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Pongemia Flowers

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Pongemia tree is called Honge in Kannada and Pongam in Tamizh Nature is full of sense! All we need to do is open our minds to the knowledge behind every small thing that happens naturally. Everything that happens in nature is structured like the perfect timing of the Pongemia tree which showers the streets with its beautiful flowers to make a carpet of flowers. What is so great about this?

You may ask.. Here’s why.
Just before summer, most trees shed all their leaves, streets are full of fallen leaves and municipal workers are tirelessly sweeping them to keep the streets clean for us. Most of us know that dry leaves are a rich source of carbon which is of paramount importance to the soil. Plants grow using the carbon in the soil. Farmers and gardeners know that just Carbon isn’t enough for plant growth. Nitrogen is vital to plants as it is the main component of Chlorophyll in plants. Chlorophyll is what makes plants synthesize light and make food for
themselves. To put it very simply, No nitrogen means no Chlorophyll which means no plant life. The perfect balance between carbon and nitrogen in the soil is vital to the survival of plants which automatically means it is most vital to us as we breathe oxygen produced by plants... Enough of science now!
Here is where it gets interesting!

The Pongemia flowers are a rich source of Nitrogen. Just after trees shed all the carbon rich dry leaves the Pongemia trees grow fresh leaves and in a matter of days produce these nitrogen rich flowers which fall at night! That’s nature giving us two perfect ingredients for rich organic compost! And what do we clueless souls do with them? The leaves are criminally carted off to landfills or even worse burnt polluting the air and soil severely and the lovely Pongemia leaves are swept and thrown as waste. All we need to do is pile dry leaves in pits or leaf composting units and add these flowers to them. In a matter of months, this pile transforms into rich manure ready to enhance the soil with rich minerals to grow whatever you want! Isn’t that magical?

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It’s summer now and these beautiful flowers are in abundance everywhere, all you need to do is combine these flowers and dry leaves and let them turn into black gold in front of your eyes.
Communities can identify spaces where leaves can be stored and composted this way. Parks can have designated places for the same.
Nature hands out bounties in all forms, we need to take care of these precious gifts and use them.
Summer is the time when children have holidays and have a lot of time to spare, they can easily take this up as a fun summer project, collect dry leaves and Pongemia flowers to make a rich compost and use it in community spaces. The flowers need to be collected early before they dry up to maximize their benefits. Many organic farmers wait for these precious flowers to fall, promptly collect them and add them to their dry leaf pile to enhance their compost.

Research has shown that compost produced using Pongemia flowers have resulted in a higher yield in many plants. Pongemia oil has various uses and benefits in Ayurveda. So next time you see these lovely flowers, don’t let them be swept away. Collect them, Mix them with dry leaves and make your own compost and grow chemical free, organic veggies. There’s no waste in nature! We just need to understand the sense and live accordingly... It is
high time we wake up to our wasteful lifestyles and adopt more organic ways of living.

What are you waiting for? Go grab these beautiful flowers and witness the magic of nature first hand...

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