Nandakumar Palaparambil

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since Dec 08, 2011
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Recent posts by Nandakumar Palaparambil

I use scythe for cutting long grass and the cover crop pureria javanica which I grow in coconut orchard. But for pathway cleaning where the grass is small, I still use a Honda brush cutter. Recently started using a Fokin hoe which is useful clearing small grasses in raised bed and also near small fruit tree saplings. For making raised beds, I use a long handled grub hoe, it is light weight so it is not tiring to use. I use this for digging holes for planting saplings also.

I use billhooks for cutting green manure trees...and recently started using chainsaw also for this purpose.

In India, I find lots of hand tools which are available in US/Europe is not available...


Regards,
Nandan
2 months ago
I lost those precious seeds...Those seeds does not germinate after 3-4 months, so I used to keep planting it, immediately after harvest. Once that was broken, so I left with some seeds which does not germinate. There are some people succeeded in germinating old seeds using hydrogen peroxide, sugar solution, Gibberlic acid etc...if you can find some experts to help you with this, I can send 10 seeds. Please copy your reply to p_k_nandanan@yahoo.com also


Regards,
Nandan
Thanks Sena for the reply.


Regards,
Nandan
4 months ago
I have big coconut trees and mango trees. When I mulch/spread compost for these trees, where is the ideal point to do this? Some people say, the feeder roots are just after the drip line, so that is the point to apply mulch or any compost. Would like to get some insights and also if there are any materials to read about this topic.

My farm is in Kerala,India, tropical climate.


Regards,
Nandan
4 months ago
Dear Redhawk,

When you say 3/4 of original carbon atoms will escape to atmosphere if there is no soil added, is there any material for reference for this? Would like to read a bit more on this topic.



Regards,
Nandan
5 months ago
Some references in Sir Albert Howard books also tell to use clay soil in the compost. I couldn't get exact references ....Clay has a strong ability to absorb ammonia, preventing nitrogen loss. A clay coating also holds moisture. Without soil, “an even and vigorous mycelial growth is never quickly obtained.” Howard said “the fungi are the storm troops of the composting process, and must be furnished with all the armament they need.”

So adding soil at the top makes sense..



Regards,
Nandan
5 months ago
Here is one sentence from 'One Straw Revolution'

”In making the transition to this kind of farming, some weeding, composting or pruning may be necessary at first, but these measures should be gradually reduced each year”. I think, when you start at the beginning, applying some compost or growing cover crops to improve the soil is what Fukuoka has suggested. Once the soil is improved, you should keep reducing these.

Also there is a reference that for kitchen garden Fukuoka San used compost from kitchen waste and wood ashes.


Regards,
Nandan
5 months ago
Thanks for the insights...

will have a look at how Gypsum can be used.

Thanks for the video, never watched this, didn't give much attention to seed ball, thought I knew how to make them. Red chilli powder or pepper powder looks to be a good idea to deter ants. May be in my case, as you suggested, bigger balls and some chilli powder or black pepper may do the work, will update how it goes.

I may use summary of suggestions came from you in my blog, so that others can benefit, hope that is fine with you.


Thanks once again.


Regards,
Nandan
1 year ago
Thanks for the detailed reply.

I don't like to use cement, so will avoid it.

Yes, seedball is small and I have to make it bigger next time. The way I make it is, first I will put a handful of seeds make them slightly wet and then will add powdered and sieved soil and mix it with thoroughly, keep adding little bit of water and soil and each time mixing, so each seed gets a coat of soil. If I have to make it bigger, this process has to be repeated many times. Last time, I made 0.5Kgs of sesame seedballs in 45 minutes. Completely mixing seeds with soil and making one by one will take a long time, not sustainable...If I can make them retain moisture after one irrigation, that will be excellent, so coir, may be an option, but how to add this in the procedure which I use is a question?

Mulching one layer under and one layer above also is a workable solution, has to try it out.

Thank you so much for these thinking, as people say, 'devil is in details' we have to observe and keep correcting and it should work for the local situation, that is the challenge in natural farming.


Regards,
Nandan
1 year ago
Our climate is also dry now, but I irrigated the land, since anyway sesame does not need much water. Yes, without enough moisture, seeds won't germinate anyway. But if you lightly till the land, you will be able to use the residual moisture in the land.



Regards,
Nandan
1 year ago