Category: Composting

When municipalities compost, costs/taxes go up.

By , 2 August 2012 16:43

Municipal/Regional composting is a good policy but there is a cost:

From Suffolk, UK:

A lack of home composting cost Suffolk taxpayers around £5million last year, council bosses have revealed.

Residents are now being urged to start their own compost bins, heaps and wormeries in a bid to keep waste out of black and brown bins.

Food and garden waste left in brown bins made up a third of all Suffolk household waste in 2011 and cost Suffolk County Council £3.8 million to compost. Compostable waste dumped in black bins, which was then disposed of in landfill, cost a further £1.5m.

Now councillor Lisa Chambers, cabinet member for environment and property management, has urged residents to do their bit to lower the waste bill and improve their gardens.

Presenting a report, she said: “If just 1% of this material was home composted instead, the council would save £50,000 per year, and clearly if we were less successful at promoting home composting in Suffolk it would cost us dearly.” She added: “In my garden I have a compost bin and a wormery and I have put virtually nothing in my brown bin. I have the view that it’s my waste and I want to manage it.”

“As well as creating great free fertiliser for the garden, home composting helps towards achieving the council’s target of diverting as much waste from landfill as possible. This in turn helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Mrs Chambers said: “The biggest barrier in trying to get people to compost is getting them to understand how they can do it. It does not smell or encourage rodents.”

Craig Renton, waste advisor and master composter co-ordinator for SCC, said all eight of the county’s local authorities are signed up with the National Home Compost Framework under the Suffolk Waste Partnership.

He added: “This enables Suffolk residents to buy a basic compost bin from as little as £16 (less than half the RRP). Residents can access the range of items available (including wormeries, bokashi food digesting systems) via the dedicated Suffolk website provided through the national framework.”

Its your food waste. Keep and use it in the best way possible: in your own yard. If you can’t compost, find someone in your neighbourhood who would be willing to share their compost bin with you.  Compost Here is a good resource.

Great Day Bokashi available at Homesteader’s Emporium

By , 19 July 2012 08:33

Newly opened [July 13, 2012] Homesteader’s Emporium

will carry everything you need to get started on a variety of home self-sufficiency projects, like growing and preserving your own food, making cheese, keeping chickens, or making soap!

And bokashi too! Here is owner Rick Havlak with our bokashi buckets and bokashi.

Great Day Bokashi available at Homesteader's Emporium

Hours of operation:

Tuesday-Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Monday: Closed

Location

…a few blocks east of Main St. in the heart of Strathcona between Princess and Heatley.

649 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 1R2
Canada

Kat uses my bokashi in her own bokashi bucket.

By , 10 July 2012 15:12

Kat writes:

I read this post on Organic Gardening and was motivated to make my own bokashi bucket. It makes me pretty upset to be throwing the compostables in the garbage just because I live in an apartment building. I totally understand why there is no apartment composting yet – apartment dwellers use the anonymity to throw whatever they want in whatever recycling or garbage bin is the closest. I can’t imagine the nightmare of an apartment-sized compost bin.

Boyfriend went to the hardware store and got two lovely 5-gallon buckets and drilled the required holes in one. I got my bokashi bran from The Bokashi Man [my old blog/website – Al]. It’s that easy! When the bucket is full I will let it sit for a week then dump it in my sister’s compost.

There are many ways for people who live in apartments to compost in the city.  Compost Here is a way to connect people who want to compost with people who have compost bins.  Spread the word!

2009/10 Winter Farmers Market Schedule

By , 27 November 2009 09:38

Many people during the summer asked if I would be at Winter Farmers Market at the Wise Hall, so I decided to apply.

 

2009

December 5 – 10am – 2pm

December 12 – Holiday Market 10am – 6pm

Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive

2010

January 16

March 27

 

I am, of course, available at other times to meet with new and repeat customers.

 

There is also a coupon on p. 209 of the 2010

GreenZebra_Color-S

book [and p. 201 of the 2009 edition]

 

http://www.greenzebraguide.ca/GetHome.php

http://www.greenzebraguide.ca/AllListings.php

http://www.greenzebraguide.ca/Buy.php

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Bears and Bokashi

By , 3 June 2009 05:16

From the email:

T writes: Have you had any experience with the bears and the fermented compost? Are they attracted to it? I live in West Vancouver and would like to order some dry bokashi mix but was wondering about the bears when I go to bury the fermented food scraps.

