Soil Matters

Did you know??
All it takes is a wet soil for a plant to grow… You do not need to water the plants separately when you ensure enough moisture content in soil.
Here’s why?
What happens when there is rainfall? Apart from kids dancing in the rain and adults shying away from it, a large portion of Water is run-off; a part of it stays on the surface and evaporates back in to the air while the remaining seeps into the soil resulting in soil moisture.
Again, there are mainly three types of soil-water,

  • Hygroscopic Soil-water: Every organism or everything that exists naturally always has some content of water present in/around it, soil included. This water is not useful to the plants much but helps them survive through the hot summers and zero rains.
  • Capillary water: This is the water that is present in between two soil particles. This constitutes majority of soil moisture and is the most useful for a plant’s growth.
  • Gravitational Water: While capillary water works against gravity, Gravitational water works with the earth’s gravitational force and has the tendency to move further down away from the soil. This is not useful to the plant

Irrespective of the soil type, water has the power to move downward to greater depths than we can ever imagine.
In arid, undisturbed soils, as much water equivalent to 2 to 3 years of rainfall can be stored at just a depth of 10 feet below the ground.
In India, 18% of water is found 5 feet deep and it is possible to store about 25 inches of water just 10 feet underground i.e., approx. 1.5 to 2 times of 1 year’s rainfall.
While fully packed soil can only absorb about 15% percent of water, a well-drained soil can absorb upto 60% of all the rain that falls over it.
I’m sure No-till gardeners would hate me for saying this but, tilling/fallowing helps by letting water seep through easily to deeper layers and in turn helps in creating ample soil moisture. Having said that, too much tilling would be of little or no help at all.
Now what could be some other methods to increase moisture content??

  1. Mulching: A simple process of covering the ground with organic material such as hay, straw, dry leafs, twigs etc., is called mulching. In most farms, mulching is done on the mounds where planting is done, i.e., around the plants and in some it’s also done on the valley underneath. Mulching not just helps in retaining moisture, it helps control weeds and it also helps reduce top soil erosion.
  2. Swales/Contour Trenches/Gully Plugs & others: These are man-made structures that are usually made by digging in or piling up. All these meet the same purpose i.e., controlling the water run-off and increasing rain water infiltration.
  3. Ponds: Man-made ponds/harvesting pits at the lowest point of a site to store rainwater are very important for every farm. It does not necessarily increase moisture content but it holds the run-off rainwater in one catchment area.

So, what would you do this summer?
Our suggestion to you, keep the soil covered… always 🙂
 
– Lakshmi Battula

Why I chose Organic??

From being someone who looked at the price tag when I first heard of organic to buying anything and everything that claims to be organic. The shift did not happen overnight. It took time, lot of it combined with deliberation and confusion of what to use and what not to… Eventually “authentic” won the battle.
All thanks to the most disturbing findings of recent times from plastic rice to adulterated milk to maggi to maaza to complan and even cerelac, I was shocked and tired… with only one question in mind, is anything safe.. at all???
So I slowly started moving away from the food that is (potential poison) to what it can be (healthy alternative).. Little by little, grain by grain, vegetable by vegetable, trying and testing everything… I was amazed at the results. They differ in the way they look, the way they taste, the way our body reacts to them and even the way our mood shifts…. everything suddenly started feeling different… There I found my answer… and it was a loud and a reassuring YES!!! And that’s when I found out that the key to happiness lies only & only in the food we eat.
I chose organic for myself.. as selfish as it sounds, its true..
I chose organic so I can rid myself of the guilt inside while cooking poison for my family… so I can stay sane while serving food to my daughter… so I don’t blame myself every single time she falls sick…
Are YOU sure of what you eat??
The debate of what is organic and what is not is still on but I am sure of what I eat as I witness its entire lifecycle at Organo from seed to fruit to seed. I am proof of its origin.
I have not yet changed to organic completely but I am about 75% there.. waiting to reach the 100% mark soon.
It’s hard to source something entirely new without knowing where to start… So, my advice to friends… “Start small”… Start with just the vegetables.. move to grains/millets… then to rice and then the spices… and so on
Trust me, it’s a step worth taking….
– Lakshmi Battula

How are wastes at Naandi handled ?

