India’s Vani Murthy – ‘Once you compost, you HAVE to garden!’
“We care for a cleaner and greener Bangalore.”
Aug 21, 2013
Her airy terrace is a clear giveaway of Vani Murthy’s interests. The space is filled with planting beds and pots. A stout snake gourd hangs over some basil plants. Every conceivable local vegetable, herb and fruit seems to be flourishing here – beans, chillies, cauliflowers, gourds, tomatoes. Four composting solutions are in operation, with another one on trial. Many people come to visit her terrace, hoping to start their own gardens or composting efforts. Her visitors are usually treated to a hot cup of coffee, and plenty of encouraging words about the feasibility of composting and cultivating a vegetable garden.
Every little open space in her home has something growing or composting in it. When asked about the first deterrent with starting any gardening venture – space constraint, she says, “You can grow in any small plants even a small ledge, as long as it receives lots of sunlight”.
Vani’s journey with everything green began with a trip to Vellore with Dr Meenakshi Bharath, where for the first time they saw a dry waste collection center and brought back lessons on waste management and some wiggly worms, only to lose them all to birds the very next day. She bought a Kambha from Daily Dump, and slowly learnt the art of composting right, after several repeated attempts of having to deal with a stinking mess. Today, after plenty of research and practice, apart from guiding people and organizations, she also actively experiments with new techniques of composting, so much so that manufacturers of composting solutions come to her for trials. Her home is now a compost lab of sorts.