2017 - Sampaya House, Talalla, Sri Lanka
Subpod's Andrew Hayim De Vries and Peter Howard travelled to Sri Lanka in mid 2017, and spent over 6 weeks in at the widely renowned Talalla Retreat, on the southern coast, in the tropical Sampaya House area in Talalla.
Working closely with the locals and staff at Talalla, Andrew and Peter designed and built a fully functioning and sustainable organic waste processing plant, to manage the resort's food and bio waste. The setup includes a large format Garden Ship with prototype Subpod Tropic composting units, a 'Worm Farm Hotel', a custom made biochar kiln, and waste management bays.
This is an ongoing collaborative project, which has allowed us to educate and directly empower locals with a new set of skills, allowing the resort and local area to become more ecologically aware and sustainable.
This system converts two waste streams to a single high value soil amendment: the compost worms take the kitchen waste input and loads the biochar generated from green waste with bio available minerals and diverse microbial flora.
When added to soil, sustainability is assured due to the 100 year plus persistence of the biochar which shelters the microbes and releases the minerals as needed. New plant biomass minerals are re-bound to the biochar with each cycle of annual plant growth and decay.
In fewer words: the worms turn kitchen waste into high grade fertiliser and the biochar is a durable substrate to hold the fertiliser minerals and house the microbes for hundreds of cycles during its lifespan in the soil.