A week old and no smell


What’s that golden, bubbly liquid in the pic?

It’s week old urine, thats what!

Yuck! You may well say, but its been modified by the addition of billions of bacteria that have fermented it over the last week.

Now, it has only a sweet smell and tiny bubbles. No, I havent tasted it.

Someone posted a link on Facebook a while back about fermenting urine and I thought I’d give it a go using my own and some of the Bokashi liquid that I make.

I’m not sure what super powers it has, but I’m working on the theory that fermentation improves our food and our compost, so why can’t it improve our bodily wastes in some way.

I’m also making the wild assumption that the fermenting bacteria have out competed any nasties that might have come about through normal aerobic fermentation of the urine.

One of these days, I’m going to have to get a decent microscope! Anyone got one for sale?

Creative Commons


To give some protection to the intellectual property of folks who contribute to this blog, we’ve decided to slap some Creative Commons symbols all over it.

Here’s a bit from Wikipedia that explains what those three symbols to the right mean…

“Attribution (BY) Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative works and remixes based on it only if they give the author or licensor the credits (attribution) in the manner specified by these”.

“Licensees may copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and make derivative works and remixes based on it only for non-commercial purposes”.

“Share-alike Share-alike (SA) Licensees may distribute derivative works only under a license identical (“not more restrictive”) to the license that governs the original work. (See also copyleft.) Without share-alike, derivative works might be sublicensed with compatible but more restrictive license clauses, e.g. CC BY to CC BY-NC.)”.

So, basically, people are free to use, copy and distribute info they find on this site as long as they attribute the author(s), don’t use it commercially and don’t distribute it under other terms than these.

Don’t you reckon that’s fair?

Crumbly Bokashi goodness


The last Bokashi dog poo digester was full yesterday, It is time to pull up the first and see if our theory works.

A bucket of surprising goodness
A bucket of surprising goodness

The good new is that it does! Even over winter, the action of anaerobic bacteria, followed by worms and other soil critters, turned a 20 litre bucket of dog poo and Bokashi bran into about half a bucket of good stuff.

No smell, no yucky liquids, just crumbly goodness!

This was once smelly dog poo...
This was once smelly dog poo…
No smell, no slime...
No smell, no slime…

As a general precaution, I wouldn’t sprinkle it on our annual vegetables. It’s source material is poo, after all and there are many variables to consider: soil temperature, variations in bacteria on the bran, time, composition of the dig poo etc.

I think its best to either bury it beneath perennials or put it through a second stage of composting such as worms (who just love eating all the microbes,) or a hot, aerobic compost pile.

Liquid gold!


Bokashi gold!

I’ve been fiddling for a while trying to work out a way to extend the Bokashi liquid that we buy from the shops.

I’m happy that I’ve finally got a system that provides consistent results.

It is ridiculously simple. All it takes is –

1/4 cup of commercial Bokashi liquid

1/2 cup of molasses

5ml of Seasol

2 litres of filtered or rain water.

All you do is mix them all up, put them in a container of the appropriate size, leaving the lid a little loose, or use some other way to release the gas that builds up such as a daily ‘burping’.

Leave the container in a warm place for a couple of weeks (the time wil depend on the temperature).

You will notice small bubbles forming on the surface. This is carbon dioxide that comes from the activities of the microbes in the mix as they eat the molasses and Seasol and breed like crazy. This activity will also cause the liquid to heat up a bit too.

You may notice a little sedimentation at the bottom of your container. I assume this is solid waste from the critters in the mix. When you see this, or a layer of cloudiness at the bottom, your mix is ready to go!

At this stage, the result is as good as the liquid you buy in spray bottles.

Now here’s a thing…If you leave the liquid for longer (in my case, over a month), the liquid thickens considerably and can be used in the same way as the liquid that forms in the bottom of the Bokashi buckets.

So there you go. You can extend the life of your bottle of Bokashi liquid greatly using this simple method.

Hooray!

