In keeping with this theme, we just have to introduce you to a wonderful local company, whose passion for reducing waste is evident in their mission to educate and help our community compost excess food waste and return it to the earth as nutritious, organic material. Say hello to the Compost Queens! Compost Queens make composting fuss free and easy; we bet you’ll be using their composting services for years.
The Compost Queens Bokashi Compost Method
The Compost Queens employ a unique Bokashi flake composting method to help to create a more sustainable food and economic cycle in our community. They do this by turning our abundant supply of food waste into organic matter that can be used to replenish our soils.
If you’ve learned anything from our blogs these past weeks, you now know that healthy soils create healthy plants, which then produce healthy food. Can you see why we love the mission of Compost Queens?
Bokashi is a fermentation method of composting that uses Bokashi Flakes, a ferment starter made from upcycled coffee chaff (the shell of the coffee bean). Through this method, much more of your food scraps (even meat products and solid dairy) can be composted.
Compost buckets are filled at your home or place of business and then you drop off or have the Compost Queens collect your bucket for the next step. Your food waste is collected or dropped off to be completed through a cooking process called ‘hot composting’ at The Compost Queens partnered farms.
Hot composting is a process in which decomposition of materials by bacteria takes place rapidly due to high temperatures. Soil moisture and temperature must be monitored consistently. Guess what? You don’t have to mess with doing any of that, they take care of it for you.
The best part of being involved in this program, besides doing an invaluable service to help our ecosystem, is that twice a year, the Compost Queens will deliver completed compost to your residence or place of business! You can expect about 20 gallons of compost with their delivery.
Compost Queens Residential Service
It’s super easy to sign up for this service. Every new client receives a welcome/orientation email with all of the instructions needed for the program, but the long and short of their residential service basically follows as such:
1. You sign up for the type of monthly service that best suits you (drop off or pick up),
2. With your services, you’ll receive a complete Bokashi Composting Kit, which includes airtight buckets, compostable bags, and Bokashi flakes.
3. Collect food scraps in a separate container until full, to lessen the frequency that you open your bucket. You can collect: fruit and veggie scraps, meat and bones, dryer lint, egg shells, solid dairy, grains, seafood, and some paper products.
4. Start the anaerobic fermentation process, at home or business, by tossing some Bokashi flakes into the bottom of your container and then, throughout the month, begin layering food scraps and then Bokashi flakes into an airtight container.
Filling up a smaller container first and then adding it to your provided bucket is recommended, as this helps the anaerobic process of fermentation. The less times you have to open your bucket, the less oxygen that goes into it. Less oxygen means the anaerobic fermentation process is sped up.
5. Drop off or Pick Up
Depending on which service you signed up for, once your bucket is filled, you either drop it off at one of the 7 San Antonio drop off sites. (Rainbow Gardens Bandera is one of these sites, hurray!) Or Compost Queens will schedule a time once a month to come pick up your buckets.” At the time of drop off or pick up, you will also receive all new materials you need for the next month of composting.
6. Repeat the entire process the following month.
7. Every February and August you receive a delivery of nutrient-packed, rich, organic compost just in time for the San Antonio seasonal gardening prep for spring and fall.
It takes all of us to make a change for a healthier ecosystem, and the Compost Queens composting service is a great way to start!
~The Happy Gardener, Lisa Mulroy