Monday, August 29, 2011

Shadenet - One big green ship in a sea of red!

In our long list of infrastructure development initiatives, shade net was an important one. Primarily because we needed an area to store the saplings which arrived almost 3-4 weeks before scheduled planting. Apart from storage of new saplings, we intend to raise a vegetable nursery within the structure. For now, we plan on sowing enough brinjal seedlings for about an acre on the field. Once we are done with this, we will try getting adventurous with some of the other exotic and not-so exotic veggies - just to prove the concept before scaling it up.
Following are some of the pictures of the shade net construction.

A total of 91 of these clamps were used for this structure measuring 120 ft by 60 ft. Distance between 2 successive poles was 10 ft.

Getting the structure intact..

A round of rotavator was performed before putting the fabric. (This was done to make the soil fine for the nursery)
Stretching the fabric..covering the top of the structure.Fabric was a mix of 50% and 35%. (35% means only 65% of sunlight penetrates through the roof)

Sewing up the corners..

A simple mix of cement mix, stones and sand was used to keep the base sturdy.

The sides need to be earthed up (about 8-10 inches high). This not only keeps the wall erect but also prevents rain water from entering inside.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Coir Pith manure ready to use!

My previous post on coir pith manure was way back in April where I described the process of decomposing coir pith. Decomposition is extremely essential before it can be used as manure. In case you missed it, you can find the details here.

Well, the good news is that after making 150 beds of 500 Kg each and after almost 3+ months, the manure is ready. We  got it tested at TNAU and C:N ratio was 20:1 which is acceptable. According to our rough estimates, each bed is approx. 300 Kg (after decomposition). So there was a 40% reduction in mass during the decomposition  process.

Initially, we covered it with palm leaves. That was a management disaster since it was not easy to water the beds (sharp edges of leaves was a major hindrance) and was prone to shifting due to strong winds.
We figured it would be easier to use jute bags. This worked out great since we could water through it.

Our workers bagging the manure.

Ready to be transported to Melia Dubia pits...

The final product..According to academicians, you know it is ready when it is "coffee coloured".
In my opinion, it is better to get the C:N ratio tested to ascertain if it is ready to use.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

S for satisfaction!

When we zeroed down on our land in Sivaganga, we made several trips to the town. The district is also the constituency of the Indian Home Minister. Accommodation choices are limited in the town and during our visits we often lodged at Hotel Idhyam Towers. The rooms were above average with clean linen and working ACs – yes they did work indeed and were not just for show. The only downside was the Indian toilet. My father once asked the hotel proprietor, “ You have decent facilities but why are most of your toilets of Indian style? Most Indians have now become fairly westernized when it comes to toilet habits.”
The owner promptly replied,”Sir! It is all about satisfaction. Customers do not get the satisfaction in western toilets. “ Then in broken English he continues,”Full satisfaction in Indian toilets only!”
It was interesting to observe that one does not need to go to a B school to hear the ‘voice of customer’.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Melia Dubia planting Pictures

First week of August was a hectic week at Savera Farms. With an army of 20+ support staff, we were able to plant 5000+ saplings. Fortunately, climate and EB supply were just right and we did not face any hiccups in this activity. This was a big milestone for all of us here and I'd like to thank all the followers for all the encouragement and many other folks for the support, guidance and advice.

 Pits were dug a couple of weeks before planting. They were filled with 1 Kg of Vermicompost and 1 Kg of FYM. The day before planting, drip was started to make the pits moist to expedite the planting process.

Waiting to be planted!

Happy faces!
We had 8 teams working on 8 rows simultaneously.

Ganesan, an individual contributor, is putting the stake next to the sapling for additional support. The next day, we tied ropes to keep the saplings erect.

Mission completed..