All I can say with certainty is that the deeper you bury the fermented food scraps, less smell will percolate above ground. It is my opinion that bokashi compost does not smell like normal rotting food waste so it is less attractive to animals that may want to eat it.

A few years ago, I put a large quantity of bokashi prepared food waste on a raised garden bed and covered it with straw. Purposely, I left one corner exposed and waited to see what would happen. Wasps and flies were around but never landed on it.

Your own experience may vary. I hope this helps.

Al

[as this person did by some bokashi, I’ll be asking for updates]

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Bokashi and odour control

By , 20 May 2009 05:14

From the email:

From: Sue N
Date: Tue, May 19, 2009 at 7:09 PM
Subject: [Bokashi]
To: aapNO@SPAMgreatday.ca

Hi Al,

I save organic waste for a friend who has a community garden plot. As I live in very small studio apartment with no cross-ventilation, the odour can be fairly overpowering every time I lift the lid of the ice-cream pail containing the potential compost.

A friend gave me a sample of your [Bokashi] product, and it made an immediate difference to the strength (and quality) of the offensive smell.  I can now continue to save this material for my friend during the summer months, rather than stopping until the cold strikes again.

Good product!

Sue N

Thanks Sue. I really appreciate this kind of feedback.

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Office composting

By , 28 April 2009 23:49

From the email:

I got your site from one of your customers. I want to set up a
composting system on our deck here, but want to make sure that it doesn’t have flies, and that it works on a balcony.

We have a staff of about 60, so we produce a fair amount of compost.

What can you do to help set us up properly over here. Keep in mind, we are a non-profit.

A collection bucket in the kitchen can hold the food waste until it is full. At that point, it can be placed in 5 – 6 gallon plastic pail [HDPE 2] and bokashi sprinkled on top. This will start the fermentation process and keep the flies and smells down as more material is added. A 5 – 6 gallon pail will fill up in about 7 – 10 days. Bokashi can be added to the kitchen collection bucket as well.

When the 5 gallon bucket is full, it needs to sit for about 10 – 14 days to finish fermenting. At that point it can be added to a composting system for finishing.

The biggest challenge will be processing all the collected bokashi compost material. If you have the space, it can be done but it may work just as well to give some of the full buckets to your staff to process in their own compost bins at home. One of my customers, the AIBC office http://www.aibc.ca , does that now.

Here is a simple Do it Yourself compost bin http://www.yougrowgirl.com/garden/urbancomposting.php

This can be adapted to the size required.

Worm composting for large facilities is possible as well.

Here are some options:
1) in Vernon http://www.briteland.com/biobin.htm
2) in Kamloops http://www.allthingsorganic.com/Products/can-o-worms.asp
3) from Quebec http://www.woodwormfarms.com/index.php

I have one more option in the process of being developed that would be ideal for apartment size balconies. When it is ready, I will give it to you to test out.

All these systems are compatible with bokashi as an adjunct to normal composting. In a small urban space, odour and fruit fly reduction are important. Bokashi can assist with that.

Bokashi in Spain – YouTube

By , 14 October 2008 23:48

I appreciate how the developers here have simplified the complexity and made it as easy as possible for many people to use bokashi. It is a great adaptation which I will see if I can implement.

 

 

I'll be at the Vancouver Farmers Market this summer

By , 30 May 2008 13:58

It is official. I have 16 days at the Vancouver Farmers Market this year. Eight days each at Kitsilano & Riley Park. You can see a schedule on the right, but for the record, here are the days:

  • June 1 – Kitsilano
  • June 11 – Riley Park
  • June 15 – Kitsilano
  • June 25 – Riley Park
  • July 9 – Riley Park
  • July 20 – Kitsilano
  • July 23 – Riley Park
  • Aug 3 – Kitsilano
  • Aug 6 – Riley Park
  • Aug 20 – Riley Park
  • Aug 24 – Kitsilano
  • Sept 3 – Riley Park
  • Sept 17 – Riley Park
  • Sept 28 – Kitsilano
  • Oct 12 – Kitsilano
  • Oct 26 – Kitsilano

    This is a whole new marketing dynamic. Previous years, I parked my bicycle outside

    Bokashi Bike

    the market area, displayed my bokashi kits and arranged to meet with people later in the week. The inner cynic in me says that officials at YLFMS – who are all great people – let me have a booth to keep me from going there on the days that I’m not inside. I don’t mind at all!

