I am planning to start a terrace garden and to generate compost for it. I found two sellers Seller1 and Seller2 in my city. Seller1 has "patented microbes" and Seller2 has microbes, saw dust, dry leaves and treated coconut husk to help in composting. The problem is that I'll have to purchase these microbes and extra composting material every month, and the cost seems much higher than what I'll be saving from the vegetables I cultivate.
Seller1 says that if I don't want to purchase the microbes every month, I could take half of the old compost and re-use the microbes, but I wouldn't be able to do that more than two cycles, and would need fresh microbes. Each handful of "patented" microbes costs Rs.300. (To compare that to your currency, a loaf of bread here costs Rs.30)
Seller2 has cheaper microbes at Rs.60, but also requires us to purchase sacks of dry leaves + saw dust + treated coconut husk for Rs.140.
Is there a simple, safe way for us to culture and grow these microbes ourselves (and not have to spend so much money for other raw materials needed for composting), instead of depending on what looks like a clear business strategy by these sellers? Is it really so necessary to purchase these microbes?
If I take the top soil from some land which has flourishing plants and use it in my flower pots, won't it already have the necessary microbes? If I water the soil regularly and provide sufficient shade, wont the microbes continue thriving such that I won't need to do any composting in the first place? If I ever need more microbes, couldn't I just get some fresh soil from that land again? The empty plot of land full of wild plants and weeds is just next to my house. If I throw organic kitchen waste there, won't the composting happen automatically, so that I won't have to buy any composting equipment or spend time on composting?
The cost kills the enthusiasm of doing composting for the sake of gardening.