Additional Tips

  You can pour left-over wine onto your compost. Better than down
    the drain. (Or freeze into ice-cubes and use for cooking.)

  Egg shells are 95% calcium carbonate. They raise the pH of the soil
    and act as a soil conditioner, so add them to your compost.

  Scatter crushed eggshells around your plants.

  Egg shells work as an organic pest control as snails and slugs dont
    like the sharpness of the shells.

  When you boil eggs, pour the cooled water onto your plants. Same
    applies to water used for cooking any veggies.

  Lint from the dryer, hair from your hairbrush, cotton wool and cotton
    buds (minus the plastic stem, but including cardboard stems) can
    all be added to your compost.


  Creating your compost heap

      Place a layer (about 15cm) of brown materials like branches and twigs
       at the bottom of your pile or bin.

      This will allow air to circulate at the bottom of the composter once more
        material is added.

      Add green and more brown materials as they become available. Try
        add equal amounts of green and brown materials.

      This will ensure that your compost is the right texture - not too
       compacted or too full of large air pockets.

      Add air by turning your compost in the bin using a garden fork or stick
        or by empting the contents of your bin and turning them with a garden
        fork then returning them to the bin.

      Check the moisture content.

  Adding material

      When adding more materials, check that it's not too wet or too dry.

      When you add greens add browns too.

      If you mostly compost greens and you don't have enough garden
        browns, add in torn up cardboard boxes or egg cartons or toilet paper
        tubes.

  Managing your compost

      The more you attend to or manage your compost heap the quicker you
        will get usable garden compost.

      If you just leave it you will still get compost but it will take much
        longer.

      Check the temperature inside the pile - either with a thermometer or
        feeling it with your hand.

      If it is warm or hot, your compost heap is working.

      If it is the same temperature as the outside air, add more greens,
       manure or ready-made compost mix to stimulate the microbial activity.

      Organic waste needs air and water to decompose to form compost.

      Organisms that decompose organic matter are aerobic - needing air
        circulation to survive.

      Turn the pile with a fork or a stick.

      Keep the pile as moist as a wrung-out sponge.

      An overly wet pile slows down decomposition as the water replaces
        the air, creating an anaerobic environment.

      Check the moisture level by gently squeezing a handful of compost.
        If it's dry and dusty add some water. If it feels slimy or soggy mix in
        some brown materials like shredded cardboard or small twigs to
        absorb the extra moisture.

      Too many ants are a sign that your compost is too dry.


Using Your Compost

  When you want some compost, use the top uncomposted part to start a
    new compost heap, and use the bottom composted part in your garden.

  Your compost should be crumbly and dark brown when it is ready. Other
    than some twigs and eggshells, you shouldn't be able to recognise the
    original materials.


Time it Takes to Generate Usable Compost

  The length of time it takes depends on the following
      the type and quantity of materials you put into your bin;
      the time of year;
      how often you turn your compost.

  It usually takes between 6 and 18 months for compost to be produced.

  If your compost production is managed carefully - correct balance of
    materials, air and water - you will get compost in a much shorter time.

  To speed up your composter

     shred or chop up stems or prunings (this also reduces the bulk so you
       can get more in your composter) and everything else that will go on
       your heap;

     add some crumpled newspaper;

     keep it moist - add a little water if necessary (re-use kitchen rinse
       water to moisten the middle of the pile but don't over-moisten the
       pile);

     add ready-made compost mix (can be bought at a hardware store or
       nursery);

     manage your compost by turning the heap every few days.

Household tip

  Keep a small bucket with a lid or a container (like a use ice cream tub)
   with a lid in your kitchen to collect the kitchen waste you'll use for your
    compost.

  Take it to your compost bin/pile every few days (or once a day if you
    have a lot of waste). Keep the lid on the container to keep insects away.

Bokashi Bins
















A Bokashi bin or digester enables you to transform your food
scraps into rich compost. By putting your food waste and a hand-
ful of bokashi bran into the airtight container you can sub-
stantially reduce your domestic waste and let your garden and
drains benefit.









What To Do

  Place your food scraps, peelings and plate scrapings (including
    vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and dairy) into the bin (an anaerobic
    digester), layer it with the bokashi (wheat bran infused with probiotic
    bacteria), squash is down (using something like a potato masher to
    remove the air) and let the waste ferment.  Because the food-waste
    doesn't rot there are no bad odours or flies.

  Repeat this layering process until the Bokashi Digester is full.

  Tap off the liquid (Bokashi juice). (See below for more information)

  Bury the waste or add it to your compost bin/heap.

  Reap the rewards of the magic of Bokashi.


One Bin System

  Once the bin (digester) is full the contents can be moved to your
    compost bin/heap or buried in a patch in your garden.  The waste on
    the top will not have had time to ferment. However the waste will still
    break down quickly because of the micro-organisms mixed in.


Two Bin System

  While not essential, it is advisable to have two bins. When the first
    digester is full, start using the second bin. Begin with a layer of
    Bokashi, and then layer food waste and Bokashi.

