Sunday, March 1, 2009

Preparing Amrut Jal and Amrut Mitti

Ingredients for Amrut Jal

[1] 1 liter cow dung
[2] 1 liter cow urine
[3] 50 gms black jaggery
4] 10 ltrs water
(substitute ingredient for black jaggery: 6 over ripe bananas or 2 glasses of plain sugar cane juice or 6 pieces of over ripe jackfruit or other over ripe sweet fruit that is may be locally available).
Mix all the above together and keep for 3 days. Stir the mixture 2 to 3 times in a day, clock wise and anti-clock wise. On 4th day, take one liter of this concentrate mixture and mix it with 10 liters of water.
This preparation is called Amrut Jal/Water.
Role of each ingredient of Amrut Jal/ Water
Cow dung
1 gm of cow dung contains crores of microbes. These multiply when fermented for three days and accelerate decomposition. The microbial activity is highest on 4th day, after which it starts declining. Hence the Amrut Jal should be used on 4th day to give best results.
Cow urine
Cow urine contains 24 nutrients. Just as salt gives taste to our food, cow urine makes the compost tasty for the microbes.
Addition of jaggery aids fermentation.

Step 2: Collecting top soil

What we call topsoil can be found below big trees or under the bushes, in nooks and corners of the path of flowing water. The top soil should be collected by scrapping (only1 cm) the layers of any unturned soil and never by digging. This topsoil is a necessary ingredient, because it contains essential minerals along with dormant forms of microbes. By using this topsoil with the bio mass (leaves) we are providing an atmosphere to activate the dormant microbes. The microbes will become active when we mix the topsoil with the moist biomass.
The quality of topsoil will differ from area to area, region to region. Some regions have sandy soil, some clay, and some loam.
If the soil in our region has too much clay we need to add 10% river sand in it to avoid hardening of compost with time. Similarly if the soil in our region has too much sand we need to add river silt or clay soil in it in order to have a proper structure of soil. The ideal soil can be prepared with a balanced mixture of sand and clay.

Step3 a: Collect and use Green bio mass.

Collect different kinds of green biomass from surrounding areas. Chop green parts of plants, leaves and let them dry.

After the leaves dry, soak them in Amrut Jal for 24 hours. By soaking it for 24 hours all the veins in the leaves branches will get saturated with this Amrut Jal. This Amrut Jal also provides microbes, which help to accelerate the decomposing process.

Now, on the ground put one layer of this soaked biomass and then one layer of topsoil.

Sprinkle Amrut Jal to moist the topsoil. Keep on alternating the layers, until a height of one foot is reached, i.e. about 15 to 20 layers.

Alternating the layers helps to increase the surface area. This accelerates the decomposing process. Heaps should be 3 ft broad, 1 ft high and of any desired length. (The quantity of biomass in the layer should be such that it equals the mineral part after complete decomposition.) . Every seven days till the heap. During this period keep the heap moist (not soggy) by sprinkling it with Amrut Jal.

Nursery soil / “Amrut Mitti” is ready in 30 days.

Step 3 b: Collecting and using dry bio mass

While using dry leaves for composting, we also need to add greens. The reason for this is that dry leaves only contain 30% of nutrition (elements), the rest 70% have already been transferred to the mother plant before falling from the tree. Hence to fulfill the requirement for the remaining 70% of nutrition, through experimentation, we have discovered that we can manage by greening the heap with different types of seeds.

Crush dry leaves. This breaks the waxy layer on the veins and ensures seeping of Amrut Jal in veins of leaves. Arrange layers of bio mass with top soil sprinkled in between layers as explained above.
After 15-20 layers add a layer of 2 inches soil.

Greening the Heap

Easily available local seeds (preferably a mixture of seed as detailed below) are to be collected and soaked in Amrut Jal for 8 hours. These should be then spread on a dry cloth overnight for sprouting.

These sprouted seeds are then broadcast on heaps as explained above providing the layer of 2" nursery soil or top soil on the heap (of biomass.)

The ratio is 10 grams per square foot. The seeds are then covered by soil. The layer of soil used should be double the size of the seeds. Cover the heap by 2 to 4 inches of mulch i.e. dry grass or dry leaves. Sprinkle Amrut Jal in order to maintain moisture levels continuously. Remove the top mulch after the seeds germinate. Sprinkle with Amrut Jal time to time to maintain the moisture of the heap and microbial activity.

After the first 21 days interval

After 21 days, the seeds would have sprouted and grown to some height. Harvest (CUT OFF) 25 % of the greens, without disturbing the roots. Allow one inch of the stem to remain on the heap at the time of harvesting. Through this process, we are harvesting tender leaves of the plant and they are to be used in the compost heap. These tender leaves provide the nutrients zinc, boron, phosphate, molybdenum.

