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Bokashi Update – Feb 15, 2008

Bokashi Bucket

Earlier this week I posted a video showing how I set up my new bokashi bucket. I just thought I would post a quick update today.

So far so good – I’ve been really happy with the system! It is very easy to use and there are still no bad odours when I open up the lid. I’ve seen some white fungal growth on the materials, but thats about it as far as visual indication of decomposition starting to occur.

This experiment has made me realize that we produce a LOT of food waste! I’ve already filled the bucket up past the half way mark, even though I’ve been pressing down the materials! (the photo to the right was taken prior to my latest addition of waste)

I’ve also decided to really put it to the test by adding materials I would never add to a worm bin or regular composter. Last night I made a special ‘surf n’ turf’ dinner for Valentines and thus ended up with some shrimp and steak scraps (along with some oily food wastes that also wouldn’t have been put in my worm bins). I thought it might be fun to try them out in the bokashi bucket since I’ve read that its ok to add meats etc. I just opened up the bucket a few minutes ago and the odour is still pleasant so thats really cool! There certainly wouldn’t be pleasant odours coming from my trash can today had I thrown them in there!

Anyway, thats all for now. I will certainly keep you updated on my progress with the bucket.

[tags]bokashi, em, effective microorganisms, friendly microorganisms, bokashi bucket, compost, composting, composter[/tags]

Written by Compost Guy on February 15th, 2008 with 7 comments.
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#1. February 15th, 2008, at 8:44 PM.

Wow, you’re composting steak and lobster indoors and there’s no smell. That’s awesome.

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#2. February 15th, 2008, at 8:45 PM.

Oops, I meant shrimp not lobster. Still awesome though.

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#3. February 19th, 2008, at 3:19 PM.

Hehe – yeah it’s pretty amazing. I’ve been checking it frequently ever since and STILL no bad odours! I’m hopeful that the same will hold true when I empty the bin as well.

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#4. February 20th, 2008, at 5:38 PM.

Hi Compost Guy!

Congratulations on your bokashi making skills and successful compost.
Making your own can be quite intense!
i has been great reading your blog, as i am a huge fan of using bokashi for a variety of applications. Since working at SCD i have become bokashi crazy!
your compost sounds like it’s fermenting like a dream. You shoudldnt have to worry about any smells from your meat/fish/dairy etc. Bokashi works for all of it – although you might want to use a bit more for those additions as it takes a bit longer to break the dense stuff down.
foul odor is often accompanied by green/blue-ish/black mold, which means your compost is rotting, not fermenting. in that case, – depending on the amount of mold -you may want to add more bokashi or start your bucket again. (doesnt sound like you will have that problem though. and by the look of your bokashi you’re a pro!)
i suggest wrapping a heavy plate in plastic and pressing it down over each new addition to your bucket. This will seal off the air in the top your bucket until you’ve filled it up. (the microbes like this best, as they ferment anaerobically. it also helps produce more tea – which you should be draining every 1-2 days).
anyway. i didnt mean to write this much, you obviously have the bokashi thing down. hope some of this is helpful though. keep up the good work! take care, 🙂 Abbie, SCD

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#5. February 21st, 2008, at 1:24 PM.

Hi Abbie!
Thanks for the comment (no worries about the length of it – you provided lots of great info). I’m definitely no pro, but thanks for the kudos anyway.
Unfortunately my bucket is very basic and has no drain. I did add a ‘falso bottom’ of shredded cardboard to help prevent too much liquid build up, but I have a feeling there will still be a fair amount by the time I empty the bucket.
Thanks for the tip re: putting a plate down overtop of the materials – thats a good idea.

Anyway, hopefully this ends up working out ok – just finishing my first bucket now.


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#6. March 9th, 2008, at 7:44 PM.

Can I suggest someone design a bokashi bucket that is a thing of beauty?
Something like the bokashi version of a Brabantia bin?
And with an more ‘snappy’, one-handed lid… those “ice cream tub” lids are a pain.
Not that I am complaining, I love Bokashi, but just as I like the earth beautiful, I like my kitchen beautiful, and I want the bokashi bin to be the object of desire that it deserves to be.
Perhaps this could harness our natural acquisitive tendencies to do good instead of harm?
Sorry if I’m shallow, but surely it can’t be a bad thing to harness my 21st century consumerist tendencies and turn them into something that helps, not harms the environment!?
I paid £60 for my pair of bokashi bins and and if I find a pair that are beautiful if a little more expensive, then I’ll pass the old ones on and thus convert more people to bokashi… sound fair!?

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#7. April 25th, 2009, at 1:59 PM.

I just started my own bokashi bucket using a 5 gal bucket, a drain plate with a spigot and an airtight Gamma lid for ease of lid removal.
I am at 2 weeks usage and my bucket isn’t quite full.
I noticed yesterday that there is a slight garbage smell when I enter the kitchen.
How is this possible? I’m using about a cup of bokashi mix every time I add food waste.
Another thing I’m wondering about… I have been adding my coffee grinds + unbleached paper filters to my bucket (I shake the grinds out and then throw in the filter). Is it okay to do this or should I eliminate the paper filter from the bucket?

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