The raspberry cane and food waste

Yesterday afternoon, we had our second Composting Champions meeting to work out how to get people composting their food waste. So, now I’m going to be writing a funding application to run a workshop where we’ll teach people to turn broken wheelie bins into composters.

This brings me onto the subject of my own bokashi. I had decided it was time to plant out the raspberry cane as it looked like it was suffering in its tiny pot, which to boot seems to have been filled with peat (oh dear!). It’s intended spot was also starting to show signs of Jerusalem artichoke growth.

No doubt I didn’t manage to get all of the tubers out, so any further shoots will need to be chopped down. However, I was pleased to see the bokashi solids I’d prepared the soil with last month were well on the way to decomposition.

I didn’t dig deep enough to see any significant worm activity but in other spots where I’ve put bokashi solids there have been large numbers of them. Thinking back to the dearth of these soil inhabitants when I first started gardening, it is great to see the improvement now.

Thus, I am not only keen to continue the good work at home but hope we can encourage more in the wider community. I don’t have the capacity to take food scraps from friends and neighbours but for anyone who thinks they could either donate or make use of the food waste from others, here is a link to the Share Waste website, which can help donors and recipients find each other.

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.
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12 Responses to The raspberry cane and food waste

  1. One of the great joys in my garden is seeing worms: when we moved here in 1999 there was hardly any soil, so basically what is here now, we’ve been responsible for and therefore we’ve managed to transform our garden from a pretty lifeless wasteland into a thriving ecosystem. My aim in life is to increase the amount of soil on my land… and composting is so important. We have municipal composting here in Ceredigion, so stuff I can’t compost at home can be dealt with, but it’s a tiny amount and most of our peelings/outer leaves/cores and even cooked food scraps get composted at home in various ways. I even compost neighbors grass clippings.
    I’ve never been drawn to bokashi, but it seems like a good idea in some circumstances and it sounds like yours is working well.

    • Helen says:

      Sounds like you’ve done a lot of work to your soil!

      I got my bokashi system because it seemed a shame to hand over normally non-home compostable food such as meat. And now I’ve learned that even though my postcode has a food waste collection, it is all either incinerated or put in landfill as it’s too expensive to process. Makes me doubly glad to have the bokashi.

      • Oh, that’s terrible. We are very lucky here that our council is one of the best for recycling etc in the UK. Any meat scraps here tend to be fed to the dogs, it’s only salty things like bacon rinds that they can’t have that may go to the municipal composting. I have a three-stage process for composting dog poo (years of trial and error) and because it’s enclosed to begin with and very long-term (a couple of years) I am able to include things that otherwise could not go on the compost heap, so the local council really don’t see much of our waste!

  2. I like the thought that our food waste returns to nurture the next plants

    • Helen says:

      Do you compost cooked food, meat etc?

      • No, I have read that this is not good?

        • Helen says:

          On the contrary, this is what we are trying to encourage. It’s just that it needs to be composted in a safe way. Hence, for me the bokashi system (although I don’t waste much cooked food, I can also compost mouldy cheese and other normally unsafe food).

          Anyway, the reason I asked you was because I have the impression that readers believe I mean vegetable peelings and other such when I write of food waste, so I think I need to alter the content of my post slightly.

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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