Facts about Composting
ive: Compost is a living thing. The microbes, fungi, bacteria and worms all help to break the material down to usable products for the plants. Don’t put in things that will damage these microbes.
iversity: Compost is like a cake, you need different ingredients to make it work well. You can compost anything that was alive once. In a cake some things are needed in large amounts others in smaller. As a guide use 5 times the amount (volume) of carbon to nitrogen rich material (list of examples below).
5 of these items below
|Nitrogen (Greens) To 1 of these items
|Dry leaves Straw
Dry grass and pruning's Sticks
Newspaper, shredded paper, junk mail Cotton undies!
Food scraps (closed bin) Coffee grounds
Green grass clippings Hair, skin, feathers Weeds
ir: Compost gets a bad smell when there is insufficient air and anaerobic bacteria can thrive. Add sticks, twigs and material that will keep the air in. Look at a compost turner or fork to turn it over ever couple of weeks if necessary.
oisture: Like all good cakes compost needs water but not too much, Put rinsing water in the bucket of scraps and add to the compost. Compost is ready when it looks like loose soil.
If you follow the steps of ADAM
you will produce good compost.
To improve compost
Add a sprinkle of rock dust over compost near the top to add vital minerals. This can be purchased from most garden centers.
When ready mix good handfuls of “clumping kitty litter” in the compost. It’s clay and helps to hold in water.
Only put food scraps in a closed bin system. In an open pile it attracts flies and vermin.
"Smelly” Too much moisture “nitrogen” products – put in more leaves, sticks and straw – mix to add air.
“Too dry – won’t breakdown” – add water. Always place compost bin close to water supply.
“Cockroaches everywhere” – always bury a compost bin at least 20cm into the ground to stop mice, cockroaches etc. Never put food scraps on an ‘open’ compost pile.
“Taking ages to breakdown” – check water, add a bit more “nitrogen” (manure, coffee, food scraps, green grass, and fresh weeds).
“Maggots!” – probably coming from meat or dairy. Cover them with dirt and leave compost unopened for 2 weeks. They will die and become compost!
“When is it ready?” – when it looks like loose soil and is not hot.
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Bokashi Bucket Kitchen Compost
What is Bokashi?
Bokashi is a method of composting. It uses a process called anaerobic fermentation. Bokashi is usually made with molasses, water, effective microorganisms (EM) and wheat bran. The EM are natural lactic acid bacteria, yeast, and phototrophic bacteria that act as a microbe community within the kitchen scraps, fermenting and accelerating breakdown of the organic matter.
This indoor composting system uses a airtight container that is filled with Bokashi EM mix. You then place layers of kitchen and food scraps the layer with the EM mix. This will then break down in the bin and can be either feed in small amounts to a worm farm, or added into your outdoor compost bins.
The Eco Bokashi Bucket (or Bokashi bin) uses beneficial microbes to FERMENT organic waste, rather than compost it. The end result is a fermented (or pickled) mass of waste that can go straight into the soil. There’s no need to compost the material, AND it doesn’t smell bad if enough mixture is added!
Things you need to know
How much Eco Bokashi do I use?
Just a light sprinkle over the top of the waste in the bucket. As long as the surface area is covered, that is enough. The 1kg bag of Eco Bokashi should last the average household about 3 – 4 weeks.
Are the beneficial microbes safe?
The types of microbes used are those already found in many types of food, including cheeses, wines and yoghurts, and all produced right here in Australia.
How long will it take to fill the bucket?
Most households will take about 3 to 4 weeks to fill the bucket, after which time the contents should be fully fermented.
How much does it cost to run?
Refiller packs of Eco Bokashi cost about $24.00 per 3kg ($8.00 per kg) and 1kg will last the average household about 4 weeks.
What can I do with the material when the bucket is full?
There are a number of things you can do. First, you can bury the contents of the bucket directly into your garden. Just cover it up with soil or mulch (covered by at least 6 inches of soil), and in a few weeks, it will have broken down into rich fertiliser for the soil. Then, when the bucket is full again, you can do the same thing in a different part of the garden. Alternatively, you can place the contents into your worm farm (but be sure to give them small amounts first so they get used to it) or directly into an outside compost bin (ensure that you have placed some soil or mulch on top to keep it airtight)
Is fermenting better than compost?
Compost is a very good source of nutrients for your garden, but because of the composting process, much of the goodness is lost. Fermented waste, however, retains all of the energy (no heat loss) and most of the nutrients in the waste, so that all of this material is available to your plants. Also, fermented waste has the bonus of providing beneficial microbes to your garden, and this will over time produce amazing results
Is fermenting good for the environment?
Greenhouse gas emissions are greatly reduced during fermentation, there are no insect or rodent problems, and the end product is extremely valuable as a soil conditioner and fertiliser. Also, the process retains all the energy (not released to the atmosphere) and all the water is retained and not evaporated.
How often do I need to add Eco Bokashi?
At the end of each day if you have added waste to the bucket.
For a printable version click here