ZEBBY aka BIRDO: STRONG, SMART BIRD MOM

We leave seed out for the neighborhood birds. I don’t know if that’s legal or not, and I’m pretty sure the neighbors get slightly annoyed, but it’s led to a lot of friendly bird-folk visits. And that’s WORTH IT in my books.

This is a journal.

Meet ZEBBY, aka BIRDO: STRONG SMART BIRD MOM.

Zebby is a Zebra dove, Geopelia striata. They are a very common species here in Hawai’i, originally native to Southeast Asia. Zebby is the generic name I’ve given to the-most-friendly-Zebra-dove in the yard at the time. They usually stay on the sidewalk trees until I start the daily watering of the plants. Then they come around and land on the fences surrounding our yard and watch me until I set out some seed. Some will jump into the yard no matter what I’m doing and some wait until I’m under the patio roof to come down and eat. Zebby is the type to be found searching in the patio for treats when I’m not there. Zebby flies into the yard as soon as the seed goes down, and will stay in the yard eating, even as my daughter swings. Zebby doesn’t get bothered by the cats when they are in the yard… UNLESS they start to stalk. Zebby will smartly leave if one of the cats sets their eyes on her. Zebby is the name of my favorite Zebra doves that have learned over the years that our yard is a friendly place.

The Zebra Doves are usually joined by Spotted Doves, Spilopelia chinensis. Well, it’s always been only one or possibly two Spotted Doves. And at least a dozen Zebras. When a Spotted Dove learns to trust the yard, it’s given the title of BIRD BIRD. BIRD BIRD has been known to sit on the Orchid Trellis to let me know it is hungry. We once had a BIRD BIRD mysteriously die in our yard, and we were really sad to think that it would no longer visit us as we tend to the plants. However, another Spotted Dove eventually (just a couple of weeks really) became BIRD BIRD and visits us each day at feeding time.

Visitors to the yard also include Red-crested cardinals (Paroaria coronata), Red-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus cafer), Saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola), Mejiro (Zosterops japonicus), Myna birds (Acridotheres tristis), and sometimes even a Rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri). But none of these have been so friendly as to earn a special title.

Zebbs however…. little Zebby just leveled up.

Zebby has earned the new title of BIRDO: STRONG SMART BIRD MOM .

Zebby in her “nest”.

The other morning, I was suprised to see a little Zebby sitting in my hanging orchid pot. Well, sitting and poking around in it. Later that afternoon she was gone. I was watering the plants and the seed was down and all the little Zebra were pecking around. I reached up into the orchid pot to confirm my suspicions …

AND I FELT TWO PERFECT, SMOOTH, LITTLE EGGS! Zebby has since been on her nest every day and night unless it’s feeding time. She’s such a sweet little bird mom. My daughter named her STRONG SMART BIRD MOM, because she was smart enough to pick a hanging pot under a patio roof of a friendly family. She said Zebby was strong too, because she didn’t fly away out of fear when my daughter used her swing. That evening, it RAINED SO HARD. And Zebby just sat on her eggs, safe and sheltered under the patio roof.

According to the net, it looks like we have a couple of weeks of incubation. I really hope Zebby can continue to be a good bird mom, but I already reminded my daughter of Catterbuddy, our Swallowtail who never got to spread her wings and fly. Because you know, that ‘s how life goes sometimes.

My daughter just walked up to me and asked, “Mom, how do birds get water?” This was her nice way of reminding me that the bird-bath was dry and it was time to go out and tend to all of the wonderful life we have outside in our yard now.

I’ll post about Zebby, I mean, BIRDO! again soon.

STEP 3: BURY THE BOKASHI

Hi all! I’ve finally buried my Bokashi! I let it do it’s final ferment waaaay over two weeks. It was raining a bit, I was lazy a lot, and some other life things kept getting in the way of this step. Luckily, you can let Step 2 sit a while and it just sort of … stays. I think this is one of my favorite things about the Bokashi system – you can get lazy with it. It’s not at all like a compost pile that you have to turn daily. As long as I was emptying the tea every other day or so, it was ALL good. By last weekend, however, I was just getting scared to bury it. I had smelled some bad tea along the way and I WAS TERRIFIED THAT THIS STEP WAS GOING TO SMELL LIKE TRASH!!!! Here’s a quick video of the tea pouring out.

BOKASHI TEA DOESN’T SMELL IF YOU EMPTY IT OUT OFTEN!

So, TODAY WAS THE DAY. I weeded the garden bed yesterday and I had to get over it and just DO IT!

Dug some shallow ditches to BURY the BOKASHI PICKLES in.
There’s the stuff!
Remember, white mold on top means everything is
going WELL.
The egg yolks were super mushy, the rice and sweet potato peels were all gone. Lots of orange peels remain. What happened to all the egg shells?
I covered up the pickles, and had an
extra bag of potting soil lying around since pre-pandemic, so I threw that on top!

NOW, we wait ANOTHER 2 weeks! This is when our diverted food-waste turns back into the soil, making best use of the other-wise wasted nutrients we usually let rot in our trash. I can honestly say that I miss taking my egg and veggie peels out to the Bokashi bin every day. And when I see myself put those peels into the trash bin simply because that’s our culture (and because I need to purchase more Bokashi bran), it makes me feel wasteful. I’m super excited to start this whole process again!

During these two weeks (or more) I’ll take more videos of what’s happening underground. I’ll post them to a FINAL (for now, at least) entry in this Bokashi Journal of mine. Thanks for following along!

STEP 2: FERMENT YOUR BOKASHI

STEP 2

Okay, so you’ve followed the above steps and now your Bokashi bucket is full of non-wasted-food-waste. Nice!

Technically, the food at the bottom of the top bucket (the food you first put in) has probably been fermenting for weeks now! I took me around a month to fill my bucket. But the food at the top of the bucket has only recently been placed inside. So the next step is to make sure that the entire bucket gets 2 weeks of air-tight fermenting. Just put the lid on and don’t open it for at least 2 weeks.

ln the meantime, you STILL HAVE TO EMPTY THE TEA REGULARLY. When I was feeding my food-waste to the bucket, it was easy to remember and drain the tea daily. Now… I seem to forget about it. I made the mistake of not emptying the tea out for 4 days and when I did… it smelled pretty trashy. UGH…First time I gagged during this whole Bokashi process so far. Luckily, once I drained it, the smell went away with the liquid. I’m better at remembering to empty it daily again, but I’m also comforted to know that it wasn’t the end of my project! 8) Thank you effective microorganisms!

As I wait out the time on my bucket, I want to remind you that the next step involves choosing an area of your yard to BURY THE BOKASHI! I will be using half of my garden bed. This thing has seen better days, and is now hosting a bunch of unwanted volunteers (weeds), but it’s still a nice marked area of the yard. So part of my prep for Step 3 is weeding, and clearing any old grass runners out of the bed. Once the bed is clear, I’m going to add a bunch of leftover potting soil I’ve had for too long not using. It’s been rainy, so my Bokashi might have a little extra time to ferment. It shouldn’t be a problem.

I’m really excited to bury this stuff. See you then!