At the 2015 spring kick-off, we held an intro workshop to bokashi composting, and planted the communal beds with the most popular vegetables voted on by SW residents.
Bokashi, which means fermented organic matter in Japanese, is a way of creating composted soil through the use of microorganisms and fermentation. The process works anaerobically (without oxygen), and requires the mixing of “Bokashi Bran” with a pile of food scraps in a sealed container. Over time, the microorganisms within the bran break the food down into soil. The process suppresses stench, and is protected from rodents since it occurs within a container.
The materials are mixed together, placed in a sealed container in a space where it will receive heat, and left to sit for two weeks. During this time period the microorganisms will come to life, feeding on the molasses, and will then be ready to break down the food scraps. The bran looks like sawdust, and is spread on top of the food scraps.
The planting of the communal beds followed a “do-it-yourself” style. Groups of volunteers were given markers, a tape measure, seeds, and directions to plant the appropriate seeds in the correct beds. Then, they were free to learn and apply the square-foot gardening technique. For a copy of the directions we used, check out this document.
In addition to all this planting, there were also artistic activities to liven up the garden:
As the photos from the kick-off show, the garden opened with great energy and participation. This has continued into our regular work days (which are: Wednesdays 6-7pm, and Saturdays 4-5pm).