Worm Farms, Bokashi Bins and Compost Bins all Working Together

Yes if space is not an issue, why not to have them all?  Sure if you live in an apartment or have limited space, you probably won’t want a compost bin (see my post on worm farms and bokashi bins working together).

Now we have more space, we can have compost bins. This however doesn’t mean it’s goodbye to the worm farm and bokashi bins.

How they work together?

*  Bones and meat can’t go into the worm farm (wormies won’t eat them) or not advisable for the compost bins (attracts the rodents) but into the bokashi bins is fine.

*  Food that wormies won’t eat when placed straight into their farm (protein, dairy, citrus and onions), will be consumed after it has been in a bokashi bin for a month or two.

*  A layer of worm castings (broken down organic waste) and even some worms, are great to add to compost bins.  The worms and micro organisms will help break down your organic waste.

* Worm tea (worm wee) and worm castings (worm’s ‘number twos’) are very helpful in giving plants liquid fertiliser (tea and castings need to be watered down).

image

Bottom layer of our worm farm, is collected monthly (worm tea) – watered down will make a great liquid fertiliser.

image

Middle layer of our worm farm is where the worms mainly live.  This is where I collect the castings and some worms, every couple of months for the compost bin.

image

Also I add worm castings straight on top of the garden before adding mulch.  You will notice that some egg shells have not been eaten by the worms and there are a couple of chicken bones which originally came from the bokashi bins – it’s all good.

In short I love how my worm farm,  bokashi bins and compost bins all work together in recycling our organic waste into fertiliser for the garden.

Advertisements

Worm Farms, Bokashi Bins, Compost and Worm Tunnels

Worm farms and bokashi bins were my chosen method for recycling our household kitchen organic waste, when living in the city.  (Check out the numerous posts on this subject – look through my post categories.)

image

Now that we have lots of space living in our semi rural home, I wanted to incorporate compost bins and worm tunnels to the system.

Compost Bins

image

I purchased two compost bins second hand from Ebay (only $30 for both of them together).  After reading extensively on composting,  I decided to keep it simple and jump straight in.

The first bin was positioned where a future garden would be established (in the sun).  Then I started filling it daily with our kitchen waste (everything except bones or meat – nothing to attract the rodents).  After a couple of days I added carbon matter (dead organic matter – dead brown leaves, shredded newspaper and even shredded egg cartons).  From here I could add another layer of kitchen organic waste over the next couple of days.  Follow this patten till the bin is full.  Allow the full bin to sit for weeks / months while everything inside breaks down to rich compost.  Hence the reason for buying two compost bins – while one is ‘sitting’, the other one is in the process of being filled with kitchen waste and carbon matter.

Worm Tunnels

image

image

A worm tunnel is just a worm farm dug into the ground.  Making one is so easy (limited only by your imagination).  I just used large old plastic garden pots.  Cut some holes on the sides and bottom,  then burried the pots directly into the garden bed.  Place a lid over them and hey presto you are done – you can now place your organic kitchen waste directly into the pots for your worms to eat and in return they will fertilise your garden.

Tips **

*  If your garden doesn’t already have worms you may need to add some to kick start the process.

* Don’t feed your worms citrus, protein, dairy or onions (they are a little fussy).

Bokashi Bin Working Together With Our Worm Farm

I have been working on this video for awhile now.  Any free moment I would do a little bit more to finish it (I have been really busy at work).

This is a very basic and simple illustraion on how we use our Bokashi bin, together with our worm farm to recycle our kicthen organic waste.

The only improvement I could suggest to our system is that we should have two Bokashi bins.  When one is full, we let it sit until the next one is full.  This will give the first bin a longer time to brake down the waste (ie giving the EM powder more time to work).  Then we would simply rotate the bins around.

Bookmark and Share

EM Bokashi update & dog poo

On the 12th of July 2008 I wrote a post titled ‘What to do with dog poo?’.

This post was about how we were going to recycle our dog poo (and with two dogs, believe me when I say we have a dog poo factory at our house).

Now moving ahead to the 19th of October 2008,  I  bought some new plants back home from the nursery.  These plants were replanted in larger pots with potting mix and the dog poo that had EM Bokashi sprinkled on it (again read the post ‘What to do with dog poo’ for more info).

 

Here are photographs I took on that day:

Receycling dog poo with EM Bokashi powder

 

 

Today over four months along, I took another photograph of that same plant:

 

 Plant Growth with EM Bokashi powder and dog poo

 

 

 

Wow our garden pot plants love the dog poo.  As the soil level of pot plants need to be replenished, we top up with a mixture of potting mix and dog poo (sprikled with EM Bokashi powder).

 

For more help or advice with EM Bokashi powder or Bokashi bins have a look at Bokashi composting in Australia’s blog.


Bookmark and Share

Computer Wows Won’t Keep Me Down

Sorry for my little absence.  We were having some internet and computer issues at work.  Even though I have other forms of internet access like my black berry, the extra work curriculum; like writing blogs was difficult.  For me it felt like I had fallen off the face of the internet world i.e. two weeks without checking facebook, blogs etc is a very long time!

 

Just because two weeks I wasn’t here in this space in person, I was here however in spirit (if you know what I mean).

 

Here is what I have been doing on my green journey these last two weeks.

