Wondered if anyone could help? I am working as the permie on a new eco-resort in Malaysia, who are keen to incorporate permaculture solutions as much as possible into their systems. At the moment I'm trying to come up with the best composting solution. We are on an island, in humid tropical location and so need to factor in pests, aesthetics, etc carefully in the design of this system. There is a bar and restaurant on site, as well as workers canteen, as well as a lot of biomass especially palm fronds etc. so lots of material to work with.
Because of the large amounts of, especially, food waste, I'm thinking the best solution would be a bokashi ferment of this waste before mixing with manure (the owner has shipped in chicken dung but I plan to include some chooks for later stages in the design, esp for pest control with termites/ants) and carbon materials such as wood debris and palm fronds, cuttings etc on a large (hot) compost pile...
I've done this because from my research EM/IMO's will neutralise the food waste and so decrease the chances of pests being attracted to the compost piles if we were to just do a standard mix of these food wastes with the carbon stuff. The problem is there is only one suitable (shaded) area available to site the compost piles and they are at the back end near some workers quarters and office etc so they obv do not want bad smells/vermin etc being attracted to our piles.
1. Any advice or suggestions on whether this system is suitable?
2. Will drying cut grass, leaves etc mean this is now C or N material in compost pile? I've always been confused by this! I know we'll have lots of N material but outside of the wooden twigs on site, I'm having issues trying to figure out what would be the best locally available C material.
3. I plan on making our own IMO and using this to make a bokashi substrate with EFB (empty fruit bunch of palm wastes which we have been able to secure as a mulch from a nearby palm plantation). I know they usually use rice husks, or straw but as we are in Malaysia I think trying to secure a locally abundant material, especially one that is considered waste, is the best solution...Advice?
4. Will including the palm fronds in a hot compost pile (mixing manure, fermented food waste etc) work to produce compost in a short period of time? I've read they can be difficult to compost? The owner was thinking of getting an incinerator and burning this but I am keen to avoid that for obvious reasons! The soil is sandy and low in organic matter so need to try and utilise as much OM as possible from site. Anyone have experience of using palm fronds in compost? Or any other solutions for this resource?
5. There are lots of termites and ants on site, now in this location I figure that they are the main earthworm like decomposers so do I need to worrry overly about them in the compost pile? I figure an open pile should be fine esp if the hot compost method is used? Too hot for rats I'm thinking.
Phew. As you can tell I have lots of questions. This is my first permie 'job', and trying to apply my gardening/permie knowledge on this large a scale is a challenge - definitely been thrown in the deep end So any advice and help from those with more knowledge is muchos appreciated.