Category Archives: Bokashi community

Church + bokashi = food for people who need it.


(DNAinfo/Tuan Nguyen()

Just posted this on our facebook page but thought it was so inspiring I should post it here as well. A church in Harlem has taken their precious inner city land and made a farm out of it. They’re feeding their parishioners with healthy, home grown food from their new veggie patch. Just watch the film here, it’s done with love and compassion. Now this is what a church can really add to the world!

Because their land is polluted and hardly farming land (surprise!) they’ve built raised beds to grow their veggie beds. Probably the way to go regardless of what you have under your feet, it’s a much easier work height, lot less weeding, drains well and warms up easily. And looks beautiful.

They haven’t made a lot of fuss about it in the article but they are using Bokashi in the garden. Makes perfect sense really. I have no idea where they’re sourcing their food waste but the possibilities are endless when the whole project is part of a community-based program.

A lot of people are working on many fronts to start up urban growing projects, often on abandoned lots or in community parks. I’ve never seen a churchyard used in this way before and it’s obviously the perfect hand-in-hand solution. Hope we get to see a lot more of it!!

/Jenny

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120814/west-harlem/st-marys-urban-farm-reclaims-land-feed-west-harlem-parish

Community composting

Pedal to Petal, which uses bicycles with trailers to go around and pick up people's compost.

These guys are cool! Fed up with watching food and garden waste going to, well, waste, they started a pickup service. It’s called Pedal to Petal, and the whole idea is to help people that want to make sure their food scraps end up somewhere other than landfill.

Pedal to Petal is a cooperative, a group of enthusiasts that decided to made something happen and are getting out there and doing it. They provide local residents with a small bin for kitchen scraps. They then collect the bins by bicycle on a regular basis and compost them using a network of backyard composters.

Currently, they’re collecting from more than 160 households in their little corner of Canada.

“We’re carbon-neutral; arguably, carbon-negative,” says Matt Schultz, a student at the University of Victoria who runs the day-to-day operations of Pedal to Petal with Johnson.

“We’re delighted to see that more and more people no longer find putting compostable material into the landfill garbage stream acceptable,” Schultz says.

Pedal to Petal wants to generate jobs and grow food for low-income people in Victoria. The group gives its compost to gardens that donate food to the community, such as the Haultain Common, a boulevard garden in the Oaklands neighbourhood.

The article talks about the different methods of composting that can be used in an urban setting. They talk about Bokashi but haven’t yet tested the many ways it can work as part of an overall solution. Digging fermented Bokashi into the ground is the standard solution. For people living in apartments, a balcony or cellar “soil factory” can be ideal (see our blog here!), and can be done on an individual or collective basis. Bokashi also works really well incorporated into traditional composting, not only is it a nicer and healthier way of collecting the scraps indoors, it cuts down the frequency of collection needed and makes a hell of a difference to composting speed outdoors.

When it comes to greenhouse gases, traditional composting is not the hero you’d like to think. A lot of methane and co2 is generated from the rotting process and ideally we should be using more carbon neutral solutions that store the carbon. Bokashi scores a 10 on this one as the food-to-soil conversion is done with virtually all of the carbon preserved intact. Where it should be, in the soil and not in the air.

But ultimately, the first step is the big one; whatever form of composting or fermenting or whatnot you decide to use, just get stuck in and do it. Anything that diverts food and yard waste  from landfill and gets it back into the soil is a good thing. And a huge improvement on what we’re doing now.

Not to mention how much we’d all benefit from a little more good old-fashioned community spirit. Good on you, guys!

Read the Canadian article here!

Bokashi world: North Yorkshire

Photo: www.spkweb.org.uk

Bokashi is big in the UK, and really well supported by local councils throughout the country.

If you do a google search on bokashi +council +site:uk you’ll turn up a huge amount of hits; I got 1,730 references to what councils are doing in terms of Bokashi. And that’s in the UK alone.

North Yorkshire County Council is one of the many councils backing Bokashi. The council is subsidising Bokashi bins along with a couple of selected composters and wormery solutions. There’s also a great environmental challenge running in the area, the idea of course being to get people to really think about what they’re throwing out.

One of the woman taking part in the Challenge is Sue Adsett from North Yorkshire:

As part of the North Yorkshire-wide environmental makeover challenge What Not to Waste, Northallerton resident Sue Adsett has shown that a Bokashi bin, a small food recycling unit, can put her in the lead.

Sue chose the Bokashi bin, which ferments food waste, to recycle her food waste at home. Once fermented the waste is ready for home composting.

She said: “I love the bin, it’s small and neat and easy to use. It just goes to show you don’t need loads of sophisticated systems to handle food waste at home.”

Read about the Bokashi Challenge in North Yorkshire here!