A great way to convert smelly scraps into odourless fertilizer
Bokashi is a wonderful step in the composting process but my mind is often full and I forget things…
Spring is the time to get the fertilizer onto the garden.
Shhhh… We’re hunting for Lactic Acid Bacteria… via Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BoiKc23AD_g/
After a couple of months sitting forgotten and neglected in the weather, our Bokashi bin lid got several cracks in it. That’s a bit of a disaster for the microbes that do the work for us, they’re anaerobic and don’t like fresh air and sunlight (they’re the teenagers of the microbes world). The result is usually a green mild, such as the one you can see in the picture below. Seeing this means one thing – too much oxygen! With Bokashi composting, you’ll often see a fine white mold on the surface of the scraps you are composting. This is normal band it’s one of the species in the Bokashi ecology. Green mold is an unwanted invader. So, what to do about it? ‘Bokashi it’ is my answer. Cover it with more scraps and a squirt of Bokashi liquid and it will be pickled along with the rest of the organic material. Cutting off the oxygen by putting more scraps
Compost teas are easy to make and simple to apply. They are really just a brew of nutritious organic materials that are diluted and either sprayed as foliar sprays or added to the soil at the root zone. To make them extra potent, a Compost Tea Brewer can continuously mix the ingredients by bubbling air through the solution. This also gives a boost to the beneficial microbes that will break down the components of the tea into forms that are more accessible to the plants. It helps reduce the time required to make the tea drastically. Any organic material that can be added to a compost heap can be used. Here’s a few of my favourite ingredients – Worm castings Nettles Yarrow Comfrey leaves Chicken poo Molasses Bokashi liquid (from the bottom of the Bokashi bin, not the stuff you spray onto the veggie scraps) Dolomite All of these are well known composting ingredients (except, maybe the Bokashi liquid).
What’s that golden, bubbly liquid in the pic? It’s week old urine, thats what! Yuck! You may well say, but its been modified by the addition of billions of bacteria that have fermented it over the last week. Now, it has only a sweet smell and tiny bubbles. No, I havent tasted it. Someone posted a link on Facebook a while back about fermenting urine and I thought I’d give it a go using my own and some of the Bokashi liquid that I make. I’m not sure what super powers it has, but I’m working on the theory that fermentation improves our food and our compost, so why can’t it improve our bodily wastes in some way. I’m also making the wild assumption that the fermenting bacteria have out competed any nasties that might have come about through normal aerobic fermentation of the urine. One of these days, I’m going to have to get a decent microscope! Anyone got
The last Bokashi dog poo digester was full yesterday, It is time to pull up the first and see if our theory works. The good new is that it does! Even over winter, the action of anaerobic bacteria, followed by worms and other soil critters, turned a 20 litre bucket of dog poo and Bokashi bran into about half a bucket of good stuff. No smell, no yucky liquids, just crumbly goodness! As a general precaution, I wouldn’t sprinkle it on our annual vegetables. It’s source material is poo, after all and there are many variables to consider: soil temperature, variations in bacteria on the bran, time, composition of the dig poo etc. I think its best to either bury it beneath perennials or put it through a second stage of composting such as worms (who just love eating all the microbes,) or a hot, aerobic compost pile.