Wednesday, April 1, 2015

One day..

One day.. this is the small voice inside the head of each expat in the Gulf region. This day may come for some, unexpectedly, when only their dead bodies reach their homeland.  A few others make this day come sooner by their meticulous planning, but for the majority this day remains in the head only, until certain circumstances force them to meet that day in their homeland. It might come as a job loss or the urgent requirement of a loved one back home or old age itself.

Our son too will soon fly the nest since his board exam is about to get over the coming week.  This makes me think about that “one day” pretty often.  I was never a good planner and always had to take life as it came. So guess even this “one day” if ever it comes and whenever it comes may end up the same way! Yet, why should I not dream? So this post is only to poke my conscious later and hope that it may nudge me to action.

It is not a lofty dream either..not at all. It is only to grow a vegetable garden and maybe have a few hens, fish? and maybe a cow and a few ducks…. Hah! Not sure why on Facebook I always land up on such pages so as to get all such ridiculous ideas! This is surely not for the lazy ones and for those who would prefer to sit in front of the idiot box instead. I may end up as such a person too, so let me just jot down to jolt me later.

Imagine growing a lemon tree indoors? Read it here 

I do have a very very small collection of plants out here but the issue is that once we leave for our summer vacation it needs to be shifted to some place where it can be looked after during our absence.

Other than normal gardening, I stumbled upon Hydroponics and Aquaponics systems. Tried the latter at home but am yet to succeed. Aquaponics interests me more since you can have fishes too in the bargain. My colleague told me about a friend of his who returned to Kerala and is now successfully managing it in only a cent of land! He dug a small pond, spread a tarpaulin sheet which extended a feet or two around the pond. Then he spread broken rocks on this extended space to plant vegetables. The pond was used to grow fish and the water was brought out  at fixed times with the aid of a pump to flow through these rocks back into the pond. The nutrients in this water was enough for the vegetables to grow and there was not much loss in water too. One only need to feed the fish. 

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrialplants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium,such as perlite or gravel.
Aquaponics is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails,fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretionsfrom the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrification bacteria into nitrates and nitrites, which are utilized by the plants as nutrients. The water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system.

The following video shows a successful Aquaponics system in Kerala

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The gentle giants of a bygone era

This post has been sitting in draft mode from the day I read Maddy's tribute and realized that the world of blogging has changed for me yet again. To me, Abraham Tharakan belonged to a bygone era so much different from the one that my children is facing. I may have tasted a bit of it but time allows none to tarry.

Abraham Tharakan did not tarry but gracefully bridged the generation gap and wrote ever so splendidly until he bid good bye. He wrote on diverse subjects and made each post informative and interesting. While reading about Deepika Pallikal, I remembered him yet again and now realize that his post on her was prophetic. She is the first female Indian to make it to the semifinals of the squash event. 

Not sure what prompted him to post this obituary. But here was a man who had seen this world and specially India, change before his very eyes. And today when the nation celebrates ISRO's success, I am sure he would have celebrated it in his own unique way on his blog.

My only regret is that I was irregular in keeping up with his posts since I myself became irregular on this space. I cherish and value the reminder he left on my blog but will always regret for not having taken up his gentle reminder.

We will miss you dear soul.

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