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Bokashi is Japanese for "fermented organic matter." Bokashi composting is a safe, quick, and convenient way to compost in your kitchen, garage, or apartment, using a specific group of microorganisms to anaerobically ferment all food waste (including meat and dairy). Since the process takes place in a closed system, insects and smell are controlled, making it ideal for urban or business settings. The process is very fast, with compost usually ready to be integrated into your soil or garden in around two weeks.
While bokashi has enjoyed great popularity in many parts of the world, it is still relatively unknown in North America. From scraps to soil, "Bokashi Composting" is the complete, step-by-step, do-it-yourself guide to this amazing process, with comprehensive information on: Background--the history, development, and scientific basis of the techniqueGetting started--composting with commercially available products or homemade systemsMaking your own--system plans and bokashi powder recipes using common materials and locally sourced ingredientsGrowing--improving your soil with finished compost, bokashi "juice," and fertilizer
This essential guide is a must-read for gardeners, homeowners, apartment dwellers, traditional composters, and anyone who wants a safe, simple, and convenient way to keep kitchen waste out of the landfill.
Adam Footer is a permaculture designer with a focus on soil building, food forestry, cover crops, water conservation and harvesting, and natural farming. He is a tireless promoter of bokashi as an ideal solution for maximizing the recycling of food waste and runs the website www.bokashicomposting.com.
Table of ContentsChapter 1 introduces the topic of bokashi to the reader. They will learn how easy and effective it is to compost using bokashi in any situation, regardless of whether they live in a home, trailer, or apartment. The reader will learn the benefits of composting with bokashi, such as speed, no mixing of green and browns, the ability to compost all foods including meat and dairy, all without loss of nutrients and no production of greenhouse gases. Chapter 2 will cover the history of bokashi composting from the discovery of essential microorganisms (EM) which eventually spread throughout Japan and Asia. I will discuss the various microorganisms that are in EM, why they were selected, and why they are important. The reader will also learn about bokashi's roots in Korean natural farming which has been used for centuries. In Chapter 3 the reader will learn about the science of bokashi composting. What is actually happening to the food waste during the fermentation process? Which organisms are involved and what are they doing? Chapter 4 will go into the various uses for bokashi. Bokashi powder can be used to ferment green wastes resulting in a microbially rich fertilizer; it can be used to ferment pet waste; and it can be added directly to the soil to improve soil microbial counts. This will lead the reader into the main use for bokashi, fermenting food waste. In Chapter 5 the reader will learn how to make their own bokashi powder. They will learn what types of bacterial inoculants they can use to inoculate a carrier such as wheat or rice bran. These inoculants can be purchased or cultured at home using common household ingredients. They will learn about the different types of carriers that they can use for their bokashi powder. I will discuss using rice and wheat bran and a "powder" made using shredded paper. The reader will learn about each of the steps involved in making the bran; inoculating the carrier, fermenting the bokashi powder, and drying it to extend the shelf life. The reader will also learn how to increase the nutrient content of bokashi fertilizer by adding extra ingredients such as rock dust, azomite, fish meal, and chicken manure to the powder. This chapter will include simple, easy to follow recipes, so that anyone can assemble the ingredients and make a useable product. Chapter 6 will cover making your own fermentation vessel using common hardware store parts. The chapter will provide the reader with instructions and a complete list of parts. I will also discuss fermenting waste using larger vessels such as plastic 55 gallon drums and pre-made anaerobic fermentation containers. In Chapter 7 the reader will learn how to ferment green waste using their new homemade fermentation vessel and bokashi bran. The instructions will be easy to follow, step by step, so the reader can end up with a great fertilizer each and every time. Chapter 8 will show the reader what to do with their finished fermented food waste. They will learn that they can add the fermented food waste to their worm bin, traditional compost pile, or directly to the soil. Various strategies for integrating the waste into the soil will be discussed such as trenching and burying between plants. A basic grid strategy will be covered so the user can add the waste to their garden in a systematic matter allowing it the proper time to cure in the soil. Chapter 9 will discuss bokashi leachate and how it can be used. This chapter will focus on why the leachate is a beneficial byproduct and not something that you discard. Chapter 10 will present a variety of bokashi case studies showing the benefits of bokashi. The case studies will be conducted by the author and will also include third party studies. Chapter 11 will summarize why bokashi composting is such a powerful composting method. I will recap everything that the reader has learned, concluding with why people can benefit from practicing bokashi composting. Chapter 12 will be an FAQ and will allow the reader to troubleshoot any problems that they may have. It will cover various common problems that could arise during the fermentation process, explain why they probably occurred, and what the most practical solutions are. *Photos illustrating the various processes and steps will be included in each of the chapters where relevant.
Feature offered to: Permaculture Magazine, BackhomeExcerpts pitched to Mother Earth News, Urban Farm, Organic Gardening, Sunset MagazineAuthor will promote book on his website www.bokashicomposting.com and at events such as San Diego Permaculture ConvergencePromotion on New Society Publishers Facebook page with book announcement and contest, promotion on @NewSocietyPub TwitterSimultaneous ebook release and marketing
Adam Footer is a permaculture designer with a focus on soil building, food forestry, nitrogen fixation, cover crops, water conservation and harvesting, and natural farming. He is currently converting his suburban property into a functioning homestead using skills from his engineering background combined with permaculture principles. Adam has been researching and promoting bokashi composting for several years as an ideal solution for maximizing the recycling of food waste in any situation.
I have to thank you for writing this book Adam - FINALLY we have a well-researched, comprehensive guide to bokashi composting. I've already changed a few of my techniques based on your advice and my bokashi is decomposing faster as a result. Your information is thorough and your writing style is clear and refreshingly humble. You've really created THE step-by-step guide for making bokashi, and people lucky enough to pick up this book will have created a beautiful microbial inoculant for their gardens and houseplants in no time. -- Phil Nauta, author of Building Soils Naturally As we reach our teens in the 21st Century, it's clear that we must explore more and newer ways of reducing our waste output. We have already achieved great reductions in what enters urban landfill sites, and more efficient recycling. But what can we do in our own homes -- in our urban condos and apartment buildings? In this upbeat, informative book, Adam Footer reveals the Bokashi composting option, and shows us how to further reduce our food waste, turning it back into the Earth and enriching the soil as we do. His explanation of bacterial culturing is clear and simply stated. Whether you purchase a home Bokashi kit or build your own, following Footer's foolproof instructions, this is the manual for you. -- Mark Macdonald, West Coast Seeds