After the second 21 days interval

Let the cut sapling also grow for another 21 days. Then, again cut off 25% of the growth, which will consist of matured leaves. Put these green cuttings on the compost heap. These provide the nutrients nitrogen, magnesium and potash.

After the third 21 days interval

Let this second time cut sapling, grow for another 21 days along with not pruned plants. On the 3rd 21st day i.e. the 63rd day, some plants would have started flowering. On this day remove all the plants by cutting them from stem close to the soil. Chop them up into 2 or 3 inch pieces and spread them out on the heap of compost. Leave for 3 to 4 days till they become dry. Immerse them in Amrut Jal and then mix them into the heap. Composted heap is to be kept for 30 more days. However after every 7 days it should be tilled. These provide the nutrients Calcium, Silica, Boron, Iron, Manganese.

Highlights of this Process

· At the flowering stage microbial activity near the feeder roots zone is at its peak. The microbes facilitate maximum nutrition to the plant. As plant is in the flowering stage it needs and is ready to receive all nutrition, so up rooting it at this stage along with attached soil, feeder roots and utilizing it to make the heap will facilitate growth of many different varieties of microbes in our heap.

· Our heap (soil) will be rich bacteria and nutrition. Having bacteria of different varieties at different stages is beneficial in the same manner as utilizing parts of plant at different stages to get maximum nutrition.

· When plant is in flowering stage it contains nectar and pollen and special hormones, it also has the vital energy at this stage at higher level as plant also wants to exist and entire system is in the reproduction stage so it creates a system of microbial sources which protect the plant.
Through the greening process we start our search for plant nutrients, from our soil, and the growing parts of the plants which harvest the various nutrients necessary to build up necessary volume of fertile nursery soil. It is not important whether plants grow vigorously or germinate and die or are suffering in keen competition. We can recycle this whole biomass to build up the limited requirement of soil.
We are in sense repeating nature’s grassland and pasture eco system evolution in our limited space. Unless we raise such greening we will be loosing our daily opportunity of harvesting sunlight that is otherwise lost forever the very night.

Properties of Amrut Mitti

· It will have proper CN ratio
· It will have 7 pH.
· It will have maximum water holding capacity
· It will be airy soil, which will have carbon content of 5%
· This soil will be called nursery soil or “Amrut Mitti” or compost.
· Microbial count will be highest.
· It will have a sweet smell as emerges with the first rainfall on the soil

Life is infused into the compost heap through addition of cow dung and ‘Amrut Jal’.
The tender leaves and the matured green leaves render the soil full of nutrition. The fiber of dried leaves and stems becomes the structure of the soil.

The procedure of building soil must be done only once in the lifetime of the farm. Maintaining a proper balance of the elements ensures that the soil will continue to be the ideal soil.

How do we maintain nutrition in the heap?

The compost heap is subject to both loss of volume as well as a loss of nutrients. By the following methods the nutrient level of the compost heap can be maintained:

1. Dry Mulching
2. Live mulching
3. Providing it with roots leaves and branches harvested from this heap.
4. Providing the heap with ash can compensate the loss of nutrients.

1. Dry Mulching:

There is a loss of volume of 30% of the compost heap annually due to the conversion of carbon into carbon dioxide because of the heat. Covering the heap with grass cuttings and dry leaves can control the loss of volume. This process is called “Mulching”.

2. Live mulching
Erosion of the compost heap can be minimized by “live mulching” by planting lentils, sesame, and mustard, maize and “ragi”.

3. Providing it with roots leaves and branches harvested from this heap.

The volume of the Compost Heap can also be maintained by providing with roots, leaves and branches from the plant material harvested from this heap.

4. Providing the heap with wood ash can compensate the loss of nutrients.

By drying the wood from the trees that are pruned in one's own compound and then burning them we can obtain this ash. This ash will replace all elements in the heap, which the plants have extracted from the soil.
Every three months, ash is to be provided to the compost heap, this will help overcome any deficiency of minerals and also help in maintain the pH of the soil.
Twenty-five grams of ash can be given per square foot at intervals of 100 days.

Pitfalls that one must Avoid while using this Technique

1. Shortcuts : A common shortcut is to mulch and sprinkle with Amrut Jal rather than making the Amrut Mitti. This helps to some extent by nourishing the white feeder roots. However as the soil in contact, with the roots is of poor quality, it does not provide all the nutrients to the growing plants resulting in a poor canopy and thus low production.

2. Using EM Technology instead of Amrut Jal: This must be purchased or ingredients must be purchased, so it involves reliance on others. The microbes in EM are not local microbes. Local microbes are more sustainable. Microbes in EM may not be of optimum quantity depending on the age of the purchased solution.

