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Humans are nothing more than temporarily animated humus.

This one line by Justin Maltry, an environmental activist, is epiphanic in the way it captures our relationship with the ground beneath our feet. Soil and it’s mysterious ways have fascinated humans right from pagan worshippers to modern day scientists. For us at TI..EE..DI it continues to enchant us with its life force.

Here’s a quote from Toby Hemenway’s website:

Geosin, discovered in 2012, the molecule which gives soil that earthy smell, stimulates the vagus nerve down to the stomach’s micro biome, our stomach’s wee-beasties send a message back to the brain to release neurotransmitters which make us happy. Just smelling soil makes us happy.

And we couldn’t agree more! Working on our fields does indeed lend us a sense of tranquility.

For us, Soil + Mystery + Tranquility translates into Soilstry – A quest to work with nature to increase the richness of the soil’s nutrients. It is also a commitment to give more to the soil than what we take from it.

To help us in this quest, the principles of Permaculture serve as a guiding light. There are some really interesting ways to build up the soil’s fertility without experiencing a decrease in the output. Following are the projects that we are currently working upon:

  1. Companion Planting.
Companion Planting of Cardamom and vertiver plants along with chestnut and alder trees.
Our thriving bunch of cardamom bushes (shallow rooted) planted together with Vertiver (deep rooted). Also, they are under a canopy of Alder and Chestnut trees (both deep rooted trees).

2. Sheet Mulching.

Sheet mulched vegetable gardens.
Our sheet mulched vegetable gardens. Beneath the straw beds you will find a layer of cardboards, green leaves, dried leaves, humus from the forest and a sprinkle of cow manure.


Our volunteers get a hands-on chance to experience these permaculture techniques and not to forget…to smell the soil and be happy. 🙂





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