Hey hey party people,
So I have a new post with a theme! We all know that eating is good, and that I in particular like to cook and eat things. But what about the waste that happens afterwards? The food scraps, the unconsumable leftovers, the used coffee grounds…? The increasing awareness of food production and the desire or trend to know where your food comes from and now goes, has boosted the popularity of composting, worm farming or bokashi in Australia. Well at least in my friend groups and networks anyway.
In the delightful and progressive town of Brighton where I am currently residing, though there is a very substantial food culture, with plenty of organic produce and restaurants, there still appears to be a slight lack of knowledge of the great joys and benefits of worm farming and bokashi. I am currently living in a flat for the first time in my life. At the age of 28 to suddenly have my consistently relied upon outdoor space taken away is a bit of a shock. With only a small balcony as potential outdoor growing space I have been saddened and frustrated on a daily basis with discarding my food scraps into the trash. After years of having a compost bin or bokashi or worm farm it pains me every time I throw away my organic waste.
For a few years I have had a hard time thinking of anything as waste; food scraps can be composted, clothes and furniture reused and repaired, and even our own bodily waste is a resource filled with nutrients for the soil. It has slowly become an obsession to not throw things away. As my former house mates can attest I am a hoarder of jars and I have already started up my collection in Brighton. Today after 3 weeks of turmoil I finally ordered a worm farm. The company I ordered from has a deal with the Brighton and Hove City Council so residents get a discount. You can check them out here: http://www.greatgreensystems.com/category/wormeries.
Now everyday until my worm farm arrives I will be ruing all the waste that I have previously disposed of in the bin. I am going to start collecting my scraps and then when the worms arrive they will have an instant feed. Fortunately the worm farm comes with worms woo! Ok so I had a brilliant idea the other morning, I was feeling inspired as I just bought a copy of Wired magazine and was reading about all the cool innovations which are currently happening. I woke up before my alarm and had to start writing down my thoughts. So are you ready for it? A bokashi leasing scheme! WHOA hold up, a what what?
Bokashi if you don’t know about it or weren’t curious enough to Google yet due to my previous mentions is a method of composting which relies on microbes working under anaerobic conditions to essentially ferment your waste. Its a great system for households or flats and apartments, except for one flaw. You need to do something with the waste once it’s gone through the fermentation process. This is where my genius idea comes into play.
Firstly I buy a whole bunch of bokashi bins, and as much of the microbrewed grain as possible, which you sprinkle on top of your waste to ferment it. Then I go about promoting my scheme and telling everyone that they should be composting and post a series of facts about how much methane is produced by decomposing organic waste in landfill and that it will significantly cut down the amount of waste they are throwing away each week. Plus their plants will benefit from the liquid which is extracted from the waste which is amazing concentrated natural fertilizer. So with all these facts they will be convinced to get on board with my scheme and want to lease a bin for £10 a month which includes the grain. I will come and collect the bin and give them a fresh one on the spot and a top up of the grain and away you go. Sounds pretty simple and effective to me. Then I empty the bins at my designated composting space which will enhance the soil and start some plants growing and it can be turned into a community garden and fruit and vegetables grown for the whole community. Amazing isn’t it?
So now for the flaws in my plan; finding a compost space, getting customers, picking up the bins, and sourcing enough bokashi grain cheaply. Easy. I am working on the compost space as Brighton City Council as I said are very progressive and want more composting of waste to happen so they have a partnership with an organisation all about sustainable food who help you to set up a community compost. I have contacted them and will find out more soon. Customers I think will happen through posting on forums and putting up posters and a bit of word of mouth and I will just promote it where I can. The original plan for picking up the bins was to get a trailer and stick it on the back of my bike. However the most excellent but not so practical bike that I have at the moment might make it a little difficult to pull a trailer up and down the many hills of Brighton. Did I mention its very far from being flat around here. It’s similar to the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney lots of hills everywhere, though maybe not quite so steep. So I may either need to get another bike albeit a shitty one with gears and then a trailer, or think of an alternative. Sourcing the grain I thought I could initially purchase bulk amounts from a local supplier and then go about attempting to make it myself. There are a few breweries around so hopefully I can source a bit of grain from them and go about it. Ok so that’s my plan, feel free to comment and let me know if you have suggestions for overcoming any of my issues.
Composting should be the new recycling. Almost everyone in Australia, knows how to recycle, or at least attempts to recycle. And yet only a small number of people compost, though I am sure that number is growing. I hope to make it more the norm and like anything it helps if you can turn it into a capitalist scheme, because people understand money. They know how to buy things and sell things, so why not make compost a resource? Put a value on it and then people will take it more seriously. I think it’s valuable and so should you.
Sorry for the lack of pictures but I have just had all these thoughts in my head and I needed to get them out and into the public domain. Its a bit preachy but most of you reading this know what I am like and wont think too much of it.