November 16, 2002 

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Father John Choolapparambil, Lourde Matha Church, Charamangalam, Chertala, Alappuzha

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When Father John Choolapparambil took charge as priest at Lourde Matha Church, Charamangalam, Chertala, he was greeted by the hot sandy soil and a few coconut trees without produce.  An organic farming buff, he decided to convert the churchyard into a farm.

He purchased 50 truckloads of waste from Chertala municipality and used it as sub soil manure for coconuts.

A few months later he obtained 1500 pineapple tops from Ayarkunnam for planting.  And he employed micro-sprinkler system for irrigation.

“It was noticed that the pineapples growing near the coconuts fed with municipal waste were showing better growth,” he says.  This convinced him that municipal waste is better for pineapple cultivation.  And so Father ordered another 18 loads of waste from the municipality and used as sub soil manure for pineapples.

“Even though the sandy soil was very hot, the pineapples were growing rapidly,” he reminisces.  At the time of harvest, the fruits had grown to 2 kg even.  On the whole the church got Rs.10,000 from the pineapple cultivation.

As a bonus, the municipal waste brought seeds of pumpkin and ash gourd, which as vegetables fetched another Rs.2,700.

“Some people feel that municipal waste will generate foul smell and breed houseflies.  But can you show houseflies here?  Do you feel any bad smell here?” he asks.

Agriculture Officer of Kanjikkuzhi, T.S.Viswam is guiding the Father in his experiments.


Courtesy: B.Rajesh Kumar, Mathrubhumi, June 9, 1999

Contributed by: Administrator


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