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Bokashi, worms and hemp  RSS feed

 
Aimee Tidman
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A few noob questions here.
I have bokashi that I use in my kitchen for the majority of my food waste but also a home made vermicompost box too which I am just getting going.
I am thinking about making my own em Bran with the tea from the bokashi.bins as I'm fed up.with spending out for inoculated Bran. I don't have dairy so won't be using the milk method but do make kombucha and water kefir at times. Any tips on that method at all?
Also I wondered if I can compost the hemp bedding from our pet Guinea pigs in the vermicompost box? I assume it would count as brown waste?
I also have hens and ducks on hemp too but realise that's too hot to put in the worm box. We have a small garden and an allotment so I can transfer it there but if beds would t be used til spring can I spread it over them to compost in that time?
I'm in the UK if that makes a difference
 
Aimee Tidman
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Anyone able to help?
 
Susan Wakeman
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Location: Lake Geneva, Switzerland, Europe
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I have used some home made bokashi with milk serum and bran. As claimed, all the food scraps including meat, animal fat and bones fermented beautifully, while staying in their original shape.
When it was done, I tried vermicomposting it by adding a handful of worms to the bucket; that did not work so well. Burying it in the bottom of planters or chucking it on the compost heap worked beautifully. My guess is this is due to a wrong ph (bokashi is sour) and the other soil microorganisms continued the pre-digestion the worms needed.
Your guinea pig hemp litter will vermicompost beautifully. You can also use it directly as a mulch without composting first.
Have you tried feeding the bokashi to your chickens?
I personally don't bokashi anymore: our rabbit eats all our veg scraps (so will your chickens), the quail get the very rare non meat leftovers (fine for your chickens too) and on the very rare occasion that we have bones left over, I have trialled a non-smelly maggot bucket for quail. See the post in the chickens forum.
In my opinion, you don't need a bokashi at all. Feed the kitchen waste directly to your chickens. Keep them and the ducks on deep litter which you can "export"to your veg beds once a year.
 
Aimee Tidman
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Thabks Susan, I don't deep liter as we have three small houses due to infighting.  Also I admit our birds are just pets, they are good slug eaters but very fussy on leftovers! The cheeky madams.
Thanks for the advice on composting the Guinea pig bedding.  I can't put it all in at once as we are restricted by size here, we only have a small box for the worms, they get veg peelings and tea and coffee too. I run bokashi as we have two small kids here too so get random leftover food bits but I love the way it all works anyway.  The bacteria must be good I figure. Plus I'm adding the contents of the bokashi.bins to the allotment compost heap now and when the beds are finally dug in they will be topped up with bokashi regularly.
 
Jack Barton
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Hi Aimee I do bokashi and here's what I do and why.

So the idea of bokashi, as I see it,  is a way to process all kitchen waste (including cooked food and meat scraps) so vermin don't become attracted to it. 
Some dig it into a vegy patch.  Hard earth can mean it's not dug deep enough sometimes.
I bury it in my soft, worm rich compost.  I try to make this part of the compost turning process to do two jobs at once.  I have a linear heap, so I dig a trench into the heap, empty the bokashi bucket in it, then use a fork to break the bokashi brick up and mix it just a bit with the half composted matter.  Then I cover with a foot thick layer of what came out of the trench. 
If, when I dig the next one in, I happen appon the one buried 6weeks ago, I see great knots of earth worms feeding on the last of the scraps....so yes worms love it if it's mixed a bit.

That's what I do but if you have a worm farm maybe you don't need the bokashi.  Just putting all food scraps directly to the worms daily might work for you if your worm farm is of a good size.  Disclosure....I may have many thousands of worms in my compost but I've never run a worm farm.

There are many variables to fast compost, many out of your control but two variables you can control;
moisture...with bucket of water during a hot day. Got to keep those worms alive.
Oxygen.....turn it over with a fork.  Daily is too much, yearly is too little.
Good luck with your compost.


 
Aimee Tidman
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Thanks for the reply, yes we use the worms for raw waste and the bokashi for everything else like pasta or old bread or stuff I can't put in worm bin like onion amd citrus and all cooked leftovers.  I love the system tbh, it works well for me. I've been adding it to my compost heap on the allotment which is mostly grass and bedding from the animals that I take over there. I add some bedding to the worms once a week or so and have to say that are doing g a fabulous job! I'm tempted to go for a full worm set up as my homemade one isn't that great for harvest. 
Thanks for the advice x
 
Dave de Basque
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Location: Basque Country, Spain-42N lat-Köppen Cfb-Zone8b-1035mm/41" rain: 118mm/5" Dec., 48mm/2" July
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Hi Aimee,

Sorry your original topic sat around a while and happy people have seen it now. I'm planning something a bit similar sans animals.

We've got a community garden with about 70 tiny allotments (25m2 each). No animals and no woody perennials allowed. We're planning to start using some household organic waste separately from our current garden waste hot composting cycle as an experiment. With the household waste, we'd like to end up producing a decent amount of our own worm castings.

We feel we need to continue hot composting the garden waste to sterilize -- everyone here grows tomatoes (of course) and in our area, every plant is dependably infected with late blight at then end of every season, so we need to kill the spores to give next year's tomatoes a fighting chance. I imagine bokashi fermenting might do that but I don't know, so for the moment the garden waste will continue on its separate path.

In any case, the amount of garden waste we produce and hot compost is not anywhere near enough for all of our soil amendment needs, so we're hoping that our experiment goes well and we can incorporate the organic waste of a good number of households to our system and end up with a good amount of lovely, EM-rich worm castings for our allotments.

So, separate from our present garden composting cycle, we are planning to have a few bokashi bins in various stages of fermentation. Alongside will be a vermicomposting system hopefully a bit like this.

We may be getting a shredder soon, so we plan to just mix about half bokashi with half shredded hay or cardboard or paper waste, whatever we have on hand. Sorry I can't find where at the moment, but as another poster or two noted above, I've heard that worms absolutely go wild over bokashi-fermented waste IF it's mixed up a bit with traditional dry stuff. There is not a lot of information out there about bokashi+worms so I really don't know the "right" ratio of dry stuff like your hemp bedding to bokashi, but we'll start with 50-50 and then observe.

Btw, I don't know how much "manure" your guinea pigs produce, but in any case I'm sure that gives a great extra nutrient kick to your finished product! Lucky you!
 
jeremy wood
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Aimee, you mentioned you don't want to use milk for your bokashi bran.  I'm planning on trying this: theunconventionalfarmer.com.  I'm about to try bokashi for my first time.  Best of luck!
 
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