Tag Archives: bokashi experiment

Bokashi gardening in Edmonton

The good news is it’s thawed in Edmonton! As it has here (even if we got some snow this week!) The apple blossoms are just about to spring and life is good. Again.

Remember the Bokashi project that Mike in Edmonton is running? Here’s an update from one of the test group. Thumbs up it seems.

This little guy is doing great, he’s clearly in charge of sprinkling on the bokashi bran each day into the bucket. Anyhow, if you’re curious, have a read and see how the project is progressing.

Another lovely Canadian with a mission is Desi in Edmonton. Here’s her latest bokashi post (she’s done a few good ones on the subject). Now we’re just waiting to hear the latest from Edmonton now that life has once again turned green there as it has there. So Desi, how’s things in your bokashi garden?!

And Mike, the guy behind it all and rather an interesting blog. Here’s his latest update with follow-up from one of the other members of the test squad, Cara. This is a really nice way of cranking up awareness, no preconceived ideas, no flogging of stuff, no heavy scientific stuff, just some nice friendly kitchen floor experiments. I like it!

Bokashi in a basket

I’m always on the lookout for new ways of getting Bokashi to work in the garden. Surprisingly, this turned out to be one of the better!

I’ve had a couple of cane baskets kicking around for a while, rather bottomless and sad. So a couple of months ago I plonked them straight down between a couple of rhododendrons in a bed that could need some tender loving care. Tipped in a bucket of Bokashi and left the worms and microbes to it.

Well, they did a great job. The handy thing about the basket being bottomless is that I could just pick it up and move it to a new spot a bit further along. A lovely heap of healthy soil came tumbling out the bottom when I lifted the basket and it was just to spread it out into the strategic spots under the neighbouring plants.

Does it get any easier than this?

A couple of things I did this time round:

– lined the basket with newspaper to help it get started. Second time round I’m doing it without, I suspect it won’t make a huge difference either way.

– put a couple of papers on top for the same reason, topped with a squash purely for decoration. This time round I just topped it with a heap of old leaves which I’m sure will work fine.

– I could have mixed the Bokashi with leaves (in the wheelbarrow for example) before tipping it in. That would have probably speeded up the process. But to be honest I wasn’t in any hurry for the process to run its course. And if there’s an easy way and a hard way of doing things why take the hard way…?

So how long did it take? I have to admit I just left it for a couple of months without checking so I don’t know. The end result was fine. But like all Bokashi how long it takes in your garden will depend on where you live and what weather you have. All I can say is that we’re on the slow end of the scale here in Sweden when it comes to everything temperature-related. And I was more than happy with the outcome.

So keep your eyes out for junk baskets!!! And let us know how you get on!

A kindred soul in the Bokashi world

You get into a lot of interesting conversations when you bring up the subject of Bokashi. I have to admit I often feel like a bit of a nerd, but the subject of taking care of our soil and our waste and our gardens is relevant as hell so often I just dive on in anyway. Sometimes you end up in a long and philosophical discussion on the environment, other times you end up with a very, very blank look to deal with.

There’s a woman in Austin, Texas who is experimenting in every way you can think of with Bokashi, worms, compost and apartment gardening — all with a great spirit of curiosity.

But on the subject of blank looks she describes it perfectly — have a read of it here, it’s quite funny!:

“Go on,” my friend said, “ask her.” My friend’s friend rolled his eyes but obediently asked me what I’m doing with all my buckets.

“…Bokashi? What’s that?”

“Two-stage composting,” I answered.

He nodded, said that he didn’t garden, and the conversation moved on.

Argh!

The whole idea of running a soil factory at home is interesting.

You can reach a committed gardener easily — fellow composters are quick to recognise a kindred spirit. But often they think they’ve got it sorted, nothing to be gained by trying something new. “Suburban gardeners” often have another response, they love their gardens to bits, but that whole business of soil is a bit of a mystery. Too hard, too messy, too complicated — can’t you just buy something in a bag? So some buy into the idea of Bokashi — a back garden soil factory — while many don’t dare.

Then there are many dedicated green people you come across, they understand immediately we can’t carry on the way we’re going. Some jump on the idea immediately of getting a practical solution to an everyday problem, something they can do themselves. Easily. Others back off a bit, sometimes the theory is more comfortable than the practice.

Then you have the people who just don’t get it. Those who are worried about what the neighbours might think, are afraid it might smell, that they don’t know anyone else doing it, that actually it should be someone elses problem to take care of their rubbish. My only consolation is that times will change — ARE CHANGING! — and the world is slowly but surely moving forward in this any so many other areas. It wasn’t that long ago we wouldn’t have dreamed of sorting our plastic for recycling, now its everyday life (at least here in Sweden).

So how do we converts convince the unconvinced? I don’t know. But it’s worth keeping on trying!