  In the meantime the waste added last into the first digester will have
    time to ferment. Leave the waste in the sealed first digester and allow
    it to continue to ferment out of the sun for 10-14 (or longer) days.
    Thereafter, bury the waste (details below) and wash out the Bokashi
    Digester. It will then be ready to use when your second Bokashi
    Bin is full. And the process can be repeated.

  The main advantages of two digesters is that:

      the waste will have more time to ferment
      you will get more of the precious and very effective Bokashi Juice
      it is more convenient.


It Looks Different

Bokashi Compost will have a different appearance to other decayed
compost. The food waste does not decompose or breakdown while it is
in the digester, it ferments. A lot of the original physical properties of
the waste will thus remain, and it may have a pickled look. The decom-
position of the waste will take place after it has been buried in the soil.


Burying Bokashi Compost

  If you have a compost heap or bin you can add the fermented waste
    directly to the middle of your compost.

  Otherwise find a soil patch in your garden where you can bury the
    Bokashi waste. The micro-organisms in the Bokashi mix speed up the
    composting process.  The Bokashi waste will add a microbe-enriched
    conditioner to your soil and your plants will be supplied with nutrition.

  Dig a hole or trench about 30cm deep, and fill it with the Bokashi
    waste, mixing in some soil. Cover the hole with the balance of the
    dug-out soil.

  Wait for 4-6 weeks and then add the microbe rich composted soil to
    your garden or vegetable patch. The compost is ready when it has
    turned black and the food waste is no longer visible.


Bokashi Juice

  Bokashi juice is the liquid fertiliser by-product of your Bokashi digester.

  As the food waste starts to ferment, a light brown liquid is produced
    called bokashi juice, which is alive with beneficial micro-organisms. 

  The Bokashi Juice will drip into the bottom of the bin.

  This should be drained off as it builds up (every few days), as you
    don't want the juice to fill up into the fermenting waste.

  Once drained off, add the juice to an empty two litre bottle and top
    up with water (dilution should be about 1:300) and feed your diluted
    mixture to garden plants or indoor pot plants. This should be done
    immediately or within hours of making the mixture. Waiting longer
    will make the mixture ineffective.

  It can be poured, undiluted, down your drains to maintain healthy
    drains as it prevents algae build up and odours. It will also contribute
    to cleaning up our water ways by challenging harmful bacteria. This
    is a far healthier option than toxic drain cleaners! (Toxic for humans,
    aquatic life and the water system.) It is also safe to use in septic tanks.


Tips For Users

  It's best to layer the food waste and bokashi bran, so that there is
    enough bran to mix in with the waste. It's not realistic to throw a
    handful of bran on the top of a pile of food and assume that they'll
    mix themselves.

  The 'pickling' process is anaerobic, so each time you add waste to
    the bin, you should compress it down to get rid of any air, and
    replace the lid making sure it is sealed tight.

  Don't add liquids, oil, large bones or rotten food to your digester.

  Avoid adding anything with too much moisture - so squeeze your
    teabags before adding to the digester (or add directly to your compost.)

  Put a layer of Bokashi at the bottom of the bin first and then add
    your scraps.

  Draining the juice regularly is essential. Fruit and vegetables cause
    a lot of juice to build up, which can lead to the bin smelling.

  You need to put enough bran into the container, otherwise the whole
    process won't work efficiently and the bins can smell. Some items
    seem to require more bran than others. Experiment. Err on the side
    of caution and add more if you're not sure.

  If your bin is smelling chances are you aren't adding enough bran.

  The bran won't fix food that has already started to rot. If it's already
    smelly when you put it in the bin, it will continue to smell.

This is a WIN-WIN solution - it's good for the garden and good
for landfill!

And you can win too. For the month of August 2011 we're
offering a special deal.












Leaf Mould

  Autumn Garden Leaves

     Too many leaves can upset the balance of your compost bin.
     Turn autumn garden leaves into leaf mould instead of adding them to
       your compost bin. You will get a crumbly and nutrient-rich, organic
       material that you can use as a lawn conditioner, mulch or soil
       conditioner.

  Collect the leaves.

     If the material is shredded into smaller pieces it will speed up the
      decaying process.

  Add moisture.

     Moisten the leaves with a little water if they are too dry.

  Bag it.

     Put the leaves into a large plastic bin bag.
     Punch holes in the bag to allow air to circulate.
     Place the bag in a secluded area of the garden, and leave it for one
       to two years. The leaf mould will become finer the longer you leave it.


Vermiculture

  Vermiculture or worm farming is a composting process that uses worms
    and micro-organisms to convert organics into nutrient-rich humus.

  Vermicomposting is the practice of using earthworms for the production
    of compost. The worms consume organic waste and produce castings
    (an odour-free compost product) for use as mulch, soil conditioner, and
    a topsoil additive.

  Organisms, such as bacteria and millipedes, also assist in the aerobic
    decomposition of the organic waste material.

  Home use wormeries are available from a number of resellers.





 
 
Compost

Benefits of Home
Composting

....................................................

