake is that it averts nausea or morning sickness. 
  • Quite useful for pregnant women who usually experience nausea. It also helps people who are looking to go on airplane trips that usually cause motion sickness.
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