Project head(s): Joon Gu Kim, Anirban Dutta, Aditya Deshpande
Club/Initiative Name: LEAP @ TISB
We found out that the school cafeteria discharges a minimum of 150kg of food waste every day, and the majority of it is disposed of by an external company. After discussing a possible method to reduce this amount, we realised that we can utilize this waste for a composting system.
Our objective behind the sustainable farming project is to create a community of students and teachers who are passionate about farming and sustainability, where they can demonstrate their love for farming and get in touch with the earth and food sourcing, without going too far off-campus. In order to introduce a new composting system at school there were 4 things that we required.
1. A cafeteria producing crop-based food waste. The decomposition of meat in an open heap compost is a very stinky process.
2. A location at school at school, preferably away from the academic blocks and boarding housing.
3. Permission and support from one teacher supervisor.
4. A team of 10-15 student to bring the food waste to the composting site, and maintain the compost twice weekly.
We established a long-term plan to explore different methods of sustainable farming, such as polyculture, organic farming, and rainwater utilization. With our enthusiastic teachers, Mr. Johan, Mr. Gareth, and Mr. Sudeep, we decided to start with making organic compost with fallen leaves and food waste from the cafeteria.
Our team of 12 members divided into two groups to take care of the compost twice a week. After selecting a suitable site on the school farm, we started to collect and pile up fallen leaves and dry grass and mix with vegetable and fruit peels. To maintain temperature for decaying, we covered the compost with a fine mesh, and every Monday and Thursday the two groups removed the blanket, turned over the compost, and supplied enough water.
Mr. Johan has been taking initiative and teaching us about his experiences of composting. With his help, the farming team has successfully produced a perfect, nutritious compost. Mr. Benny has been helping us to build the layout of climbers for different crops like tomatoes, eggplants, and okras and showed us how to tend to them in their early stages.