3. Drip irrigation: to keep the soil moist instead of watering with a garden pipe. This results in over-watering in one place causing water logging and rotting of the roots and leaching of the nutrients out of the topsoil. At the same time the surrounding areas have too little water, which leads to microbial death. Thus this soil will not flourish. There is no control on the water supply. Using garden pipe demands awareness of the person watering, to the amount of water he is supplying.

4. Using chemicals along with this soil. This technique is in fact retrogressive as both the fertilizers and pesticides kill the microbes, and thus reduce the quality of the soil.

5. Keeping the “Amrut Mitti’, unmulched and open to sunlight. When the microbes are exposed to the sun even for a short period, they die, resulting in a loss of all the efforts taken to build them up.

6. Using cow dung or vermicompost instead of preparing nursery soil.
Cows generally eat dry grass, which does not have the nutritive value of a variety of biomass. As the cow takes the energy from the grass, the cow dung is devoid of energy. Also usually the cow dung is stored in a pile, which results in anaerobic decomposition. When this is placed on the field, it absorbs oxygen from the soil resulting in less oxygen supply to the plant. If it rains before the complete decomposition takes place, nutrients are leached out. Often cow dung is used before it is properly decomposed. This does not provide proper nutrition to the plant. In the case of vermicompost, if this is done only with dry leaves, it will provide only 30 % of the nutrients compared to Amrut Mitti. Also by composting away from the fields, the enzymes released during decomposition, which are essential for the formation of the white feeder roots, are lost. When the compost is put on the fields the worms are unable to survive because of the higher temperatures. On the contrary the microbes are acclimatized to higher temperatures. Finally, the use of earthworms results in the loss of energy as the earthworm uses up a certain amount of energy for its own purposes.

7. Tilling.
Tilling the soil results in loss of moisture and microbes, and increases the erosion leading to a loss of 10 – 80 tonnes per hectare per annum, depending on the slope, wind and rainfall. It also results in a loss of organic carbon resulting in a loss of water holding capacity. These losses are observed all over India.

8. Green mulching on the heap.
During the decomposition of green biomass methane is produced which retards the growth of the white roots. For this reason green biomass can only be placed on top of dry biomass in a heap, by which it will dry before the decomposition begins.

9. Providing too much water.
This results in the rotting of the root system. It also leaches nutrients out of the soil.

10. Biomass used is of one or a few varieties only. This will not provide all the nutrients needed. The soil will be deficient.

Providing nutrition to the heap through a mixture of seeds

Nutrition can be provided to mother earth through the six “rasas” as described in Ayurveda. This can be achieved when a mixture of following seeds is added to green the heap.

The sweet taste is provided through Varyali or Saunf
The sour taste through Ambadi , Amli ,Tomato
The pungent taste through Chilli
The astringent taste through “Gawar”
The salty taste through Spinach, Rajagara
The bitter taste through Methi, Bitter gourd.


  1. Thank you very much for sharing this valuable information. We are getting into organic farming. This will really help

  2. hi, very interesting!thanks a lot! , but then I think this jal/mitti is to prepared in summer and then used in rainy season and winter , ...can I prepare it now?....supriya kaku

  3. can we use gazar ghaas (weed) for making biomass?As it is available in every season locally every where.Jinendra

  4. I want to start farming my ancestral land. Can I use the same method? I have NO idea how to farm and have no clue how to source information as well!!!

  5. Thanks for the post. My experiments with Amrut Mitti have started. Will soon post some pics. Btw. Methi is not Bitter Gourd, its Fenugreek.
    Thanks for the wonderful post and all the hard work in putting it together..

  6. Hi, Thanks for sharing this valuable information. Should the amrut jal be used up 4 days? can this prepared and stored and used to water the plants later also?

  7. You must use Amrut Jal from 4th day onwards. Microbial activity is at its peak on 4th day, after which it reduces.

    However we have stored concentrated Amrut jal in air tight containers for a week and and used it, when required in small quantities.

  8. hi. thanks for the usefull information.
    i have mixed all the amrut jal ingredients just an hour ago in a container. should i keep it covered or leave it open. its on my terrace which receives sunlight throughout the day.

  9. Nice post and very informative article clearly describing with the help of pictures.Thanks

    I think this Amrut jal is similar to the Organic manure Panchagavya prepared from Cow.But the preparation of Amrut Mitti is a new knowledge for me.Our ancestors were using lots of Organic Manures which add value to our nature and soil,but we not realized it and done chemical farming which polluted our earth and killed micro organisms in the soil.Now its time to realize what we have done in the past and promote the usage of Organic manure and methods utilized by our ancestors for the benefit of our future.I think this post is one step towards it.

  10. Can you tell me about Jeewaamrit mitti.

  11. And also can u plz tell how to use it in pots

  12. You can make the mitti in aerated containers by following same steps, and then plant in the same container.