We at Naandi pride ourselves on the fact that we have designed our community to be “grid free”. What does that mean?, well, we produce our own resources for sustenance – food, water and energy and we dispose our wastes at site only. Basically we have created an eco system that absorbs the wastes in itself after safe, eco friendly waste management.
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We designed this seemingly large task by breaking it down into parts and handling them and then tacking each part on its own. Every part is then tied up to the larger eco system of food and energy to complete the cycle.

Handling Farm wastes

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Farm wastes are equivalent to Gold for the farming community as they contain a lot of organic content that augment growth in plants. Just like how nature designed this cycle of ‘farm wastes to animals and animal wastes to farm’, we at Organo try to mimic this cycle to use our resources efficiently. Especially when we do not use any chemicals – pesticides or fertilizers, or any kind of medicines/hormones – that meddle with the natural processes – the waste from our animal husbandry unit acts as good manure to the farm.
Cow-cycle
To consider the amount of compost and power that is produced per day at Naandi we would have to look at the figures below –
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Handling community wastes

Handling Household waste

An average household in India produces 500 Grams per person. This amounts to 175 kilos across 70 families at the rate of 5 people per family. This is composed of –
cdf
The Orgnic content of this waste goes into the bio gas digestor while the Plastics, Paper, Metal, Wastes and Textiles go into recycling. Especially today when the cyclic system is a well established process for many manufacturers such as this –
fs
Today handling municipal wastes has become an issue at the national level wholly because “segregation at the source” does not happen. This mammoth sized problem of ‘waste’ can be handled well once we can efficiently segregate the waste at the source. To cultivate this behavior in the residents we have introduced an incentive based policy at the Naandi commune – the credit system. The credit system earns indirect rewards to the community members if the waste is disposed to the community after segregating.

Handling sewage wastes

The sewage at the Naandi community is handled by centralized SBR based technology – Sequential batch Reactor technology. This technology expedites the process of treatment as each of the bio film carriers which cause the treatment are in continuous motion. Also, in terms of Operation and Maintenance the SBR technology is self-maintained and can be increased in capacity very easily within the same tanks. This assures us of the efficiency of the treatment plant during seasons of high occupancy or low occupancy. The water treated in the plant is nutrient rich and can be used for agricultural irrigation. The solid waste that forms the sludge is again is connected to the food cycle of the farm as farm manure.
sds

Conclusion

The base requirement of the cycle keeps the pressure on all the parts of the cycle and acts as a check point for all. This way Naandi is maintained without disposing any “wastes” into the environments, waste is almost considered as a precious in the community as one process provides the raw material for another.

A wholesome family holiday

For many modern-day working professionals, there has always been great excitement and enjoyment associated with “getting away from it all”. Today, the pace of life has intensified to such an extent that everyone craves, or rather needs that relaxation of the mind in terms of getting out of the current life, which is monotonous and stress-filled. Moreover, relaxation in the city means going out for a movie or going for dinner. And that too is a world of pain because of the rush and traffic. In that context, the idea of a weekend home or a vacation home can be a thoughtful addition to life. Owning a plush villa at Organo’s Naandi can be a rewarding experience in a lot of ways. As a family, you can indulge in fun farming activities during the weekends and relish the nature-bound journey that leaves you healthier and satisfied. It can be the place where your children can spend their summer and winter vacations.
They can play, learn and engage themselves with the right kind of activities and grow up in a more enriching environment. Born and raised in the bustling city milieu, you can have your children experience nature, fresh air and the freedom to roam and explore the open-air joys. In all, it can be an enriching outing that will teach them the values of respecting various aspects of life, staying grounded to their roots and evolving as better human beings. “Did you know that an average child learns more playing in nature than indoors.” It can be a perfect weekend hangout spot with your family or friends and even colleagues. Spend hours plucking fresh vegetables and fruits, feeding the cows, and even listening to the sounds of nature with a hot cup of organic tea. You can host your weekend activities, parties and stay-overs and revel in the joy of picturesque landscapes,

Powered by self-reliant solar energy

Human activity is overloading earth’s atmosphere with carbon-dioxide and other global warming emissions, which trap heat, steadily drive up the planet’s temperature and create significant and harmful impacts on our health, overall climate and environment, and electricity production accounts for majority of these harmful emissions. Organo employs a self-reliant 100% net-zero community renewable energy source designed to meet the community’s loads.

