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Eco-initiative: The Brown & Beautiful Story of Composting

 
Compost is a hot commodity these days however, the history of amending the soil to grow better crops goes back to prehistory. A nutrient-rich organic soil amendment, the so-called ‘black gold’, named for its dark colour and the many benefits it brings to our rapidly degrading environment, compost is regaining its popularity amongst both gardening enthusiasts embracing sustainable practices as well as those who advocate in favour of organic produce.

While the world is pacing fast to catch on a trend that has made a welcome comeback, Karma Lakelands has been practising the art of bio composting for several years now. Keeping environmental sustainability at the heart of everything we do, one of our passionately undertaken eco-initiatives is our bio-composting.

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Biocomposting

 
Our compost is a collection of plant clippings/ pruning from the campus that are gathered and mixed with Cow dung & sewage pumped from staff quarters, villas, Klub. The partnership of this biomass with sewage scuttles the smell and there are no flies or mosquitos. This way, the decomposition process, accelerated in time and concentrated in space, mimics what nature accomplishes in the forests. This is the process of soil building.

What in wild nature takes decades to accomplish we concentrate into weeks. The dead plants become soil and that soil, in turn, becomes the next generation of plants in the garden. This is the process that has gone on since life emerged on the Earth, life-begetting life.

At Karma Lakelands, we believe that composting is not only a soil amendment practice or a standalone effort towards responsible agriculture but also an integral part of our overall waste management policy to help us strive towards becoming a zero-waste organisation. Our restaurants and domestic kitchens segregate the waste at the source. The raw vegetable peels and fruits i.e the pranic waste (excluding leftover cooked food, tea leaves, Onion & Garlic) is fed to the cows and in no time it is dung. The Goats love to nibble at the broken branches, weeds & plant pruning. The non-pranic waste, cooked food and non-veg leftovers go to the chickens and ducks. This helps in creating and speeding up the process of composting.

Vermicomposting

 
‘Vermis’ is the ancient Latin word for worms therefore, Vermicomposting is essentially the decomposition of organic material by worms. At Karma Lakelands, we have six vermicompost beds. The worms perform their magic on both waste matter and the soil producing a nutrient-rich, organic fertilizer and soil conditioner, called “vermicompost”.

Vermicomposting uses specially bred worms to aerate the soil and convert organic matter into compost. Worms are eating machines that feed on the bacteria growing on the waste organic matter and pass it through their digestive system, producing worm castings or “worm poo”. This worm manure or vermi-castings as it is politely and officially called may be useless waste to a worm, but to a gardener, it is a fantastic soil conditioner and enhancement medium. Vermicompost not only contains worm poo but also their bedding materials and added organic wastes at various stages of decomposition allowing other micro-organisms to attach to the digested organic matter that has passed through the worm.

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In line with a strong focus on eco-responsible practices, the bio-composting and vermicomposting initiatives are also extended to K Villa, the residence of Mr Ashwani Khurana, President, Karma Lakelands. To expand the eco-footprint and encourage citizen participation, plant clippings and pruning from the farm as well as the entire Green Avenue Neighborhood are collected and put into various pits. The septic tanker operators emptying the Sewage from various farms and empty them onto the biomass piles/pits that over a period of few months turn into rich compost. The process that we at Karma Lakelands call “ From night soil to soil energizer”!

The cow dung is run through the biogas plant which generates methane gas that fires the staff kitchen at K Villa while the slurry goes through Vermicomposting.