A huge thank you to Rainier Valley Food Bank (@rainiervalleyfb) and Bike Works (@bikeworks206) for ending their Urban Ag Bike Tour at the Beacon Food Forest. These bike tours are a great way to highlight the incredible food production sites going on here in Southeast Seattle and how these partnerships have fostered a local food system for the RVFB. We couldn't go without thanking Liz Davis (@deflorawalks ) for preparing a delicious meal for all us cyclists, using the greens from our Helix Giving Garden for the delicious salad. There is one more bike tour next month – check in with the RVFB to see if any openings are available.
As my entire excuse for procrastination (here, at least) is that I only want to give information that is tried and tested, I thought I better give an update on my Tamarillo Chutney.
I left the chutney for three months to allow the flavours to mellow (as is, apparently, the golden rule of Chutney making).
The results: we are very happy with the easy to eat, quite sweet, fruity chutney. Today we had a little platter of crackers, homemade rocket pesto, creamed cheese with chives and sundried tomatoes, sliced cornbeef, cucumber and tomato with a small dish of this chutney. Lovely family moment. Oops, forgot to take a pic for you, sorry.
Can’t wait until the Tamarillo Tree fruits again so I can make a bigger batch of chutney (and of that amazing jam)
This is a brilliant record of a community garden from woe to go. I am hoping to do something similar for Equilibrium Future Solutions amazing Natural Gardens which we have enjoyed watching emerge from nothingness.
A sunny warm San Francisco Saturday unfolded like a picnic blanket on the grass at Dolores Park.
Today’s main event was a Alice in Wonderland themed tea party fundraiser for the Please Touch Community Garden, a creative space that was founded by one of my dearest friends, GK Callahan, artist and MFA student at the California College of the Arts.
I can still remember in January 2010, when GK and I, were vacationing in Mexico, and he received the news that he had the green light to plant this seed of a project. His vision was expansive- to turn a run down, needle-strewn vacant lot across the street from City Hall, into a community garden, when everyone, including the blind community from the LightHouse for the Blind across the street could come and enjoy the sun.
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What seems like eons ago now (but was only January last year, really) … I discovered Bokashi. Here are my preliminary ramblings from back then:
I stumbled on Bokashi less than 2 weeks ago, when I googled ‘kitchen compost’ and thought I was looking for a suitable hardware item. I went from ‘what the’ to ‘wow’ over a sceptical and dizzying personal research program. The more info I found the easier, simpler and possibly cheaper it got and the limits of the benefits to gardens, communities and … the planet seem endless.
I looked at prices of ‘required’ equipment and EM-1 activated microbes (the powder you sprinkle on your scraps to commence the fermenting process – stands for Effective Microorganisms). I tried to think it through and did a bit more research. It was becoming a little daunting – with lots of online and youtube suggestions that you can add this and that, you can make your own powder in 50lb lots, etc. I just wanted something that didn’t stink in my kitchen so I could get back to not throwing out perfectly useful scraps.
Then I found http://bokashiworld.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/it-can-be-done-bringing-home-bokashi-to-your-veggie-patch/ Suddenly this was easy as: Follow simple steps and throw just about anything in. It can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. I ended up buying the commercial bucket (lets face it, my initial plan was to buy something nice-looking to keep in my kitchen also hubby encouraged me to spend the extra as I LOVE gardening), Jenny is very successful, on quite a large scale, with just a lidded bucket. Highly recommended reading!
I chose to also buy the powder. But have recipes for making the base and activating the EM inoculant (in smaller than 50lb lots). Plenty of youtube instruction videos – you probably need to buy the inoculant to start though this goes a long, long way and is not costly (share the cost with a friend or two?). The commercial powder contains a mixture of ‘good’ microbes in a wheat bran (or similar) base. It’s light, smells just sort of fresh and is easy to use – grab a handful and sprinkle.
So far, I have had NO smells (I’m only on my first bucket remember, don’t hold me to it). It won’t be in the kitchen once it is full and going through it’s ferment stage. I will be using a normal bucket for a second bucket and sacrificing the liquid as I went crazy and re-established my previously murdered worm-farm, too. My second bucket is going on holidays and, as I don’t have to worry about a bit of paper sucking up the liquid, I’ll be collecting all the meat, vege, cheese, bread, cofee grounds, etc, etc, etc scraps from 4 families, sprinkling with Bokashi powder and bringing home. Can’t wait actually! This seems so much more user friendly than worm farms and even traditional compost where my own family would have trouble working out what to put in.
Once the scraps are fermented – in about 2 weeks, I could just dig a hole and bury it (in the yard, in the garden, in a box of soil). I will use it to get my compost pile going faster and also introduce some to the worms. I feel Bokashi just makes all the processes come together and the garden should just come alive. The fact that ferment doesn’t stink like rot is just a bonus so I can do this on the run, right where the scraps are created – in my kitchen.
There’s people doing this that don’t care for gardening, just for waste reduction – giving it to the gardener down the road or the local community garden.
Week 2 – I don’t know how I survived without Bokashi – guess I’m hooked!
Thank you to my facebook friend who put this pic on their profile. For some reason, I suddenly felt that it might be time for me to curtail my procrastinating activities and sally forth to infiltrate those To-Do items left unsallied to for what seems time immemorial (borrowing badly from Monty Python, and the English language in general, with irreverent apologies).
There is quite a list of procrastinations that I am guilty of – from cleaning the windows to a years worth of book-keeping, but I won’t bore you with the list.
The main item for discussion here is…well, my blog and, more specifically, blogging of my Bokashi experiences. I have been trialling and keeping records of my waste reduction, garden construction, composting and vermiculture adventures since January 2012. I signed up for my blog, but didn’t even write my first post until WordPress sent me an anniversary congratulations email.
Now, my blog is up and running and I am slowly getting a few posts together when I get a chance. However, I have not committed a word to screen about Bokashi, which is crazy when it has had such a big influence on my life.
I am one of those people that needs to always have a project and I had been a bit down (and noteably projectless) with some fairly serious personal issues, not the least of which was (is) chronic back pain. I had given way too much, to way too many (as is my way) and finally burned myself out physically, financially and spiritually. Mentally, I was finding it difficult to compose myself and just get on with. And then…..
Watch this space to see if I can actually get off my derriere, or more correctly – get onto it, and share my Bokashi story. Knowing me as I do, I’m hoping I don’t just decide to do the book-keeping and get back to this commitment after that. Problem is both involve sitting down, which isn’t great on the back, but writing will create enthusiasm in me while book-keeping will bring me a nice chunky tax refund cheque. Hmmm.
Do you procrastinate a certain something in your life???
“To empower ourselves and be the intelligence and processors of nutrients from the forest we steward. To be similar to beneficial bacteria that maintain our ability for resiliency and good health and to be very unlike and have no reference to virus’ who kill their hosts. Long live the ability and will power for Humanity to evolve with its Host, Earth.”
Read about Beacon Food Forest, Seattle on their website:
This is how we move forward co-operatively! http://beaconfoodforest.weebly.com/news.html
Another Link about Beacon Food Forest:
Andrea Watts has written a great article on Seedstock.com (http://seedstock.com/2013/04/10/beacon-food-forest-brings-together-diverse-community-to-regenerate-public-lands) which explains some of the hows and some of the how-it-nearly-didn’ts of Beacon Food Forest. It took some striving to get it happening and there’ll need to be more to get the project completed. It is a five year project and stage 1 is done.