Gardening the Bhutanese Way

Friday, February 28, 2014

An Experiment in Air

With the guidance provided by our Professor, Paratparao sir, a plant breeder; me and my friends Thukten Dolma and Duptho Wangmo of Final Year B.Sc.(Hons.) Horticulture conducted an experiment. Our motive was to find out the developmental and physiological changes associated with the root crops as it isn’t visible or evident, on account of the site of its development being concealed in the soil beneath. A brief summary of the methodology followed is as follows:

*      We made soil solution, filtered it using a funnel and filter paper. The filtrate (soil solution containing dissolved nutrients) was filled into a saline bottle with the help of a pipette. However, filling it with a syringe made the work much easier and faster. Then it was hung over the burette stand.

*      A bottle (a waste mineral water bottle) was cut from its neck and placed over the tripod in an inverted manner.
*      A field grown carrot plant in its initial root development stage was uprooted with all the roots intact, wrapped gently with a layer of cotton at its base. The root is allowed to hang freely via the bottle neck while the shoot remains above.
*      The solution was led to drip drop by drop in a manner similar to the patients being injected saline or glucose. The syringe tip was enclosed or placed in the cotton so as to ensure optimum absorption and uniform distribution of solution over the entire root surface.

The experiment wasn’t a success. The very next morning, we found the carrot leaves dropped abruptly down, with the leaves folded and wilted completely. The roots that lost its firmness and turgidity lay swinging in hopeless despair.

First experiment with Carrot(Top, from left to right: carrot seedling and soil solution)
(Bottom:Soil solution being filtered)
Assumption of the failure: The plant might not have been able to withstand transplantation shock as it was directly uprooted from the field and placed in the laboratory. The lack of proper physical support (soil) might have also been a factor that hindered its usual growth and development.

Lesson learnt from the failure: Experiments or many things may fail in life. But it should be borne in every individual’s mind that failures are the pillars of success and that every ‘No’ that we encounter in life is a step closer to the big ‘Yes’. So the nest thing we resorted to was raising the seedlings in situ (letting the seed to germinate in the laboratory) by placing it over moist cotton placed in Petri plates.
Our next attempt was to observe the development of maize seedling. The germinated maize seedling was transferred to the stand provided with the soil solution. Showered and nurtured by the gentle drips, the germinated maize seedling with radical was found to be adorned with the greenish plumule peeping its way up in a span of 24 hours.
The overall set up of the equipment (left)
Right: Maize and bottle gourd seeds placed in Petriplate for germination(top) and germinated maize seedlings.

It was so thrilling to witness the degree of curvature, the extent of elongation of stems, and the emergence and unfurling of lush leaves on a daily basis. The more luxuriant growth it put forth, the more enthusiastic and driven were we to render intensive care. A plant is a living entity, like anyone of us and an entity that emanates radiance of hope and ideologies.

Second experiment: Raising of maize seedlings.

A week of our absence from our hostel was counteracted by our luxuriant green plant drooping in gloom, the lush green hue wiped away by brown discoloration. To our melancholy, our much cared maize seedling gave its way unable to resist drought and hunger. This was attributed to the blockage of the syringe that supplied the soil solution by some sand particles. So a plant is like a baby that requires intensive and constant care. The moment they are left unattended is when their usual growth and development deteriorates.

Nevertheless, our quest to find something did not end with the failure of the second experiment either. Currently, we are working with the development of radish seedlings and we are hopeful that we will get to see the complete developmental stages of the plant, with particular reference to the root (tuber) development.

The experiment also ushered us with the knowledge that plants and any other high value crops can be raised with nutrient solution, be it vermiwash( solution prepared from vermin compost), solution prepared from farmyard manure and the like as a simple solution such as soil solution was supporting plant growth.
The result can be so rewarding with the use of Hoagland solution (solution for hydroponics), which encompasses all the essential nutrients for plant growth. However, the cost on the procurement of nutrients might pose a constraint in its wider acceptability and advancement.

The experiment was a hypothetical model of Aeroponics, science of growing plants in air or a system where roots are continuously or discontinuously kept in an environment saturated with fine drops of nutrient solution. It is a modification of or a leap forth of Hydroponics (the cultivation of plants in water enriched with Hoagland solution without soil).

This technique can restore the crop production which necessitates the use of land where we can resort for multi-storied vertical gardening. It can be a profitable venture and a sustainable approach in meeting the requirements of the ever increasing feeding population. This is an apt method which can do wonders where the availability of land holdings remains static despite the geometric progression in the human population.
Our experiment at the Exhibition hall, in commemorating the national Science Day on 28th February throughout India.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Encounter

For on her stroll, she found a boy,
And for sure, she knew he was a coy.
Each attempt of her to budge closer,
Was his effort to saunter a step further.
So consistent was she as a walker,
Had she not been dragged into being a dreamer.
For a moment she stood helpless,
For her move was nothing but worthless.
The thought of her being a loser,
Was counteracted by her being a brooder.
For she strolled for miles,
The rugged path she wished to be garnished with tiles.
The journey to grasp him seemed never ending,
Yet she dragged on with determination ever growing.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Nominee of the Liebster Blog Award

I was taken by surprise when my blog has been nominated for the Leibster Blog Award by Sangay Duba. I was totally oblivious of its existence until this very day. And it took me sometime to figure out what it actually is. I was able to glean the details on its motives and the rules and regulations on Google. And I finally took this step to tread the path of the Leibster Blog Award. I thank Sangay Duba for nominating and propelling me to take this exhilarating ride.

