Many times we get the question as to where we buy the compost for our organic gardening and how it comes that our soil is so fertile. The answer is that Lake Toba itself provides us with the compost and the soil.
We have four sources which are the secret of our compost and organic gardening . These sources are our kitchen, Lake Toba, our rabbits and our fishes. Combining these sources we go full circle in organic gardening.
For all our organic waste from our kitchen and the small green waste from our gardens we have a separate composting place. Our rabbits eat the green produce from our gardens, they especially like organic carrots, kankung (watercress), cabbages and salads and continuously eating they turn this happily into poo and pee.
Reportedly, Eceng Gondok (Water Hyacinth) is a major threat to Lake Toba and many times Flags are being raised even on National TV showing what to do and how to save the Lake from this hazard.
However, when I think back 10 years I have the feeling that 10 years ago there was much more eceng gondok in the Lake than these days. So balancing acts by whoever, wherever and for whatever reason are most likely much more efficient than anybody can imagine.
For example, from the time that we opened Horas Family Home in 2007 and now, you can see the difference in the pictures below. The difference in the view from Tabo to Sosor Galung is striking. The first picture with eceng gondok choking the inlet was taken in 2007 and the second was taken only two years later in 2009.
We love eceng gondok and we grow eceng gondok in our fish ponds because when in season they have the most beautiful flowers, they help cleaning the water in the fish ponds and they provide a hiding place for small fishes trying to escape from their enemies, a variety of kingfishers. Last but not least we harvest the eceng gondok from our fish ponds on a very regular basis for composting.
Most of the fish in our fish ponds are Ikan Lele (Catfish) and Ikan Nila (Tilapia) and these fish are vegetarian, normally feeding on weeds in the Lake. Alternatively they also like shredded organic vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli leaves. The fish in the fish ponds also have their needs dropping their droppings just in the pond and polluting not to say poisoning their own environment.
Now just mixing eceng gondok with the poo and the pee of the rabbits and the polluted soil from the fishponds and leaving it alone for a couple of months forms the perfect basis for the best compost and soil that one can think of. This compost and soil is now being used as fertilizer for our produce in our organic garden and the produce of this organic garden is now also partly being used as food for the rabbits and fishes, which then produce the poo and the pee for full circle environmental friendly gardening.
Harvesting eceng gondok from Lake Toba is fun, free of charge and environmentally friendly. The process is as follows from the moment we spot early morning a cluster of eceng gondok in front of Horas on April 14, 2014
08.59 Bring in the first cluster 09.06 The first cluster at Horas 09.07 Another cluster is spotted
10.05 Landing at Horas 10.50 More is coming 11.17 Shipping in
14.54 Good enough for now Happy Cabbage Happy Rabbits
Guests are welcome to help us harvesting eceng gondok and sharing the fun
HORAS !!! HORAS !!! HORAS !!!
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