TERRACOTTEM soil conditioner : an experiment in Togo (Vicoire de Jésus Olympio / Willem Van Cotthem)

SUMMARY

REPORT ON TERRACOTTEM SOIL CONDITIONER EXPERIMENT

LOMé (TOGO)

Sister Victoire de Jésus Olympio

TEXTE FRANçAIS (TRANSLATION SEE BELOW)

L’expérience du TerraCottem a duré un mois. Nous avons utilisé un légume africain (adémè), dont je ne connais pas son nom en Français (WVC: pourpier, Portulaca oleracea). Ce légume sert à préparer la sauce.

L’expérience a été réalisée dans le quartier de Hédzranawoé à Lomé (TOGO). Nous sommes dans un quartier où l’eau est très profond dans le sol. Dans notre centre nous avons un forage, mais l’eau est salée et notre terre est très pauvre selon le résultat d’analyses qui ont été effectué en Italie. Or, nous avons constaté que le TerraCottem peut valablement remédier à notre problème en améliorant notre culture.

La graine semée avec TerraCottem mesure 77 cm dans l’espace d’un mois et celle semée sans TerraCottem (témoin) mesure 15 cm, soit 62 cm de différence. C’est un résultat excellent.

Malheureusement, nous n’avons pas les moyens pour acheter ce produit un peu trop cher pour notre bourse.

Merci à monsieur Willem Van Cotthem pour ce don.

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2001-04 : Purslane treated with soil conditioner TerraCottem (Photo Victoire de Jésus Olympio)

The experiment with TerraCottem took one month.  We used an african vegetable (adémè), of which I don’t know the French name (WVC : pourpier, Portulaca oleracea , purslane).  This vegetable is used to prepare the sauce.

2001-04 : Purslane treated with soil conditioner TerraCottem (Photo Victoire de Jésus Olympio)

The experiment is carried out in the district of Hédezranawoé in Lomé (TOGO).  We are in a district where the water table in the soil is very deep.  In our center, we have a well, but the water is saline and the soil is very poor, according to the analyses done in Italy.  Well, we have observed that the soil conditioner TerraCottem can significantly solve our problem, improving our production.

2001-04 : Purslane not treated with soil conditioner TerraCottem = control plants (Photo Victoire de Jésus Olympio)

Seeds treated with TerraCottem grew up to 7 cm within a month and seeds growing in a soil without TerraCottem (control plants) grew up to 15 cm only, on average a difference of 62 cm.

2001-04 : Purslane not treated with soil conditioner TerraCottem = control plants (Photo Victoire de Jésus Olympio)

This is an excellent result.

2001-04 : Difference in purslane production with and without soil conditioner TerraCottem (Photo Victoire de Jésus Olympio)

Unfortunately, we do not have the financial resources to buy this soil conditioner, too expensive for our purse.

Thanks to Mr. Willem van Cotthem for this donation.

Belgian scientist uses hydrogels to turn dirt into gardens (Google / Ecofriend / Popular Science)

Read at : Google Alert

http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/belgian-scientist-uses-hydrogels-to-turn-dirt-into-gardens/

Belgian scientist uses hydrogels to turn dirt into gardens

Anupam | Jul 10 2010

willem van cotthems hydrogel planting technique_1

Eco Factor: Water saving technique allows plants to grow everywhere.

Belgian scientist Willem van Cotthem is aiming to grow tropical crops anywhere in the world where it’s warm. The technique is based on the use of hydrogels, powerful absorbent polymers that can suck up hundreds of times their weight in water. Hydrogels are commonly used in disposable diapers, but this new technology uses them to grow plants using less water.

The difference with agricultural hydrogels is that after trapping water, they slowly release it again into the roots of plants. Since water alone won’t make plant flourish in sand, the scientist has created a “soil conditioner” called Terracottem. Terracottem is an 8-to-12-inch layer of dirt impregnated with agricultural hydrogels, along with organic agents that nourish the natural bacteria in soil.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps9LqU2Mi8s&feature=player_embedded

The tests have been fruitful and have helped in converting barren plots of land to food growing heavens. To make sure that farmers over the world get enough seeds to maximize the use of technology, the scientist has also launched a non-profit organization called Seeds for Food that ask people to mail in unwanted seeds that can be planted elsewhere.

