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2016
PLANTING CALENDAR


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 CPP -- Making the Pit & Kneading the 'Dough'                     

Making the Pit
Making Cow Pat PitChoose a site with good drainage, well-shaded and aerated. A vegetable garden is ideal. Dig a pit 90cm x 60cm x 30cm deep (3ft x 2ft x 1ft)

Line the side of the pit with used bricks. Ensure that the bricks are wet prior to placing the dung. The bricks are a good medium for the walls of the pits in that they absorb moisture, and can be watered to keep the dung from drying out.

The bottom is left as bare earth.

The pits can be made in series of up to 100 pits in a group with a central path in between two double rows, or some system that suits the farms' needs.

The pits are usually situated within a shade house which is usually roofed with thatch. This will keep the pits cool during the hot months and stop the dung from drying out, and will be shelter against the rain during monsoons. Make sure the shade house is high enough to work under.

Bricks for pit

Placing bricks in pit

CPP Pit

 

Mixing CPP Making the CPP
Collect 60kgs of cow dung from cows preferably fed on biodynamically grown fodder. No concentrates or grains should be fed two to three days before collecting the dung.

Add water by sprinkling it over the cow dung if dry. Cow dung should not be too dry or too wet. The dung should be firm as this facilitates the breakdown processes.

It is mixed with 200 grams of powdered egg shell. Heat egg shells in a hot oven for ten minutes which will aid the grinding of the shell into powder and 200 grams of powdered basalt dust. If there is no basalt, use blue granite quarry dust or bore well soil instead. Sprinkle the basalt rock or bore well soil, and crushed egg shells, over the cow dung.

Sprinkling basalt rock

Sprinkling egg shells

Mixing CPP

Knead (mix) for 10 - 30 minutes.

The kneading of the dung is important to aerate it. You will notice the consistency will change. Some farmers mix for as long as 1 hour.

Kneading CPP

CPP in pit

Place the dung mixture into the pit. When filling the pits make sure that they are not filled more than a brick and a half deep (12cm). Any deeper would take too long to breakdown into humus.

The dung should not be tightly packed. Smooth off the top of the dung.

Adding prepsMake six holes 2 inches (3-4cm) deep after gently patting the dung into the pit.

Insert 3 sets of preps BD502-506 individually into the holes by placing each into a handful of compost, i.e.
3 sets of BD502 in a handful of compost into hole #1,
3 sets of BD503 in a handful of compost into hole #2, etc., etc.

Then cover over the holes.

Stirring BD507Stir BD507 in 350ml of clean water for 10 minutes.

Add 1/2 of stirred BD507 into the remaining hole, then sprinkle the balance evenly over the entire pit and the jute bag that will cover the pit.

Putting BD507 in pit

Sprinkling 507

Covered pitPlace a wet jute sack over the cow pat pit to maintain moisture. (Waterproof covers should be raised at one side to allow water to run off and air to circulate.)

Once a month gently turn/aerate with a garden fork, leaving the surface smooth and covered on completion to avoid excessive drying. If manure worms -- Eisenia foetida (gold banded lavender colour) or Lumbricus rebullus (small red) are not already present they can be introduced to aid the later stages of break down.

After the first month, turn each week. This will speed up the breakdown process.

Remove mature CPP in 3 to 5 months.

When ready the CPP will be well broken down with a good humus content. It will have a good earthy smell. It can be used straight away, or stored in an earthen pot in a cool place. Maintain moisture and use within 6 months.

The empty pits can be refilled again.

Labeled CPP pits


 



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