Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Preserving Grains Using Neem Leaves(Indian Lilac)

Fresh Neem Leaves

Grains when kept for long time get infested with pests and thus get spoilt. To preserve them for long time instead of using the chemical preservatives available in market, it is advisable to use natural products. Neem is best naturally available pesticide, insecticide and germicide. Neem preserves the cereals and pulses (Rice ,wheat, any type of whole or broken pulses) without any side effect effect. So why use artificial preservatives for your grains when nature has provided you with natural preservative.

Material Required for Preserving  10 kg Grains:
  • 300-400 Neem Leaves
Fresh Neem Leaves
  • Thin cotton cloth (muslin cloth) 
Direction for Preserving Grains:
  • Pluck fresh green Neem leaves and shade dry them. (It will take 5-6 days to shade dry Neem leaves during winters and 2-3 days during summers)

Neem leaves being shade dried

Shade dried Neem Leaves
  • Keep approximately 100 dried leaves aside.
  • Crush rest of the leaves to coarse powder.
Shade dried and crushed Neem leaves
  • Make 5cm. x 5cm pouch of the cloth.
  • Fill the cloth with coarse powder of dried Neem leaves.
Neem leaves pouch being made
  • Stitch the open end of the pouch to seal it nicely.
  • Make 5-6 pouches for 10 kg of grain.
Dreid Neem leaves pouch for Preserving grains and clothes
  • Spread the dried Neem leaves kept aside on the bottom of the container and cover with cotton cloth or dry paper.
  • Fill 1/4 grain in the container.
  • Place two pouches at two corners of container on the grain and then fill half of the remaining grain in the container.
  • Keep the remaining two pouches at the other two corners of the container and fill rest of the grain.
  • Place the remaining two pouches on the top of the last layer of grain.
  • Close the lid of the container, the grains will remain pest free for almost a year.
  •  Do not make the pouches synthetic cloth or plastic sheet because the essential oils of Neem which has anti pesticide effect will not be able to permeate in the grain.
  • Do not dry under the sun because it will cause most of the essential oil to evaporate and the effectiveness of Neem will decrease.                                                              
Suggested Variations:
  • Instead of making pouches shade dried leaves can be simply mixed with the grains and stored. But this causes hassle in cleaning before use.

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