Jean Soarin

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since Jul 02, 2016
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hugelkultur urban food preservation
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Winnipeg, Manitoba (zone 3)
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Recent posts by Jean Soarin

Ellen Lewis wrote:

Unfortunately Winnipeg does not seem to have a composting program for kitchen scraps, only for yard waste.  

Well, I suspect the process is the same, and the materials are not significantly different. Whenever I live where there is a composting program for yard waste I put food scraps in it.
If I don't want it to be obvious I put them in a brown bag first.
I can't imagine a process that can compost tree branches that cannot deal with orange peels and avocado pits.

I hadn't thought of doing it that way, but I like it.  Yard waste is picked up every two weeks from spring to fall, so adding a small paper bag to neighbours' yard waste would be a great way to deal with my non-worm-worthy kitchen scraps if the condo board decides not to go with the compost pick-up program.  Certainly a step up from dropping it in nature.  Thanks!
1 year ago

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:I agree that keeping it out of the landfill is preferable. Unfortunately Winnipeg does not seem to have a composting program for kitchen scraps, only for yard waste.

Respectfully, I suggest that there is a fine line between "guerilla composting" and "littering." Peels from fruits and nut shells can take many years to break down in our climate.

You mention you are chopping them up -- good! Mince them up super fine and they will have better soil contact. Even better, after mincing, would be to use some anaerobic digesting or fermentation process so the breakdown has already begun before you dispose of them.

Actually, Winnipeg is finally starting offering a user-funder composting service.  I've pitched this to our condo board as a solution to the odour problem in our garbage room.  I'm hoping they'll be willing to try it out.
1 year ago

Steve Boyd wrote:We put everything (including avocado peels & nuts (crushed up), citrus peels, onion skins) through our Bokashi system and then into the worm farms - works a treat.  Make sure you regularly empty off the Bokashi liquid to avoid the strong odor that sometimes develops in the bottom bucket.

I had an incorrect understanding of what bokashi was before I posted this thread, and so had never given it a second thought.  But with all the mentions of it in the past week, I've looked it up and  have grown interested.  I'm looking into trying it.  But I thought I still needed to find somewhere to bury the compost afterwards... But it can just be fed to the worms and turned into more compost?  I read somewhere that bokashi is too acidic once it's been composted, and so shouldn't come into contact with plants for two weeks or so.  How long do you leave it in the bokashi bucket, and then do you put it in to your worm farm right away?
1 year ago

If your residence has large mulched beds of decorative plants, you could skip the water-soaking and just bury your scraps in the mulch by raking them aside, dumping your stuff and raking the mulch back over it. If you can make it look neat and critters don't dig it up, all is well. (That's probably not possible for half the year while the mulch is frozen.)[/quote wrote:

I would do this if I had my own yard, but in this condo building, I'd be inviting trouble. Thanks anyways.

1 year ago

Anne said, "    You could put those diced straps in water then let them sit for a week and water those pretty plants.

Thanks.  I'll be sure to try this.

From what I have read on the forum some say 5-6 days or a week.  Dilute 50/50 and pour near the roots.

Folks do this with weeds and/or leaves and all say this is beneficial to the plants.  It is like a simplified compost tea.

1 year ago

Mike Haasl wrote:I suspect that if any of that was bad for one of those critters, they wouldn't over indulge in it.  Meat/fat might be a different issue but I wouldn't be worried about fruit/veggies at all...  Especially if you're spreading it around and not making one big pile.  Congratulations on returning that material to nature instead of the landfill!

I will admit that I was simply dropping a compostable container of waste in  one spot.  Comments here have made me realize that I need to chop things more finely and spread it out in one spot.  Thanks to Mike & others for helping me think this through better!
1 year ago

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:

Regarding harm to animals, I have no real concerns. Wild animals are pretty smart about what they can and cannot eat.

Thanks for your comments.

A few of you have said something about animals only eating what’s good for them.  I wanted to believe that, but then I remembered the images I’d seen of dead bird carcasses on an island thousands of miles from anywhere.  The carcasses were filled with mostly plastic & other manufactured trash the birds had eaten.  How do you explain that?
1 year ago

Anne Miller wrote:Do you have pretty plants at your condo that could use fertilizer?

Most folks I know that have condos usually have pretty plants near their front door.

You could put those diced straps in water then let them sit for a week and water those pretty plants.

I must admit that I'd never heard of doing this.  I have houseplants which could benefit.  Is a week the longest they should soak?
1 year ago
I live in a condo apartment in an urban neighbourhood in the Canadian prairies.  I do what I can with my kitchen waste.  I have a vermicomposter.  Instead of throwing out food waste which is less than ideal for my worms (mostly avocado peels & nuts, citrus peels, onion skins), I’ve been doing what I call guerilla composting:   I chop these up and drop  them in the tall grass & trees along the riverbank.  I mentioned this to one of my environment-friendly neighbours who said that this is bad for certain animals.  (We have deer, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, groundhogs, etc.)  Should I stop doing this?  (Please be nice as she might be reading your responses.)
1 year ago
Thanks, Bryant!  I've added litmus paper to the shopping list.
5 years ago