This Sunday something surprising happened. Months back, if I remember rightly, I had asked her whether she used grated coconut in her kitchen. And she, a Tamilian, had said: Yes, I do.
Thinking it as an opportunity to bring her closer to my plan I had said: “Can you gift them to rather than throw in the garbage bin.”
I had explained to her in details why I needed and she agreed. I knew I had converted to my cause.
Four months later she waited for me at Badlapur station with two shopping bags full of coconut shells. I made a return gift of a medium-sized green papaya, a bunch of lemongrasses and a handful of carrot. She was delighted and promised to motivate her neighbours too towards this eco-friendly disposal of coconut shells.
Days later Mangal helped me make charcoal out of the coconut shell which we commonly have known as biochar. Being porous biochar stores moisture for a longer period and can be spread around plants. Within a couple of months, biochar decomposes increasing the carbon content of the soil.
Coconut shells generally take nearly a year to decompose. Converting them into biochar hastens the process immensely. It’s very simple. Make an oven out of bricks, place the coconut shells and introduce the fire. Don’t let air to move in. And you get biochar in minutes. As it cools spread them around your farm.
Thanks Poornima for believing in my cause. May your tribe increase?