 

1       Given away to ‘Free Cycle’ large display frames, a modern book shelf, photography books, computer stuff and heaps of bits and pieces.  Just stuff we don’t need anymore and though we could have sold through Ebay we couldn’t be bothered.  Giving away stuff is far more rewarding than selling through Ebay and far better than throwing to landfill!

 

2       Went to Reuse Garbage Centre in Marrickville Sydney and bought some 2nd hand bricks to put under our large outdoor garden pot plants.  This way our dogs can’t eat the plants anymore.  In browsing around I also bought some stuff for the office and home.

 

3       Dropped by an opt shop and bought a little bookshelf that fits perfectly in our bathroom area.  I plan to sand the wood down then give it a fresh coat of paint.  I have been looking for something that will fit this small space in the bathroom.  The shelf cost me $15 2nd hand but a new one that I priced was around $187.  Buy 2nd hand saves our money and the environment.

 

4       I have always wanted a slow cooker.  Instead of buying a new one, I jumped onto Ebay and bought one that had only been used three times for only $20.50.

 

5       Completed my grocery shopping list of companies that are Australian owned and make products that are Australian made.  Buy Australian owned and made helps Australia’s economy, our framers (who are doing it tough) and the environment (less shipping emissions).

 

6       Found out that KR Castlemaine produces a range of free range bacon.  My husband and I have gone without for months since I wrote the post about Lucy.  Now that I have found Australian free range bacon, we can enjoy our bacon again (every now and then).

 

7       Placing all kitchen household scraps now in our Bokashi bin.  Soon will be adding this to our worm farm.  I will let you know how this goes.

 

8       My birthday is in two weeks time.  As my husband says I am now officially the hardest person to buy for, we went shopping for a really good vegetarian cook book (I know……. but it is all I really wanted).

 

 

I have to say that I am loving this green journey of mine!


Bookmark and Share

Why is dog poo so interesting?

If you take a sneak peak at the statistics of each individual post on my website you will discover something a little strange.

 

The overall top posts in regards to how many hits (different from the daily top posts which I display on the left hand side) are all to do with dog poo!  Funny hey?!?

 

It is been awhile so here is an update on our household dog poo and what we do to recycle it.

 

Currently I am scoping up the poo and placing inside a bucket with a lid.  I do this daily then sprinkle ‘EM Bokashi’ over the top (about a handful).  For more information on why I am doing this please read ‘what to do with dog poo’ post.

 

Since I have been doing this we have noticed that there is no really bad smell in the bucket.  The previous bad smell has been replaced with a vinaigrette type fragrance.  The bucket is kept outside which used to attracted lots of flies (even with the lid on) but now we are adding ‘EM Bokashi’ the files are not flying around the bucket anymore.

 

Very soon I plan to burry the dog waste in the large plant pots around our home.

 

As regular readers will know, we live in the inner city of Sydney.  We are lucky to have a reasonably large back courtyard (no grass) where the dogs are kept.  This means we are able to have large pots.  But what if you live in a unit with no real option of burring dog waste?

 

I think I have finally come up with a solution (feel free to judge my thinking).  Try scoping up the doggie poo in those biodegradable doggie bags then sprinkle ‘EM Bokashi’ over the poop. 

 

Then tie the bag up tight so no air can get in, which will make it an anaerobic brake down process (without air).  Apparently ‘EM Bokashi’ neutralises the methane and hence is not emitted into the atmosphere if brake down is anaerobic

 

You then could burry the bags in a family or friend neighbour’s yard.  Or if have no other option then you could put into the garbage bin (because you will not be adding to the landfill methane problem).

 

I am really interested to know my readers thoughts on this one.  J

 

 


Bookmark and Share

What to do with dog poo?

It has been interesting to view the statistics on each post.  By the far the most popular post has been Doggie Poo Loo’.

 

As a recap on this post, I decided that it would not be the best option to add our dog poo to our worm farm.  So we have been scoping it up and placing in a bucket with a lid and then once a week burring it in the garden.

 

I have read so many blogs and websites on this issue. I was concerned and confused with the suggestion that burring dog poo in your garden (what we were doing) is better than placing the waste straight into your garbage bin to be taken to landfill.  Isn’t both processes anaerobic (without air) brake down and this produces methane?  We know methane is a greenhouse gas.

 

Often we can feel better about the environment knowing we are doing something but I struggled with the idea that I was just creating my own little personal methane producing landfill at home.

 

So this is what I have decided to do now:

 

I will continue to scop the dog poo up into a bucket with a lid as before but now will sprinkle EM Bokashi powder over the waste each time I add new dog waste.  Then burry the dog poo when the bucket is full.

 

What is EM Bokashi?

 

“EM Bokashi is a pleasant smelling product made using a combination of sawdust and bran that has been infused with Effective Micro-organisms (EM). EM Bokashi has traditionally been used to increase the microbial diversity and activity in soils and to supply nutrients to plants.” *

 

Why do I think adding EM Bokashi over dog waste is better?

 

1)       Apparently EM Bokashi neutralises the methane and hence is not emitted into the atmosphere.

2)       Burying waste next to plants without EM will mean the waste will produce methane which apparently can harm or kill your plants.

3)       Waste brake down with EM is apparently quicker.

 

From my current understanding, using EM will mean that our dog waste will no longer create methane when it brakes down and hence I will no longer have a personal landfill at home.

 

I believe this will be a better way of dealing with dog poo than what I was currently doing.

 

* Resource ‘Bokashi Composting Australia’

 

 

 

 


Bookmark and Share