Q.1) Describe your blog in 3 words.
1)      Referential: It can be regarded as a reference, especially for horticultural students, where I post some topics related to the same.
2)      Reflective: A reflection of my thoughts, and a reflection on the proceedings of the worldly beings.
3)      Inspirational: It can be a source of inspiration, particularly with the non-fictional short stories which is triggered by the hardships that I have encountered in my Life’s Journey. I try to convey to the readers that the hardships we face in life are meant to equip us with the arms for greater success in life.

Q.2) Describe yourself in 3 words.
Determined:  I give 100% to every work that comes my way, no matter what kind of work it is. The positive aspect of this nature of mine is that I find myself enjoying what I am doing and every activity renders me with the triumph of happiness. I am determined enough not to let things go by easily. Once I have fixed my mind onto something, I cling to it with determination.
Good attitude: To have a good attitude towards life is one determining factor of one’s happiness and success ultimately. For me, I regard every person or incidence as a worthy one for each has a lesson to be taught in life.
Silent: I am not much of a talker. I like spending a few moments of silence everyday where I can reflect on my inner thoughts. I like being alone than mingling with others. But it doesn't mean that I don’t interact with others at all. I do but only when necessary, and on the issues which needs to be discussed.

Q.3) Who, what or where does your blogging inspiration come from?
The hardships I faced in life may I regard as the vital clog in the wheel of my blogging inspiration. In fact, it is the circumstances and the people around that propelled me to soar with the habit of blogging.

People say that I am funny; some say I am romantic after going through the posts in my blog. But the fact is situation makes me so. The circumstances and the fascinating people around me do layout the conditions congenial for the conception of the necessary ideas and theory in my brain. This subsequently drives me towards the spontaneous reproduction of the same after a period of sorting out the jumbled ideas.

Let me not forget to convey my gratitude to Mr. Langa Tenzin, a law student at the Nalsar University of Law for suggesting and inspiring me to start blogging. His posts was also a source of inspiration.
And my thank is due to my cousin sister, Singye Bidha (Singyer Kawaii Si-Chan) who maintains a blog on fashion and designing. Thank you for inspiring as well as helping me to create my blog.

Q.4) What kind of blogs do you read and follow?
I am not a choosy person and as such I don’t have any specifications over anything. Indeed, I plunge my leg into all kinds of bizarre circumstances in life for each one, be it good or bad, has a value to add to my life. And so is my stance with the blogging world. I read or at least exercise visual scanning over all kinds of posts, irrespective of the blogger or the content inside for each has a talent and peculiarity budded within, which of course is the showcase of their own master piece.

Q.5)  Create a new list of queries for the blogger to answer.
1) What is the motive behind your blogging? Or I would rephrase my question in this way, what do you actually intend to convey to the world through your blog posts?
2) What do you aspire yourself to be within the next five years?
3) In general, how do you view at your life? You may jot a few sentences on your attitude or perception about life.
4) Bhutan is regarded as the land of Gross National Happiness. How far does the philosophy comply with the real lives the Bhutanese people lead and what is your perception on this concept?
5) Can you usher the youngsters who would emerge as future bloggers with some inspirational lines?

Q.6) What time of day you write the best content for your blog?
To be frank, I don’t have any fixed routine in penning down my thoughts. I do as and when I feel like or an idea strikes my brain. However, as I ponder over and come to a realization, I declare morning hours as the best ones where I get an uninterrupted flow or what is called as the spontaneous generation of my ideas.

Q.7)  What is your favorite social media?
To be frank, I would regard this as the easiest question on the list. Beyond a tinge of doubt, I would ascribe Facebook as my favorite social media. It is a media where we can pour our emotions, love, confessions and the like. It is the channel that links every individual and a medium which allows easy access to all kind of information. An explanation beyond this is not needed as we are well aware and the lists may prolong in the form of beads innumerable.

My nominations for the prestigious Leibster Blog award are as follows;
1)      Sherab Tenzin’s blog. He is currently working at the Bhutan Telecom limited at Thimphu. He writes inspirational stories mostly based on his real life experiences.
2)      Sangay Cholden’s Random Thoughts by Sangay Duba, a final year Engineering student at the College of Science and Technology, Phuntsholing. The way in which he frames his sentences for stories and weaves poems is simply awesome.
3)      Langa Tenzin’s Blog adorned with multiplicity of talents; the expression of a writer, a poet, an artist, and a translator all blended in a single individual. He is pursuing law at Nalsar University of Law.
4)      My Open Diary, a blog by Sonam Phuntsho, who is working as a Teacher at the Ministry of education. The lines embedded in his diary are heart-thrilling.
5)      The Memoirs of Young Heart, pioneered by Jigme Tenzin, a B.Sc. Veterinary student at the College of Veterinary Science and A.H. His blog is a real depiction of the memoirs of a young heart ciphered beautifully in the form of poems and stories.
6)      Monu Tamang’s blog, The Abyss of Freedom, is one kind which showcases the passion as well as talent vested in writing.

I would kindly request my nominees to answer the aforesaid questions (Q.5).

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Karmic String

When the remnants of karmic string had us bound together,
As firmly and neatly as a knot tied together,
Don’t let it get slackened off by any external agents,
Neither let it get entangled in the hands of evil.

Together, let’s be woven into webs of intricate design,
A design that none can possess but all aspires for.
Let’s be sewn into yarn unshakable.
Together, let’s be the entity that fill up the fabric.

Let’s be but together to adorn anyone or everyone,
Let’s be washed, squeezed, dried and hung together,
Let’s be the textile that bestows protection and warmth to many,
Let’s be worn until we are frayed together,
Let’s be used together until the ultimate result is fringes,
Let’s be together the stuff in the waste bins if that’s our ultimate destiny.