Brewing Compost Tea with The Progress Earth 60 Gal Vortex Brewer and there Biodynamic Brew Kit

By |August 27th, 2013|Compost Tea|0 Comments

Growing Microgreens

By |August 22nd, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

BOKASHI

What the heck is bokashi?  Until earlier this year I had no idea, but I had a couple of friends who raved about it.  I knew it was used in compost but I never thought of using it myself, it sounded weird as it can be used to process almost any organic matter including dairy, meat and even human and pet waste.  So when I started working at The Garden Spout, I begin to discover more.

Sunflower

My research let me to discover that Bokashi is a method that was developed in Japan centuries ago.  It uses the micro-organisms from the local soil to break down food waste.  They use their soil to cover the organic waste to ferment the bio-materials. (In fact, this method is a fermentation process although it is frequently referred to as compost.) After a few weeks the fermented compost is buried in the ground to complete the transformation to rich soil weeks later.

Bokashi is favored by many as it is easy, fairly free of odor and is simple to begin as all that is needed is a bucket with a lid, bokashi mix and organic matter.  I use a standard kitchen scrap bucket, but a basic five gallon bucket with a lid will do. (An option to consider is adding a spigot to the bottom few inches of the bucket so that the liquid that accumulates in the bottom can be drained as the organic matter decomposes.  The liquid can be disposed of or used as a tea on your soil.) You then create layers of the bokashi with the organic matter (kitchen scraps in my case) and continue to layer until the bucket is full.  As it composts, I add it to my main composter.  One of the nice things is that the bokashi mix does a good job of keeping the odor down, although it does have a unique bouquet itself.

Dry Bed2

I also use the bokashi mix in my vegetable and flower beds and am using it to help reclaim beds that have been neglected with good results.  The micro-organisms break down the minerals that are present, but inaccessible and gives the plants better access to the nutrients in the beds.  It also helps to protect the plants from non-beneficial micro-organisms such as harmful fungi in the soil or when used as a foliar.  One of my best results has been in a half-whiskey barrel that had depleted soil.  I was low on fresh soil, so I amended the poor soil with bokashi mix and the gallon or so of soil that I had.  I mixed it well, watered and planted a zucchini with very pleasing results.

 

Zucchini

Southern Oregon Bokashi is the mix I have been using.  (Check out their website for more information on what is in their mix and what each does:  http://www.sobokashi.com/)

So far this year I have been able to bring life back to a couple of beds that have gone dry with disuse by mixing the bokashi into those beds.  The results surprised me, I have seen major growth with my tomatoes and zucchini.  I have also planted some sunflowers in those beds and a few extra tomato plants and some onions and they are growing along quite happily.

After my gardening experiences this year I am convinced that bokashi is an excellent way to boost the soil biology in a very beneficial, uncomplicated and practical way.  I will definitely keep bokashi handy and a part of my gardening routine going forward.  I’m glad I tried it and my plants seem even happier with my decision than I am.

SunflowerTomatoOnions

Lance S.
The Garden Spout
Portland, OR

Method Seven Photo Filter! No more orange washed out photos!

This video introduces you to the Method Seven photo filter for taking pictures under HPS lights!

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With and without Method Seven photo filter

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Method Seven’s New Toy for Your Camera!

For the photographers out there, Method Seven has a surprise!

This is their new HPS lens filter that mounts onto a camera. Just like their eyewear, the lens color-balances the light and removes all strobing effects!

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Find the M7 lens and more details at the Garden Spout!