No Garden? No Problem!
Winter is here, with the rain, the cold weather the misconception that nothing will grow. But did you know that you can grow a variety of winter crops indoors or in limit space outside, using your Bokashi-treated food waste? A sunny corner of your apartment or balcony can be transformed into a lush, productive area to grow your own organic veggies.
When your Bokashi bin is full you need to leave it for approximately 2 weeks, unopened, to mature. After this your food waste is ready to be used in the garden. It is important to note that the fermented food waste looks very similar to its original state and should not smell foul or putrefactive. This is because the Bokashi process is one of anerobic fermentation, which changes the molecular structure of the organic waste without changing its physical appearance. However, this process does make the organic material highly susceptible to further and complete degradation once exposed to oxygen. Thus the Bokashi system can be viewed as a pre-composting system, which greatly increases the speed of conventional composting and improves the quality of the final product. It also allows you to treat your food waste in a sanitary way that does not release foul odours or take up a lot of space. The perfect solution to the environmentally conscious citizen who want to reduce their environmental footprint and turn waste into a valuable resource!
Your Bokashi-treated food waste is a fantastic source of nutrients and serves as an awesome soil builder. This means that you can actually produce your own high quality soil, instead of buying it from the garden shop. Furthermore, using your food waste in this way diverts this valuable resource away from landfill sites and allows you to recycle your organic waste in the comfort of your own home!
A step-by-step guide to building high quality soil with Bokashi-treated food waste:
- Using a plastic or terracotta pot, place a few centimetres of garden soil in the bottom, ensuring that you have covered the drainage holes with pebbles. Then fill the pot to about three-quarters with your Bokashi-treated food waste, mixed with about 20% soil and cover this with a layer of garden soil, to fill the pot.
- Cover the pot with plastic Clingfilm and leave for 2 weeks.
- After 2 weeks, remove the plastic film and using a handheld garden spade, mix the contents of the pot well.
- Leave the pot for another week, without the Clingfilm cover.
- After this time has passed all of the food waste should be degraded into a rich, dark soil and ready to plant in. However, this process is temperature dependant, so in colder climates degradation could take slightly longer. If you are able to still define some food waste in the soil, mix it again and leave it uncovered for another week or two.
- Plant your winter crop in your newly created soil.
See step by step images below.
Winter crops are species that thrive in low light conditions and are capable of tolerating low temperatures. Here is a list of great winter crops that grow well in pots:
- Broad beans
- Spring onion
- Sugar snap peas
Plant your seed or seedlings according their requirements and place them in a sunny corner of your garden, north-facing windowsill or balcony.
Growing crops in this method is an effective way to use your food waste as a fertilizer and recycle within your own home, both preserving the environment and supplementing your diet with organic veggies.