Completely powered by solar panels of top quality and German made inverters all the energy required by the community is, in fact, produced on site, thereby reducing transmission loss and load on the grid. Alternative energy sources like solar energy have a host of social, environmental and economic benefits. They are truly sustainable and have no negative environmental impact as they have little or no net carbon or other green-house gas emissions. They don’t deplete natural resources and in fact, protect air land and water. Organo’s Naandi greatly benefits from this greeninitiative.

All the infrastructure at Organo’s Naandi – the living spaces, the pumps for the borewells, the cattle sheds, the health facilities etc. – are powered by solar panels installed for benchmark capacity over their respective roofs with a minimum power back-up wherever required. The entire system is also connected in a micro-grid for maximizing its efficiency. This will enable each facility to not only use power produced through its own roof installations, but also borrow from the micro-grid that connects all the solar installations whenever required. If the power produced by the entire energy infrastructure is higher than the power required by the layout, the energy management committee would trade the excess energy to the government electricity board on pro-rata basis.The returns from the same would go to Organo fund. 

A responsibility called Earth

Earth is not only the common heritage of all humankind but also the ultimate source of life. We need to acknowledge that and become more mindful of our attitudes and actions. Today, the earth stands so victimized that we can no longer drink her waters and often cannot breathe her air. By over-exploiting its resources we are undermining the basis of our own life, All around signs abound of the destruction caused by human activity and of the degradation of nature. Therefore, the protection and conservation of the earth is not a question of morality or ethics but a question of our survival. How we respond to the challenge will affect not only this generation but also many generations to come. We need to slow down and fully appreciate the earth’s abundance. We can take at least a little time every day to be outdoors and open ourselves to nature’s gentle teachings.
 
So, how does it work?
Organo runs the farming community where the residents share farming related infrastructure while enjoying the fruits of collective living. Now for the big questions – How does the whole thing work? Do residents have to do all the farming? Will there be any kind of support or assistance? What about the farming infrastructure? Organo, being a farming community, will have residents playing an active role in the faming process. But there will be a core team of professionals and a solid workforce, recruited from nearby villages, who’ll be taking care of the entire farming procedure from the beginning to the end.
Professional handling:
Organo is a professional farm & facility management company that will manage the farm and its activities. Organo would be developing an employed farm workforce, comprising organic farming experts and local farmers, who’ll be operating in a process driven environment and will be  offered incentivized compensation along with perks and benefits.
Staff support: All the workers/farmers on the site will be provided with their ancillary spaces, residences and sleeping quarters.
Infrastructure: Farming implements required to farm such as tractor with all its necessary accessories, a shredder, etc., are all provided on the site along with their workshop/garage areas.
 
Revenue generation: Organo will also ensure that all the home-grown supplies after fulfilling the needs of the community, will be put in the market and income is generated.
Revenue sharing: Profits generated from the sale of the supplies will be shared on credits basis amongst all members.

Risk Is In The Air

Including Hyderabad.most of the metros gone up drastically in the air pollution has As per the reports,  pollutants, but elders and when it comes to indoor air Everyone at home are at risk fertility-robbing chemicals. Inkjet printers release carcinogens into the air. trigger off perilous evenings, but they also touch of romance to our home and add a unique asthma.
Candles light up our respiratory ailments such as development and aggravate with reproductive babies and children, interfere disrupt hormone function in noxious chemicals that can harmful toxins. They contain are capable of spreading spread aroma into our lives Air fresheners that we use to harmful toxins into the air. retardants which send chemicals used as flame before 2006 contain least, the ones purchased could be a major culprit.
At much and cuddle in everyday Our furniture that we love so is a major advantage for large number of Neem Trees health. Also, the presence of a physiology and mental also improve peoples’ Exposure to greenery can increasing bio-diversity. indoor air quality and enhancing outdoor and modifying temperatures, life. They also help in but also rise in the quality of the surrounding eco-system fauna that not only improve landscapes, trees, flora and farm lands, elaborate Organo is filled with vast Being a farming community,                 respiratory ones.   ailments, especially the contacting serious health age are vulnerable, at risk of children, who at their tender no better, leaving even the air quality in schools is also their time indoors.
But the as they spend majority of housewives suffer the most eliminates the possibility air every which way, completely eco-friendly community in home. Organo, being a 100% sunlight right from your You can access fresh air and high on natural ventilation. designing homes that are tried to recreate the past by air pollutants.
At Organo, we difficult to stay away from becoming increasingly and urban lifestyles, it is advent of “efficient” homes widow. However, with the our homes just by opening a achieve natural ventilation in In the past, it was possible to and over all well-being. years for maintaining health tradition since thousands of in use in the Ayurvedic at bay). Its extracts have been (that which keeps all diseases as a Sarva Roga Nivarini text, the Chakraka Samhita, described in Ayurveda’s prime Organo residents.Thus, ensuring purity pollution, both outdoor and for the residents.in air and good health in life indoor.

