A clandestine activity

I had been hoping my next door neighbour would be out this morning – because I had a plan.

After taking out the garlic, I dug a trench where they had been.

Then I laid the bottom with bits of wood.

Next I put a layer of phacelia which was past its best in the trench.

But what’s so wrong in that?

Certainly, my neighbour was intrigued. So, I explained to her that I was building a hugel bed. That the wood at the bottom would act as a sponge to hold water, especially useful considering how dry the garden gets. Then the vegetation would be a mini compost heap under the soil.

I omitted that on this occasion I had a secret ingredient. And fortunately she went inside for long enough for me to put it in…..

the contents of my first bokashi bin.

I was a bit nervous myself about putting any bokashi mix directly into the ground in case it attracts rats. So, I didn’t want to worry my neighbour. However, I took out the top layer of the bin and put that in the new bin I have started, working on the principle that what was underneath had surely been fermented enough to be of no danger now.

Anyway, I quickly covered the bokashi mix with newspaper and manure, then put the soil from the trench back on top.

The finished trench – can’t wait to start planting in it and to see what I produce.


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Good for the environment, Permaculture, Social and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A clandestine activity

  1. Lovely update thank you for sharing Helen

  2. Anne Wheaton says:

    Will be interesting to see how well it works. I hadn’t heard of putting wood in the bottom of the trench before.

    • Helen says:

      It’s something I picked up from reading a book on permaculture. The idea is also that the wood decomposes slowly so it doesn’t rob the plants of nitrogen.

  3. Can I ask what is Phacelia and Bokashi, but sounds interesting 😉

    • Helen says:

      Phacelia is a type of green manure – its leaves are like ferns and it has purple flowers which have a nice perfume. The bumble bees seem to like the flowers – they come in their droves to take the pollen 🙂

      A bokashi bin is a system of composting all waste food, even stuff like meat. The food is fermented using bran which has added microbes (my system also uses a probiotic spray on top of the bran). Once the bin has been filled and left to ferment for a couple of weeks, it can then either go in the ground or in the compost heap to finish off.

  4. Those rodents have a good nose. Although I’ve buried it many times without them thinking that it is dinner time. Good luck! Nice plan 😀

    • Helen says:

      Thanks, Julie! I’m concerned that I haven’t buried it deep enough but I will just have to wait and see now. Since the point of the bokashi system is to make all food waste safe, it should be okay…..

  5. atkokosplace says:

    I’m doing this too with fallen branches from the property! Your plants are going to love this!!!!

  6. This sound like a great method to enrich your soil quality.It would restore the quality of your soil greatly. I like the thought that you compost even meat waste. I had never heard of it before.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, you can compost all waste food, so even though the probiotics and bran to ferment it (and thus make it safe for the garden) costs money, especially with the liquid you get on top of the solids, which you can use as fertiliser too as well as in household cleaning, I think I have broken even financially.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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