“Organic waste (from the kitchen and garden) which makes up about 47% of waste generated by the Malaysian household, will usually end up in a landfill. As the organic material rots in the landfill, the greenhouse gas methane is released. How can you help address this? The answer is COMPOSTING!”
A talk that advocates organic gardening and composting was given by Ms Tan Siew Luang, Organic Farming Project Coordinator, Centre for Environment, Technology & Development, Malaysia (CETDEM), at Brahma Kumaris Ipoh.
Composting is the breaking down of organic materials by microorganisms in a moist, warm and aerated environment. The result of which is humus.
With the amount of garbage people produce nowadays, this holistic approach is very appealing to people who care about the environment. Not only does it reduce the amount of kitchen waste that is thrown out but it also turns that waste into compost which can be used to improve soil structure, water retention and the level of nutrients for planting. It also reduces the use of chemicals, which in itself makes fruits and vegetables better for consumption.
Tan, who is passionate about organic gardening and making compost, is adamant that starting an organic farm should be a community effort. This encourages sharing of food harvests and promotes patience, personal development in community living, in other words, “bringing people together to work for the common good”. Tan also mentioned ‘slow food’ which is an alternative to fast food. Slow food, according to Wikipedia, “strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. At its heart is the aim to promote local foods and centuries-old traditions of gastronomy and food production.”
It was altogether a very informative talk showing that anyone with a little bit of space can start an organic garden with not too much effort.
At the end of the talk, Brother Kumar, of Brahma Kumaris, gave a brief session on the spiritual dimension to gardening, especially seen in India, where they meditate on seeds and daily meditation is done to empower crops. He concluded with the premise that “we are all connected and what I do makes a difference”.
The composting handbook is available from CETDEM at RM5 [excluding postage]. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03-7875 7767 to place an order.
Brahma Kumaris Malaysia is organising a free event in conjunction with United Nations International Day of Peace – “Being Happy no matter what” with guest speaker Datuk Bridget Menezes on Saturday September 21, 6.30pm at YMCA Ipoh, 211 Jalan Raja Musa Aziz. Bookings and enquiries can be made from: http://beinghappy.eventbrite.com/ or from Mr Kumar 016-746 4473 or Ms Angel 017‑579 4204.