You get into a lot of interesting conversations when you bring up the subject of Bokashi. I have to admit I often feel like a bit of a nerd, but the subject of taking care of our soil and our waste and our gardens is relevant as hell so often I just dive on in anyway. Sometimes you end up in a long and philosophical discussion on the environment, other times you end up with a very, very blank look to deal with.
There’s a woman in Austin, Texas who is experimenting in every way you can think of with Bokashi, worms, compost and apartment gardening — all with a great spirit of curiosity.
But on the subject of blank looks she describes it perfectly — have a read of it here, it’s quite funny!:
“Go on,” my friend said, “ask her.” My friend’s friend rolled his eyes but obediently asked me what I’m doing with all my buckets.
“…Bokashi? What’s that?”
“Two-stage composting,” I answered.
He nodded, said that he didn’t garden, and the conversation moved on.
The whole idea of running a soil factory at home is interesting.
You can reach a committed gardener easily — fellow composters are quick to recognise a kindred spirit. But often they think they’ve got it sorted, nothing to be gained by trying something new. “Suburban gardeners” often have another response, they love their gardens to bits, but that whole business of soil is a bit of a mystery. Too hard, too messy, too complicated — can’t you just buy something in a bag? So some buy into the idea of Bokashi — a back garden soil factory — while many don’t dare.
Then there are many dedicated green people you come across, they understand immediately we can’t carry on the way we’re going. Some jump on the idea immediately of getting a practical solution to an everyday problem, something they can do themselves. Easily. Others back off a bit, sometimes the theory is more comfortable than the practice.
Then you have the people who just don’t get it. Those who are worried about what the neighbours might think, are afraid it might smell, that they don’t know anyone else doing it, that actually it should be someone elses problem to take care of their rubbish. My only consolation is that times will change — ARE CHANGING! — and the world is slowly but surely moving forward in this any so many other areas. It wasn’t that long ago we wouldn’t have dreamed of sorting our plastic for recycling, now its everyday life (at least here in Sweden).
So how do we converts convince the unconvinced? I don’t know. But it’s worth keeping on trying!