    In the past month, I have acquired a tent for my booth, a banner, folding tables, decorative items for displaying my wares, new printed materials, arranged Car Co-op vehicle use etc. The biggest challenge is trying to determine  how much stock to bring. I don’t want to run out before the final bell goes. This week, I’m bringing it all!

    I already have commitments for orders this Sunday. That’s a nice feeling.

    So watch this space for updates. I can’t live blog my first day, but I’ll try to make notes as I go along and post it in the evening along with some pictures.

    One more thing: Letting me know in advance that you are coming to purchase my products on the market days would be greatly appreciated. That way, I can hold items aside for you until you arrive.

  • -30-

    If you are in the Vancouver network on Facebook you can join the Farmers Market group page here and their fan page here.

    I also have a fan page on Facebook: Great Day Bokashi

    Bokashi Question – Why am I using so much bokashi?

    By , 29 May 2008 06:32

    J. received a bokashi bucket as part of a corporate prize draw, so I did not have the opportunity to explain the system in advance or provide a small intro demonstration. My instruction sheet and information brochure are being changed to include some of the concerns raised.

    Edited for clarity:

    I need more bokashi. I am only 1 person using this system & started the composted at the end of March — so in less than 2 months I’ve used up the bag. I think used too much –but the reason why was because every time I opened the bucket to add more food scraps, I would find mold on the top of the food/enzyme pile AND all over the interior sides of the bucket.  So, I would try to scrape the sides & add more bokashi in order to cover the mold & aid digestion.

    I’m concerned that this system really does not break down the organic materials into compost. It really is in a very early state of decomposition and not appropriate for putting in my window planters (I’m an apt dweller). It appears that it only gets to a state of partially digested/rotted food. Is this correct?

    Thanks,

    J

    My reply:

    Thanks for your comments. I’ll answer them as best as I can. Using a 1Kg bag of bokashi in a two month period is within a normal range but for a single person, you are correct: it should last longer. Bokashi is very forgiving. As long as it has something to eat/grow on, it will continue to do its work.

    With regard to the mold, on Page 2 of the instruction sheet is says:

    The Signs Of A Successful Fermentation
    Smell: Well fermented food organics should have a smell similar to that of pickles or
    cider vinegar.

    Visual: Occasionally, particularly for longer fermentation periods a white cotton-like
    fungi growth may appear on the surface. This shows that a good fermentation
    process has occurred.

    The Signs That All Is Not Well*
    Smell: A strong rancid or rotten smell indicates a poor batch of compost.

    Visual: The presence black or blue-green fungi indicates that contamination has occurred
    and the process has not fermented but putrefied.

    Was your mold white or black? Did your food waste smell fermented or putrid?

    With regard to what is happening in the bucket, again, you are correct: the system does not break down the organic materials into "black gold" compost.

    It states this on Page 2 of the instruction sheet:

    The Composting Process
    The composting process is one of fermentation, which is like pickling
    onions in a jar. The organic food will not breakdown or decompose
    while it is in the bucket. So if you have a bucket that is fermenting
    with a pickling/vinegar type smell and looks the same when you put the
    food in the bucket, this is okay composting is still happening.

    On Page 4 it states that the finishing process is as follows:

    How To Use Your Biosa Bokashi Compost or What to do when the bucket is full

    In existing gardens
    Dig a hole/trench approximately 20-25 cms deep, add the fermented food organics and mix with some soil, then cover with the remaining soil. The FM fermented compost is acidic when first dug in but neutralises after 7-10 days. Bacteria in the soil and compost will start to break down the food and after about 2-4 weeks all the food will have decomposed. Alternatively you can add it to an existing compost bin.

    For people who live in apartments, there are different solutions possible and I offer the suggestion provided in this weblink:

    http://www.livingsoil.co.uk/learning/planters.html

    According to one of my clients, this has worked very well for him.

    I hope this is helpful for you J. The concerns you raised will be made more clear in my information brochures and instructions.

    Please contact me to get another bag of bokashi.

    Regards,

    Al

    *I did not include this section in my original reply.

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