Saturday, 21 May 2011


Kokum, or Sol in Konkani, is largely found in the west coast regions of India and i wonder if one may call it as being a variant of Imli or Tamarind.

It's summer time once again and every morning the backyard is strewn with a bunch of these kokum berries fallen on the ground.
Picture 1 shows a fresh lot whereas Pic 2 shows a previous lot being sun dried for storage.

This kokum is used to make the very delicious, nourishing and refreshing Sol Kadhi or Kokum Curry, to be eaten with a nice par boiled rice or simply chilled and sipped along with a meal, for simple heavenly pleasures.

Here's a very nice recipe with pictures for making Sol kadhi.

Do enjoy.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Getting down to composting

Kitchen waste strewn over an earlier layer of waste, leaves, saw dust. At the very bottom of the pit there is a layer of laterite stone rubble, pieces found all over the property. This layer is similar in effect of drainage to what one normally puts in a pot while placing plants.

The waste is covered with dry leaves that are strewn around our backyard - one may also collect and store these in a separate large barrel.

I have added a layer of grass and other weed cuttings that i retained from the front garden.

Saw dust - bought at rs.20/- a bag from the timber yard in my village.

A layer of saw dust broadcast on the grass/weed cuttings.

 The run off of the excess water from the bottom of the pit - remember the initial layer of laterite rubble? This out let is important as you want the pit to be moist but not water logged or the pit will start rotting and stinking. Also if you have earthworms then it helps keep them moist.

Lastly, the heap is watered down with a garden hose to add moisture to the composting process.

The water trough all around my compost pit. Earlier I used to have earth worms in the pit so this trough would help keep the ants away. If you are going to have worms in the pit, then a similar water barrier is advisable.

Adjacent twin of earlier depicted pit, being prepped for when the first pit is full. As you can see, any and all bio degradable material may be used. You may use scraps of news paper, cotton cloth, cardboard, wood shavings, bamboo cane, etc.  just make sure you keep out the plastics, glass, metal, rubber etc. and hard wood or twigs and branches as well. I really don't think anything will "go wrong" with the composting but it's just that these will not break down and will eventually need to be sieved out.

The 2 large sacks of saw dust that i bought from the timber yard at rs.20/- a pop. The yard owner said the size of the sack was immaterial, only criteria being, it was a D-I-Y job. So i went prepared with a spade/shovel, sacks and rope.