From This ………….
Dedicating this mini series to Patti Moore Wilson of Wednesday’s Child
Part 4.2 – Alternative Composting
Part 5 – How To
Part 4 – 2 Is going to be looking at Alternative Composting and Fertilisers/Teas
Yesterday we looked at Vermicomposting as in producing a compost end product via worm farming. We briefly touched on the ability to break down animal feces and to be able to turn that into a compost product as well. Today we will be looking into Bokashi and organic waste management. Patti in one of her comments wanted to know if ‘dog poop’ could be added to a heap? Well yes it can and no it can’t, it’s not a product you want to be be using with the likes of vegetable gardening but you can use it for flowers and the such like.
“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
So what is Bokashi composting? Well unlike an open air compost heap utilising the properties of aerobic methods [letting air in], bokashi concentrates upon anaerobic methods, as in NOT letting air in. It can be fed meat and dairy products as well as other kitchen wastes. Bokashi’s end product is not specifically a compost it is more of a soil builder as in it enriches the soil. The end product is a fermented product that is best dug into the soil or even added to an existing compost heap for further breakdown. The tea of course is a different thing altogether.
Unlike worm farming, which let’s be honest not many people want a worm farm inside the house, bokashi composting can be inside. There are no potentially escaping worms and no way of attracting predatory vermin like rats and mice into the heap.
For families looking to actively engage in a composting process that doesn’t take up a great deal of space or their time. Bokashi may well indeed be the answer sought. It will take into the bin the smelliest of kitchen scraps such as the likes of fish skins and heads, meaty wastes and even soiled dairy products, rotten fruit and vegetables without the hint of a complaint.
Bokashi composting is a very different route to other ways of basically decomposing waste materials down.
The word itself – Bokashi – is Japanese and means ‘fermented organic matter’. It’s method is a layering strategy in so far as layers of the usual kitchen scraps, but also meat and dairy waste products and it is mixed with a special bokashi inoculant ingredient and held in a specific air tight bucket with lid and tap at the bottom for draining off the liquids. Failure to drain off the liquids is very similiar to not draining off worm teas, it results in a disgusting odour. But this tea can be used as an active fertiliser for your house plants.
This inoculant mostly comprises wheat germ or bran, sawdust, molasses and effective microorganisms. It is these organisms that feed off the bran and or germ and the molasses. These organisms are the same as l discussed much earlier that live in soils and compost heaps and l referred to them as compost culture.
Now is bokashi the answer to your dreams?
Well it certainly has more advantages than disadvantages …..
It will allow for the inclusions of meat, fish and dairy products which conventional composting methods advise against.
It is an ideal method for those wanting to compost but don’t have the space required for a more open to air composter.
The fermented product is a nutrient rich plant food and soil conditioner. But also, is a great food for worm farming.
Bokashi tea is also an excellent plant fertiliser.
It can produce the end product quicker than most other more conventional methods.
The end product – Fermented organic mixture is NOT a traditional compost.
Bokashi farming requires a very specific bin design.
You can buy bokashi kits online which will help you get started…..but you can also make your own.
Check out the links below …
Organic Waste Management
Right dealing directly with Patti’s question about dog poop composting … can it be done?
Yes it can … not in conventional open heap compost piles because dogs are carnivores, and not in Bokashi farming methods, although l have mentioned you could worm farm compost it down in a totally seperate bin to your food composting worm farm.
Dog poop should be composted down, as it would mean it wasn’t added to the sewer system or landfill sites which is already overwhelmed by the sheer volume of waste. Years ago it was suggested that dog crap could not be composted, but the reality is that it can as well can be feline biodegradable litter.
I have spoken to people, many of them dog owners who say dog mess should not be domestically composted and l completely disagree with this. If there is a safe way to organically break it down and use it then why should we not? When stool dog, cat or even human is composted correctly it can and does add organic nutrients to the soils.
As said you can decompose dog and cat feces with worms or you could follow this link here which is simple and very informative.
In Part 5 we will look at How to actually make a compost heap.
……………… To This!
Tomorrow Part 5