Vin’s Bokashi experiment in Florida. Perfectly. Simple.

Got a great mail the other day from Vin in Florida, “a Florida backyard gardener who loves feeding her garden soil”. She included a bunch of pictures showing the Bokashi experiment she’s been running the last few months. (Can’t help but envy all that green while we’ve just been looking out at nothing but white for months!) The really fun thing with this experiment (apart from the healthy worms and plants of course) is the simplicity of it all. Why make it complicated when you can make it easy? Way to go, Vin!! /Jenny

My Bokashi Experiment began in Oct 2012. Pics here taken Nov 8/12:

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This bucket is buried in a bed created by a concrete retaining wall.& I combine kitchen waste & garden leaf clippings in layers. Each time I put in kitchen waste (including paper napkins) I sprinkle bokashi bran. I call this my Garden Bucket. I use a potato masher as my push down tool. Notice (in the pic) above the bucket is a tomato plant and on the left bottom is a small onion shoot. On March 1, 2013:

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This the same bucket in the earlier pic of Nov 8th. I have not emptied it since starting as the level goes down very fast & of course no need to drain, etc. The plants around seem happy – tomato has borne nice big fruits (1 on lower stem right next to the bucket) and the onion has grown tremendously (I cut onion greens often to use in salads & soups).

Even the marigold, which I use as pest deterrent, seems to like the “food” here. So, since I have found this concept working for me, I have put more ‘bokashi buckets’ in my backyard. This is on a bed I am re-doing, incorporating some wood branches like hagelkultur, which will be for a combination of tomatoes, beans and vines… maybe squash.

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4” of topsoil & composted manure will be put over the branches but leaving the bin top accessible, so I can continue to add kitchen waste. I’ve also put 1 in a ground-patch, between 2 path pavers.

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Plants around have survived the Florida winter and seem healthy.  There is also a 10” papaya seedling about 4ft away from this path & I’m hoping (if it survives & grow to late spring) the roots will reach close enough to get some nutrient from this bucket.

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I’ve prepared a “spare” bin in another bed & I have put some earthworms around it. When this weekend’s chill front is over (hopefully the last 1 for 2013) I may plant some peppers and jicama around it.

How to make a soil factory!

Just had a query from someone in our facebook group looking for a blog I did ages ago about our “soil factory”. I couldn’t find it either (how do you just lose a blog entry??!!) so I posted up a few pictures in the facebook group with a quick description. For the sake of posterity here are the pics:

Just like any other raised bed, but reserved only for producing soil! Saves you thinking about where to dig down your next Bokashi bucket, just keep digging them down here and fill the wheelbarrow with good healthy soil when you need it. Add whatever else you have at hand, wood chips, straw, harvest leftovers. Not weeds! I generally cover mine with a big black tarp to keep seeds blowing in and preserve moisture. Breathes enough and helps warm the soil. You can do this in any shape or size, it doesn’t have to be this big!

btw we found out it’s easier to build these big boxes on a flat surface (driveway?) upside down then tip them right side up and carry them into place. It’s really hard to get them straight and nice if you build them on site.

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