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Composting for beginners

After many micro-movements and possibly trying the patience of very nice local composting experts, I’m finally getting over my resistance to composting.

Particularly since I learned that it doesn’t have to be ultra-complicated, nor do I have to live with wiggle worms and nasty smells.

Does that address some of your concerns as well? High five.

Composting our food scraps is probably one of the most eco-friendly ways to give back to our earth and yet according to David Suzuki’s site, most of our golden food waste is…being wasted.

My intention today is to make the composting basics easy to understand so that you can leap into it or make micro-movements towards your goal. Understanding the why will help motivate the process.

5 reasons to compost your food scraps

1. Your garbage is about 40 per cent waste — composting keeps all that garbage out of the landfill.

2. Wastes that end up in landfills decompose without oxygen and produce methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

3. Less waste in the garbage means fewer collection trucks on the road.

4. Plants love it — compost is a nutrient-rich fertilizer that helps soil retain moisture.

5. More compost use means less chemical fertilizers, which run off into the water table.

Source: Compost your food scraps

Bokashi composting for beginners

There are different systems for composting indoors and outdoors. My sense is that bokashi composting for indoors is probably the easiest and cheapest place to start.

It is also supposed to be smell free, rodent free and generally jeebie free. For the most part.

Bokashi means fermented organic matter in Japanese. With a bokashi kit, all kinds of food scraps are turned to fertilizer via fermentation.

Source: How to compost indoors

How to start Bokashi composting

1. Get a bokashi kit (bucket and bran) from your local hardware store.

Vancouver’s bokashi man Al Pasternak is selling bokashi kits for $60. Contact him at 604.873.4334 or email bokashiman@gmail.com.

You can also get them at the same price from Homesteader’s Emporium, close to Slow Bean Restaurant.

2. Talk to your vendors in more detail on how it works (or see resource links below)

In short, for every eight cups of waste, you add a handful of bran to cover the surface and you’ll need to drain the excess liquid or use it as fertilizer.

3. When your bucket is full, it still needs to be ‘finished’ for 2-4 weeks with a more traditional method.

At this point, you can drop your waste off at one of the food scrap drop spot locations in Vancouver for $2 a drop or look for your local version of it.

4. If you can’t find a food scrap drop off spot, contact one of your local farmers and they may receive your waste like heavenly manna.

Some local municipalities also offer support. The City of Burnaby’s support person will be coming around to my complex soon to discuss a composting program (nice micro-movement on my part, hey?)

So what do you think?

Do you feel more confident about taking the next step after reading this post? If you are composting, what’s your experience of it? I’m terribly curious to know where you’re at so connect anytime.

Composting Resources

For more information on Bokashi, check out these sites:

Compost your food scraps

How to compost indoors

Great Day Solutions (Al Pasternak)

Homesteaders Emporium  (worm composting workshop coming up on April 30)

bokashicomposting.com

**Special thanks to Emma Holmes, local soil science specialist who demystified composting for me and helped me see beyond my fears. She’s so willing to help you get this too. Feel free to contact her at emmapholmes@gmail.com.

Photo credit: Al Pasternak (Great Day Solutions)

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