Via: Popsci

Improving plant growth with a soil conditioner in the drylands of Tamil Nadu (India)

A Belgian group around the Past-President of one of the Rotary International clubs in Antwerp (Belgium), Dr. Stany PAUWELS, and SCAD (Social Change and Development), an Indian NGO directed by Dr. Cletus BABU in Tamil Nadu (South India) were recently introducing trials on the use of the soil conditioner TerraCottem (TC) for improving plant production in the drylands of Tamil Nadu. The Belgian group offered an important quantity of TerraCottem to SCAD and trials were set up at SCAD headquarters in Cheranmahadevi, at SCAD KVK Agricultural Center and in different villages in the drylands of Tamil Nadu.

SCAD has initiated intensive training programmes to promote the use of Terracottem and to motivate the rural people to set up kitchen gardens. The period of June – July is the prime Agriculture Season of Tamil Nadu. Farmers who received some soil conditioner have started application in their test plots.

As far as the test plots raised at KVK are concerned, the Terracottem-treated fields are showing a lot of favorable results. The Bhendi (okra)-fruits harvested from the treated plots are healthier and more vigourous than those of the control plots.

Since the farmers have started their work with TC recently, they are yet to see the results.

This year, SCAD has fixed 2000 Kitchen Gardens as a target in the Tuticorin District alone. In the first phase local native seeds have been distributed to 1250 gardens, along with the seeds offered by the Belgian groups. The production in these gardens will be closely monitored.

SCAD is also interested in “bottle gardening“, an idea launched in a former posting on this blog (see “My vegetable garden in plastic bottles“, 2008-02-13). SCAD has already given a training on bottle gardening to the Self Help Groups (SHG)-members. They showed a lot of interest on that method, motivating local people to eliminate plastic bottle from their environment.

Nowadays, SCAD KVK-scientists are closely monitoring the effect of TerraCottem (TC) on vegetables and other plant species and on the planned Kitchen Garden programmes. Promotion of TC among the farming community is going on in selected SCAD-sponsored villages. Feedback from the communities will be send later.

Family gardens or kitchen gardens are relatively new to this dryland region. The rural population has no tradition in gardening during the dry season. Together with bottle gardening, this method can improve food patterns and public health in a significant way. It can also alleviate poverty, offering farmers a chance to take their vegetables produced locally to the nearby market, thus competing with vegetables important from distant production centers in other Indian states.

Here are some pictures illustrating the actual situation in June-July 2008 :

2008-06 : Village Vedanatham – Mrs. Mariyammal – Crops raised : Gourds, Sesbania, Cluster beans, etc. (DSCN 1768)

2008-06 : Village Vedanatham – Mrs. Mariyammal – Crops raised : Gourds, Sesbania, Cluster beans, etc. (DSCN 1769)


2008-06 : Village Vedanatham – Mrs. Mariyammal – Crops raised : Gourds, Sesbania, Cluster beans, etc. (DSCN 1770)

2008-06 : Village Vedanatham – Mrs. Mariyammal – Crops raised : Gourds, Sesbania, Cluster beans, etc. (DSCN 1787)

2008-06 – Village M.Velayudhapuram – Mr. Muniyasamy – Crops raised : Gourds, Sesbania, Cluster beans etc. (DSCN 1835)

2008-06 – Village M.Velayudhapuram – Mr. Muniyasamy – Crops raised : Gourds, Sesbania, Cluster beans etc. (DSCN 1838)

2008-06 – Village M.Velayudhapuram – Mr. Muniyasamy – Crops raised : Gourds, Sesbania, Cluster beans etc. (DSCN 1839)

2008-06 – Village M.Velayudhapuram – Mr. Muniyasamy – Crops raised : Gourds, Sesbania, Cluster beans etc. (DSCN 1840)

2008-06 – Village Thulukkan kulam – Mrs. Pushparani – Crops raised : Zinnia, Bhendi, Amaranthus & other greens (DSCN 4430) – Mixing the TC with top soil.