Organic tonics for the soil

Organic farming, by definition, is a form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control. The system does not promote use of chemicals and other toxic material to keep the crops away from the pests.
Keeping the same tradition going, farmers at Organo adopt a natural approach to deal with such challenges. Our organic farming methods ensure, soil remains healthy and retains fertile, round the year. All proven traditional and ageold methods are best adopted to enrich soil vitality, something remained our top priority. And we believe in a philosophy, ‘give some time for nature to recover, and it’ll come back stronger than ever. We leave some piece of land for some time to recover after a harvest season, in the due course of time it’ll regain its original soil strength and could be ready for tilling for the next season.
Alternatively, we also let earthworms do the soil enrichment job. By their activity in the soil, earthworms offer many benefits: increased nutrient availability, better drainage, and a more stable soil structure, all of which help improve farm productivity. And not to mention, our very own ‘jeevamrutham’, an organic manure. Long before mentioned in Vedic manuscripts, it constitutes a mixture of cow urine, neem leaves, cow dung, and few such natural ingredients, which are locally available in plenty, and have been proved to have strong medicinal, and soil enriching properties and they are used for effective revitalizing the soil. A healthy soil gives a healthy produce.

Parallel Real Estate Hub of Hyderabad

Ever yearned for relocating to a rural landscape, teeming with fresh blooming lotuses, rain-drenched leaves and with the soft wind touching your face?
Where everything is pure, pristine and heart-touching! Away from the maddening hue and cry of the city life, away from the mentally fatiguing hustle-bustle! In silence. In Peace.
Who doesn’t dream of it? We all do.
Our first project Naandi is all about finding a place that has the necessary elements first and then planning to live there. It’s not about finding a land parcel in Hi-Tech city or Kondaur and then trying to get all the needed elements.
naandi site
We started from the very scratch. Bit by bit. So that we could touch this dream! We ensured you have all these key elements in Naandi:

  • Flawless accessibility and traffic free drive
  • Presence of medicinal and recreational facilities
  • Elements to lead a happy life- community, power, water and natural light supplies
  • Compatibility for three generations in terms of lifestyle

You can also see lotuses blooming, fruits freely handing from the trees, fishes swimming in the water—all like a beautiful postcard of countryside.
There’s a farming community-cum-store inside Naandi. So, people have more avenues to talk amongst each other and with the farmers which will give them a good mixture of social fabric. That’s how we started our nascent community building.
herb garden
Also, we thought a lot before picking the site. It had to be right, a blend of modern and traditional. So, the site of Naandi has been picked in a way where none of the requirements of a regular real estate property are missed – Chilkur temple is very close and is a big hub for cultural activity. There are two multi-speciality hospitals around – Bhaskara Medical Hospital and Shadan Hospital. The whole of the Rajendra Nagar road is also becoming a hub for young children – with Sreenidhi International School, Sri Swamynarayan International School and Sujatha High School in 5 km range, Sania Mirza’s tennis academy for children and also the riding club.
Apart from the interesting Highway dhabas as an easy eat out option, we have – the Mrugavani resort’s restaurant, the Minar a specialty restaurant of the Golkonda restaurant and cafe Sandwicho which is nice cafe that offers all cuisines.
Interestingly all these places are connected by highways and so the evening drive for fun out of the community also will feel rejuvenating unlike the city traffic.
Finally after two years, we can see Naandi changing lives. We have gained more than 20 real-estate customers. And why shouldn’t we?
Even our customer meetings are totally different. You will find the visionary of the project – the CEO Nagesh coming down and chatting up in between his construction meetings.
pottery
You can spot the farming team picking out bay leaves for you to smell or one of the 72 different kinds of herbs. Your children can experiment with pottery and get dirty.
You will even get introduced to plant species that you might remember from your childhood days.
Yes, you surely would get very nostalgic over a Ramaphalam tree or Erra Bachali creeper. Wouldn’t you?
breakfast
We could say this is just the beginning. Naandi is the beginning of a parallel real estate where it’s not about Realty but it’s about Reality.