Creating Compost
    Select your
   
composter
   
Select your space
   
Materials for 
   
composting
   
Creating your
   
compost
   
Adding material
   
Managing your
   
compost
....................................................
Using Your Compost
....................................................
Time to Generate
Compost

    Speeding up your
   
composter
....................................................
Household Tip
....................................................
Leaf Mould
....................................................
Bokashi Bins
    
What to do
   
One Bin System
   
Two Bin System
   
It Looks Different
   
Burying Bokashi
   
Compost
   
Bokashi Juice
   
Tips for Users
....................................................
Vermiculture
 
Benefits of Home Composting

Home composting is a simple and effective way of benefitting your garden and the environment.

  By home composting you:
     
re-use and recycle waste that would normally be thrown away.
   
      avoid sending waste to landfills thereby assisting in reducing the
        amount of methane gas produced.
       
Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global
        warming, is produced when waste - including kitchen and garden
        waste- decomposes in a landfill.

   
      assist in reducing the carbon emissions created in transporting waste
        to landfills.
  
      get black gold (gardener's term for compost) that improves the quality
        of your garden.

      reduce the need for chemical fertilisers and pesticides as it makes
       your plants healthier and helps them build a stronger immune system.
      save the Earth's natural resources by reducing the need for peat taken
        from endangered ecosystems.


All biodegradable material will compost over time.
Home composting allows us to collect and use degradable
material so that it doesn't create the negative impact on the environment caused by landfills.


  Compost is the ultimate garden fertiliser as it contains the nutrients plants
    need, delivered in a slow-releasing method.

  When you add compost to your soil it becomes a permanent part of the
    soil structure, helping feed your plants into the future.

  You don't have to have a big garden to create compost. You can use your
    compost to grow herbs and pot plants.

  Home compost can be used as
     mulch - applied to the surface of the soil
     soil conditioner - mixed into the soil
     lawn conditioner - fine compost mixed with an equal amount of soil
     part of a seed and potting mix - mixed with soil


Creating Compost

  Select the type of composter you want
      You can create a pile of free standing
        material in your garden.
      You can dig a hole and leave it open
        or cover it with hessian.
      You can create an enclosed area either
        made of chicken wire, fencing or
        concrete blocks, or a wooden structure
        which will keep the pile neater.
      You can purchase a compost bin
        (there are a variety of types available
        from hardware stores or online).
      You can purchase a wormery.

  Select the space for your compost heap.
      Place your compost 'container' or bin a well drained area of bare earth
        (sand or grass) - not on paving or concrete. This makes it easier for
        worms and other creatures to get into your compost. They play a vital
        role in breaking down your garden and kitchen waste.
      Select a site that doesn't get too much wind. Some views say the bin
        shouldn't be in too much sunlight while others say that the warmth of
        the sun assists the composting process. See what works for you.

  Know what materials you can and shouldn't use for creating
    your compost.

      Use a variety of ingredients to make your compost as this provides
        even more nutrients for your garden.
      You need a balance of both green and brown materials in your compost
        bin.
Greens

Green materials contain nitrogen.

Greens rot or break down quickly.

Greens can become compacted.

Greens keep the compost moist.

Greens alone will make the
   compost slimy and smelly.
   Mix with browns.

Green materials include:

Fruit, vegetables and peelings

Tea bags or leaves

Coffee granules

Crushed egg shells

Garden & house plants

Dead flowers

Grass cuttings

  Weeds (don't compost weeds with
    persistent root systems, and
    weeds that are going to seed.)

Browns

Brown materials contain carbon.

Browns compost or break down
   more slowly.

Browns add texture and structure
   to your compost.

Browns create air pockets which
   are important for air circulation.

Browns will to be too dry on their
   own. Mix with greens.

Brown materials include:

Branches & twigs

Feathers

Hedge trimmings

Shredded cardboard & paper

Toilet paper tubes

Cardboard egg cartons

Straw & hay

Wood chippings

Sawdust

Hair & Fur

Vegetarian animals' manure
   (avoid manure from carnivores)

Autumn leaves

Dryer lint
Do not add...
meat

fish

dairy products

dog / cat faeces

cat litter

coal ash (used charcoal briquettes don't decay much so avoid using them)

nappies / used tissue

roots of persistent weeds

diseased plants

coloured or shiny paper

plastic

glass

metal

EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS! GOING GREEN WORKS!
....................................................
Home
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Reduce
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Reuse
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About Greenworks

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Recycle

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Respect & Responsibility
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Global Warming
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Green Tip of the Week
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Watch Your Waste
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Get SASSI
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Litter
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Products
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Contact Us
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Daily Checklist
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Your Carbon Footprint
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Environmental Calendar
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Office Greening
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Plant a Tree for Life
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Earth Hour
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Arbor Day
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Christmas
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Bokashi is a Japanese term that means "fermented organic
matter". 

Bokashi has traditionallybeen used to increase the microbial diversity
and activity in soils and to supply nutrients to plants.
With the Bokashi Digester you can recycle all your food-waste -
including cooked and uncooked meat, seafood, small bones and dairy
as well as worm farm unfriendly acidic food such as onions, citrus, garlic
and pineapple.
Bokashi Bran is a pleasant smelling, bran based material made with
a culture of effective micro-organisms, which help to ferment your waste
and act as a compost activator.