2008-06 – Village Thulukkan kulam – Mrs. Pushparani – Crops raised : Zinnia, Bhendi, Amaranthus & other greens (DSCN 4439) – Applying TC to Drumstick (Moringa) tree

2008-06 – Village Thulukkan kulam – Mrs. Pushparani – Crops raised : Zinnia, Bhendi, Amaranthus & other greens (DSCN 4449) – Mrs. Pushparani applying TC to Brinjal (Egg Plant) raised in a small pot (Container Gardening). Asparagus and Alternanthera in the small containers.

2008-06 – Village Thulukkan kulam – Mrs. Pushparani – Crops raised : Zinnia, Bhendi, Amaranthus & other greens (DSCN 4464) – Proud owner of the garden with Zinnia, Marigold plants. In the rear end, some papaya trees.

2008-06 – Village Thulukkan kulam – Mrs. Pushparani – Crops raised : Zinnia, Bhendi, Amaranthus & other greens (DSCN 4477) – Little girl sitting in her TC-treated kitchen garden with Amaranthus greens.

2008-06 – SCAD KVK – Women SHG members – Test Plots showing healthy Bhendi (Okra) fruits – (DSCN 7690) – SCAD Anbu Illam cook is harvesting the Bhendi fruits (Abelmoschus esculentus).

2008-06 – SCAD KVK – Women SHG members – Test Plots showing healthy Bhendi (Okra) fruits – (DSCN 7692) – Healthy bhendi plants with long fruits.

2008-06 – SCAD KVK – Women SHG members – Test Plots showing healthy Bhendi (Okra) fruits – (DSCN 7695) – SCAD Anbu Illam cook in the TC-treated Bhendi garden

2008-06 – SCAD KVK – Women SHG members – Test Plots showing healthy Bhendi (Okra) fruits – (DSCN 7696) – Fresh and healthy bhendi fruits harvested from TC-treated bhendi garden.

2008-06 – SCAD KVK – Training for Kitchen gardens by KVK Staff Members – (DSCN 7712)


2008-06 – SCAD KVK – Training for Kitchen gardens by KVK Staff Members – Self Help Group of Women after training. -(DSCN 7713)


Effect of a new Indian organic fertilizer (Willem)

My Indian correspondent Yogesh PATEL has sent to me 5 kg of a new organic fertilizer he has developed. With my friends of the allotment gardens Slotenkouter in 9040 ST.AMANDSBERG (Belgium) we have set up some tests on different vegetables. In due time we will present a detailed report on the results. Today and with great pleasure, I can publish the first pictures showing the very positive effect on the growth of carrots. Please enjoy with us this remarkable success in one of the allotment gardens :


Edward VUEGHS in his nice allotment garden, showing proudly the effect of the PATEL- fertilizer on carrots.


Four rows of carrots sown the same day. A few weeks later the soil along the rows was treated from left to right as follows :

Row 1 and Row 2 (left) : carrots treated with a mixture of 4kg of PATEL-fertilizer per 80 kg of local garden soil.
Row 3 (center) : carrots untreated, growing in local, quite fertile garden soil.
Row 4 (right) : carrots treated with a mixture of 2 kg of PATEL-fertilizer per 80 kg of local garden soil.

See the remarkable difference in growth and this only 14 days after treatment.


Row 1 and Row 2 (left) : carrots treated with a mixture of 4kg of PATEL-fertilizer per 80 kg of local garden soil.
Row 3 (center) : carrots untreated, growing in local, quite fertile garden soil.
Row 4 (right) : carrots treated with a mixture of 2 kg of PATEL-fertilizer per 80 kg of local garden soil.

Still any doubts about the positive effect of PATEL’s fertilizer ?

In a couple of weeks, I will gladly inform you on the results of the carrot harvest by Edward VUEGHS. Stay tuned on the value of Yogesh PATEL’s organic fertilizer !


I am now wondering if this fertilizer can help us to combat drought and desertification. Therefore, I intend to use it in combination with our TerraCottem water and fertilizer stocking soil conditioner in some of the drylands, e.g. In the refugee camps in Algeria or in Tamil Nadu (India).