Urban Leaves India: Making of Amrut Mitti heaps at MNP

Friday, July 2, 2010

Making of Amrut Mitti heaps at MNP

The first most important step in Natueco is the building of nutrient rich soil, which we call 'Amrut Mitti'. So the foundations of the city farm on this 400 sq ft area , on the water tank at MNP were laid with building this nutrient rich soil. We believe, the short cuts do not work.They will show up in the form of one problem or another.Hence the trouble of building this soil is worth it! In fact it becomes a very enriching experience as during this journey a kind of bond is established with the soil organisms who are the real heroes!

Amrut Mitti  is full of all nutrients needed by plants, is very rich in variety of microbes, has the right pH, has high carbon content, has excellent water holding capacity. This reflects in the health of plants.

At MNP, volunteers have taken lot of efforts to build the same. Our special thanks to Cassie Moran, a volunteer and now a dear friend from Australia who braved the travel in the city and made daily trips to the park to build Amrut Mitti. It is because of her initiative that a momentum was reached in getting the work done. Thanks Cassie. We eagerly await your next visit to Mumbai!

                                             Mixing Cow dung , cow urine and jaggery 
Cassie,Jyoti,Anoop  Immersing dry bio mass
 in Amrut Jal kept in drums
Building layers of heaps. One layer of soaked biomass,
 sprinkled with top soil/red earth.
Turning the heap after seven days for aeration. Sometimes the heaps gets compacted with too much water and this step is necessary, or else it causes anaerobic conditions in the heap.
Volunteers turning heap. 
A special thanks to Shirish Bhave who has always
 silently supported and lent a hand with our activities
After thirty days of initial composting seeds of different varieties/families like chana, til, methi,dhania,mirchi,variyali are soaked in Amrut Jal for 5 hours and then sprinkled on the heap for greening.
The sprouted greens after 21 days. 
25% of these greens were cut , dried, and put back in the heap.
This task is repeated on 42nd and 63rd day.

The entire procedure for making Amrut Mitti along with the silent features is detailed in

We hope that the terrace farm  models at MbPT terrace and MNP inspire people to take up this initiative. Especially on terraces,open areas  which receive lots of sunlight.