Saturday, 9 March 2013

how I prevent my dog eating Bokashi compost

For many years I've buried our tastiest compost in the front garden, where Penny is not permitted to go (unless she's with a human). Tasty by her standards, you understand. Disgusting, by ours.

Amongst the many forms of composting that I use, the most frequent comes out of our Bokashi bin. Because this system is anaerobic and takes everything - dairy, meat, onions, for instance - I need to be sure it is completely out of Penny's reach until it has decomposed completely. (I never put chocolate in it, because I  think even when decomposed, chocolate might still be dangerous - but then again, there's never a skerrick of chocolate left over in our house.)

For seven years, then, the front garden has been enriched by Bokashi compost but not the back yard. But our back garden is the main fruit and vegie growing spot, so I've devised a system to keep Penny out of danger.

First, I obtained - legally! - a bakery delivery tray.

I measure the area of the tray and dig a hole in the ground to match, about 10 centimetres (4 inches) deep. This is less depth than I'm supposed to, but I have a disk problem in my back, and that's all I can dig.

I collect the dug out soil in bins, or even an old cardboard box.

Most important step! Close the gate so Penny can't come out to see what I'm doing...

...because now I'm about to spread out the dee-li-cious compost. (In a Bokashi system, the ingredients get pickled, rather than actually breaking down into soil at this stage.) 

I aim to keep the 'stuff' towards the centre of the hole, in case Penny later digs around the edges.

Then cover it all by replacing the previously removed soil.

And this is the point where I learned my lesson many years ago, because Penny moseyed outside and dug up the compost, which I didn't learn about until she started vomiting.

So, now I cover it with the bakery tray and put a heavy paver on top.

And who's that in the distance having a look at what I was doing? Yep, Penny! Another household member came out to hang out the washing, and Penny appeared.

So now I'll keep an eye on the spot and make sure there's no disturbance around the edges.

Here's a photo of the last place I successfully buried the Bokashi. I've made a fence around the area to be quite, quite sure it's out of Penny's reach until plants have covered it completely.


Anonymous said...

Oh Penny, you aren't much at digging really are you? Should come meet Lucy one day. LOL

I never had a problem for the first few months of burying Bokashi, but when a bucket failed I, through some momentary lack of reason, buried it. I should have frozen it and put it out with the rubbish, but hindsight is 20/20.

I had reinforcement steel and two layers of steel fencing, pegged down with wooden pegs. There was no stopping that lovely, innocent looking, Border Collie. She couldn't dig down far enough, but still stuck her paws in between each slat and dug what she could.

Since then, good or bad,
all Bokashi needs to be fenced off and very, very well. LOL

Penny is gorgeous. Best of luck with your adventures in the garden.


parlance said...

Kerri, you're so right! Penny is not a digger. One of the really great things about her is that somehow, we managed to train her not to go through anything that looks like a barrier. Beats me how we did it, but it's quite a firm behaviour, which is why I can put up flimsy barriers and hope for success.

I thought your blog looked super interesting when I went over to have a look, but I couldn't get to any posts. I'd love to read about your gardening adventures.

curator said...

You know, none of this would have really made any sense to me before my current house and its poor, poverty-ridden soil...
But in any case, if it keeps Penny safely out of the compost, all well worth it!

parlance said...

curator, I'm a fanatic about feeding my soil. But hopefully I'm not feeding my dog the same stuff, lol.

Molly the Airedale said...

Once you have an account and can preview your book, you can put checks in boxes on the posts that you don't want to be in your book. We did that for most of our True Color posts unless there was a special picture that we couldn't live without. We didn't want a table of contents so we X'd that out too.
Hope this helps.

Love ya lots,
Mitch and Molly

parlance said...

Mitch and Molly, thanks for that info about how to publish a blog book. With Google having let me down in such a major way by deciding to get rid of Google Reader, I no longer trust them, so publishing some of my blog in a hard-copy book might be a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Hi Parlance,
I hadn't done any posts on my blog when you popped in, sorry. It's up and running now, though only a few posts so far. Still feeling the way, trying out things and having fun.
Take care, and say hi to Penny.

parlance said...

Kerri, I love your blog! I'd have added it to my Google Reader, but I'm having to gradually wean myself off Google Reader, because horrible, untrustworthy Google had decided to abolish it. So, instead, I've become a follower of your blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Parlance,
Thanks for following.

I'll keep in touch with all your adventures, too.

Sorry Google is messing you around.

Speak again soon.

parlance said...

Looking forward to reading about your garden, Kerri.