DIY Natural cleaners series – Citrus Bio Enzyme cleaners

I got introduced to Effective microorganisms for cleaning purposes through my reStore community in Chennai. Effective microorganisms or EM in short This product developed by Dr. Teruo Higa, Okinawa, Japan is called “EM1” or “EM stock solution”. In India this is manufactured by Maple Orgtech (India) Ltd., Kolkata, and marketed under the name “Maple EM.1”. This mother solution can be activated and used for a variety of uses. I was a big fan, but moving to our farm made it not so easily available. We generally do not use any of those harsh chemical based cleaners at home. Hence I was using white vinegar and baking soda majorly for my cleaning purposes. They cleaned great but my heart desired to […]

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DIY Natural cleaners series – Dishwash powder

Dishwashing is an every day chore and something which determines our family’s health too. I would not compromise on that with toxic cleaners. Here is a Dishwash powder recipe which was originally from my friend Sangeetha Sriram, but I modified it with locally available materials RECIPE Wood ash or Used Coffee Grounds – 50% (Sieve it fine for best results) I substitute this with wood ash as that’s more easily available for me . Citrus Peel Powder – 25%Shikakai Powder – 12.5% Soapnut Powder – 12.5% Procedure to make and use the powder Mix all the powders, seive them together once. store this powder in an airtight container. Take a spoon of the powder into a bowl, use the powder […]

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DIY Natural cleaners series – Soapnut

I am starting this DIY natural cleaners series because I love using them and would want you to try it too. It’s been years since we bought any store bought toxic chemical cleaner. I thought of sharing our experiences and learning in a series of posts as it is URGENT that we stop polluting what is left of our water sources. Fire and foaming in belandur lake in Bangalore is a wake up call for us to open our eyes and realize that even house hold cleaners pollute water not only Industrial effluents. So let’s start with what our ancestors trusted for clean, happy and healthy homes   Soap nuts are wonderful cleaning products – so gentle and sustainable They are […]

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Two years that flew by @ our farm -part4

continued… The Harvests : All the stress, work, and pain seems worthy when we see our kids play and when we harvest the blessings in various forms  that the panchbhootas bring in to our lives -poison free vegetables and fruits, mental satisfaction, mindfulness, learnings to name a few We have harvested keerais(thandukeerai, modakathan, manathakkali, vallarai, thuthuvalai, mullu keerai, palak,murungai, ponanganni), tomatoes,onions, chillies,sweet potatoes, potatoes, brinjals, ladies finger, butter beans, french beans, papayas, guavas, mangoes, jack fruits, sundakkai, chayote squash or chow chow, peas, mango ginger, turmeric, taro root, winged beans, pumpkins, gourds, avarai, radishes, beetroots, strawberries, mulberries, cashews ,so many herbs etc. Of course we don’t have all of them all the time, this harvest is spread over 24 months. […]

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Two years that flew by @ our farm- Part3

The work @ the farm in the last two years Oh the list  looks quite long   Repairing the house – this seems never ending, everyday and every season brings in new challenges  and with it new solutions and leanings. More in this blog post (http://www.mylilspaceinabigworld.net/lifelearning/kathalakandi-kadhaigal-starts/) Working with the soil : Making our raised beds, mulching, weeding, planning and planting. My flowering plants, our dream trellises and so many more experiments. 300+ tree saplings that we planted as part our food forest and live fence. We love doing most of the work by ourselves, especially DH spends a lot of time working at the farm. Our friend and neighbor Ramesh anna helps us a lot with really hard physically taxing […]

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Two years that flew by @ our farm – Part 2

In the last two years, the most interesting and adventurous experiences definitely include Our elephant encounters. We have seen the tusker in action nearly 7 times up close. The first time it was a night in the summer of 2015.  My hubby and I stood watching through our bathroom window, a huge tusker shaking our jack fruit tree violently and eating 8-9 big jack fruits in a matter of minutes. We were totally awed by his size and strength. We knew his path through our farm, so planned our raised beds in a way to leave his path untouched. There have been several such jack fruit, mango and banana eating episodes. He will break the fence, walk through, tear open the […]

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Two years that flew by @ our farm -Part 1

It has been two years and a month since we moved to our farm. It has been two months since I started working on this blog post, sigh. I had aimed to post this on Jan 24 but dint happen … life is like that . Now begins the flashback I still remember how Vicknes and his father struggled and traveled a lot to get the old house at the farm repaired for us to move in.Vicknes would travel every weekend from Chennai for the repair work. Finally on Jan 24 2015 when we moved in, we did not have a single shelf to put our things as the delivery guy delayed it by weeks. For literally 2 to 3 […]

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BodhiZendo – The Zen experience and beyond…

One fine day my Yoga teacher and friend Ms.Saraswati sent out an invite to join a meditation retreat at the BodhiZendo Kodaikanal. I signed up for it without doing much of a research because I felt a very strong urge to just go there and try meditating. I applied and luckily got the approval from Bodhizendo too.  On 20th July I started off to Kodaikanal with the three men in my life. We reached around afternoon. Spent the evening boating, walking, cycling and horse riding around the lake. Went back to our room for a restful sleep. The next day morning we visited local nurseries (of course how can I miss this part, it’s my favorite thing to do – […]

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Water – The Elixir of Life

The first question which is shot at us when we say we live on a farm is “What do you grow and how well do you do commercially ?”. Most people are not quite happy with our answer or at least that is what we interpret from their facial reactions that follow 😛 Our answer is “We just have a vegetable garden to grow vegetables for our own consumption and quite a few tree saplings that we planted.” Why have we not done more??? One of the reasons is we decided to go slow, spend at least  a year observing  the natural elements, climate and soil. Next the universal challenge did not spare us either, we do face water scarcity […]

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Kathalakandi kadhaigal starts….

Its been a year now since we moved to the piece of land that chose us to live on her… She has been a great nurturer to us every moment. WE had hunted for a piece of land to call home for more than 2 years and then she found us, yes what a joyful connection the Universe had planned for us. The land had a 1 bedroom house on it in a not so good condition, a proof of wrong application of bookish knowledge with no thoughts to practical consequences 🙂 It was old building with flat roof with no proper drainage, leading to soaking wet walls and roof.  Last one year my husband and I have learnt and spent […]

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