Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

The days of throwing everything organic in the compost are over, here at the Manor.  It's way too slow to work that way.  I seem to have evolved a system after spending a crazy amount of time reading up.

Kitchen scraps get blended up and go into the worm farm.  Junk mail and papers are wetted and placed on top of the worms to keep a moisture barrier (and the worms eat it as well). 

Worm castings will go straight onto the garden.  Worm juice goes into the compost tea. 

When cleaning the filters on the aquaponics pumps, everything dirty goes into the compost tea.  

Compost tea gets watered down and goes on the garden. 

Lawn clippings (and as a result fallen leaves as well) go into the chook yard. After a few weeks, that gets collected (poop and all) and goes into the compost bins. 

Coffee grounds go directly into the compost bins.

Cheap or free manure goes into the compost bins. 

Weeds - well, actually with raised beds, you don't seem to get weeds.  The ones in the lawn get eaten by the chooks. Off-cut leaves from plants etc go in the compost bins. 

I'm also playing around (unsucessfully) with growing mushrooms.  The left over material will go into the compost bins as well, or straight onto the gardens. 

If it sounds technical, it's really not.  You get into a kind of rhythem.  

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 11, 2014 at 12:44

Black Soldier Fly seem to depend on the season for me.  They love my compost in the summer. 

Comment by Lissa on August 11, 2014 at 4:29

You're lucky. I get Vinegar Fly larvae in mine. I try to keep the lid down tight but they still manage to get in rotten things.

Comment by Anne Golding-Ross on August 10, 2014 at 13:03
Oh yes, forgot to say that black fly larvae which my chooks just love to eat, love living in my Bokashi filled compost tumbler.
Comment by Lissa on August 6, 2014 at 6:34

I've kept a bucket for uncooked kitchen veg scraps under the sink for years. Taught to me by my now elderly Aunt, who would then go out into the garden, dig a hole, and bury it. Shirley was a very good gardener in her day.

In the last few years I've kept it as a Bokashi bin, courtesy of Elaine's pre-loved bin. I still don't see any real difference between the two systems but I keep on using the Bokashi mix mostly because it's economical enough bought from Bunnings (a bag lasts a long time) and I understand it stops smells happening in the bin. I have a poor sense of smell and the rotting material wouldn't bother me but they do bother visitors.

My point is that the same result can be achieved using a bucket under the sink for scraps. Perhaps I would empty it more often than I would the Bokashi bin.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 6, 2014 at 6:23

Bokashi has been part of our lives for some years until I went onto the BD500 idea. With Bokashi unless you can brew the microbes yourself, you are beholden to whatever price is charged by the people who market the stuff.

It is brilliant though. The plants thrive on the juice once broken down (and it does keep despite what they tell you). I found the flies loved the smell when I was draining off the liquid although none laid eggs in it.

If you don't have access to BD500 or don't want to use it, the Bokashi system for keeping scraps until they are composted is just fine. The scraps do need to be composted then either by in-situ or in a bin or heap.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 5, 2014 at 22:44

I've not tried the Bokashi yet Anne.  Not due to any great reason - vege scraps go to either the chooks, worms or the compost while meat scraps tend to be enjoyed by the little dog.  I must confess, I am a bit intrigued by the whole bokashi bran idea.  

Comment by Anne Golding-Ross on August 5, 2014 at 22:04
I am having great success with Bokashi composting. I chuck all my food scraps,including meat and sprinkle with Bokashi bran. This pickles the scraps,which I then add to my compost heap and worm farm, or just bury in the garden. Works well for me after many failed composting attempts. I buy the bran from Bunnings, but you can make your own if you are keen. Great for plants that like acidic soil. It also produces a liquid that, like worm juice, you dilute and use to water your plants.
Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 25, 2014 at 19:31

Well we certainly are a little bunch of recyclers!  It's great to see. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 25, 2014 at 16:52

Weed tea and compost tea are great liquids - good enough to drink ;-) - the plants think so anyway. Trick is for me to remember to actually use it. I have this bucket of mouldering gunk on the back patio complete with double air-bubbler. Makes a great tea and doesn't pong at all.

Compost - compost-in-situ is great and I do some of that. I made so much extra work for myself by fancying up the yard with nice edges which made discrete above-ground beds. Look great but I see now that within reason, the longer the bed the better.

I do some composting-in-situ with the wicking beds but I am yet to be convinced the micro-flora and micro-fauna are what they should be in those beds. Still tinkering.

There are several plastic garbage bins with holes which serve as reasonable compost bins. Takes some work to shift the stuff around even with that fantastic Gedye corkscrew. Just moved onto another system now with the kitchen scraps - which I never leave in an open heap - going into a large garbage bin with holes in the bottom and interleaved with dry sugarcane mulch. That way I don't need to accumulate the stuff in bins taking up more space on the back patio. I use a version of Biodynamic 500 to keep the scraps from becoming an-aerobic.

Comment by Lissa on July 25, 2014 at 5:30

My general rule these days is just throw it back in the garden. Acts as mulch and breaks down to feed the bed.

I do have a pile-o compost for bulk amounts and this goes back into the raised beds, along with the leftover plant material in the bed, when it comes time to replant.

Some stuff, mainly handfuls of soft weed/grass that break down quickly, goes into the weed tea bucket as I think of it.

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