Lavender


Everyone who was ever a kid knows Lavender! It’s that purple plant in the garden that your Grandmother and her friends always smelled of. It’s the one your Mum tied up in little bags and put in the clothes drawer. Lavender has been a part of most of our lives, but how to use it as a remedy when we are ill?

It’s probably no surprise that Lavender helps us to relax. It’s used in pillows, as oils and as teas for just that reason, but how does it do this?

If I was to summarise the effects of Lavender, it would be by saying that it has an amazing effect on tension in the mind and this translates into a whole range of remedial actions.

Like Lemon Balm, Lavender is a cooling relaxant (If you remember, I wrote a while back that most of the mint family are warming relaxants). You may see it listed in some places as a stimulant, but I reckon that this is because it promotes the free flow of energy and blood by stimulating peripheral circulation and easing the mind, making us feel more energized in some situations.

It has a great effect on the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system and helps that to relax. I mentioned before that Lavender’s effect was on the mind. Well, (here we get a bit technical) the autonomic nervous system translates unconcious thought into physical action, so if the unconscious is relaxed, the body will be too.

It opens the mind so that its contents can be moved out. I’ve found that exposure to Lavender or the Bach Remedy ‘Crab Apple’ can help people who feel like they need to fast or purge. Both these remedies help people who feel in some way ‘unclean’.

How else can Lavender help ease physical symptoms by relaxing our mind?

Tension headaches and tightness in the neck and shoulders that come from anxiety and stress can be relieved. Nausea and stomach ache from stress. Related too are dizziness and fainting from, exhaustion from too much thinking, ruminating and meditating.

We can use Lavender to help those who are perfectionists, detail oriented but whose perfectionism comes from anxiousness and too much thinking about something. It helps us sleep when our minds are too busy.

Being rich in aromatics, Lavender can help us with gum infections and bad breath, coughs and respiratory congestion. Direct contact with the oil is a well known way to relieve pain (I believe it was the first oil to be ‘discovered’ by modern science and that it gave birth to the field of aromatherapy.

I’ve mentioned that Lavender complements Rosemary in its effect on blood sugar. Lavender improves the conversion of sugar stored in the liver into glucose, giving rise to more energy. Rosemary has an effect more like insulin, reducing blood sugar levels when they are too high.

Lavender can help us relax, increase our energy through easing our mind and letting it flow. It also gives us energy through its effect on blood sugar, this is why it’s a bit of a contradiction when you read about it in some books, it is a relaxant and a stimulant.

Fascinating hey?

Tinctures by the Folk Method


The Folk method is the easiest way to make a tincture…
Step 1: Gather and clean your herb
Step 2: Slice, chop or blend the herb into small pieces
Step 3: 1/2 to 3/4 fill your jar with the herb
Step 4: Fill the jar with your chosen alcohol
Step 5: Make sure all of the bubbles are removed
Step 6: Seal it up and give it a good shake
Step 7: Label the jar appropriately
Step 8: Put in a cool, dark place
Step 9: Shake daily for a week or so
Step 10: After 1 month, strain and bottle

Hooray! Youve made your first tincture!

Tinctures by the Ratio Method


The Ratio method can help get your tinctures more consistent. There’s a few more steps than in the Folk method, but if you can bake bread, you can do this �

Step 1: Prepare your herbs
Step 2: Weigh the bowl you will be using. Set the scales to 0 however you do it on yours. We want to weigh the herb. Mine is a button that says ‘tare’.
Step 3: Weigh your herb.
Step 4: Measure the correct amount of alcohol ( I’ll explain the ratio later).
Step 5: Chop the herbs. I cut coarsely, then add to a blender.
Step 6: Add the alcohol and mix thoroughly ( the blender does well here).
Step 7: Pour the mix into your jar
Step 8: Label and put in a cool, dry place.
Step 9: Shake daily for a week or two.
Step 10: After 2 weeks to a month, strain and bottle.

There’s a couple of vague bits there, but this is just the general idea. I’ll post on details shortly.