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Bokashi Update – Feb 21, 2008

Just thought I would post a quick update today. My bucket is pretty well jammed to the top so I’ve added a healthy amount of bokashi over the top, sealed it back up and will now let it brew for a couple of weeks before testing it out as worm food. I’m going to be starting up a second bucket very soon as well.

So far I’ve been really impressed with this ‘composting’ method. Making the bokashi mix itself did take some time and effort, but the actual process of filling up my bucket has been unbelievably easy and convenient. Best of all I’ve been able to jam a LOT of material into my bucket without any resulting bad odours. If I was aging wastes in a bucket in preparation to feed my worms (something I often will do), I would definitely need to make sure I mixed in lots of absorbent cardboard in order to prevent bad smells from being generated. My worm composting itself never creates foul odours, but I can at times be limited in terms of the amount of waste I can add at one time (although not really an issue these days since I have multiple bins to feed) – this is never an issue with a bokashi bucket. As long as you have other buckets to use, and more dry bokashi mix you can add waste till the cows come home (and then you can add some manure while you’re at it – haha).

I had a funny experience with it yesterday. I walked into my work room (down in the basement) and could smell a strong smell of decaying waste. It wasn’t terrible, but it was quite obvious. I thought for sure that my bokashi bucket was starting to stink!
As it turned out, it was a bag of semi-aged food waste that I had put down there in preparation for adding it to the bucket! When I opened up the bucket to make sure, I was greeted by the usual sweet bokashi odour and nothing more.

I’m pretty sure bokashi is going to remain an important part of my overall household waste management plan. But we’ll see what the worms have to say about that before I jump to any conclusions!

[tags]bokashi, em, effective microorganisms, friendly microorganisms, bokashi bucket, compost, composting, worm composting, vermicomposting, waste management[/tags]

Written by Compost Guy on February 21st, 2008 with comments disabled.
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Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Simon Sherlock
#1. February 22nd, 2008, at 10:45 AM.

The only time my Bokashi bucket has smelled nasty has been high summer and not enough Bokashi bran added (it costs money and I was being too frugal). Also, again during hot weather, if the bucket gets knocked (or kicked my young people swinging their legs in the kitchen) then you get the occasional silage type smell.

Both times another handful of Bokashi bran has sorted it and the only time you notice the smell is when you draw off the liquid – it is foul smelling stuff yet stops nasty odours in drains or makes your plants go mad if you water it down and use it as a liquid feed.

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Simon Sherlock
#2. February 22nd, 2008, at 10:48 AM.

Judging by the picture above I would recomend cutting your waste up smaller before adding it.
It will stil break down but the smaller the better.

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Simon Sherlock
#3. February 22nd, 2008, at 2:52 PM.

>I’m sure the material will be readily consumed by my worms
>once I let it brew for a bit.
I’ll say, mine go mad for it and can demolish a whole Bokashi butcket in just over a month, which is approximately 2 months quicker than if I’d just added it straight to the worm bin in the first place.

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Tracy B
#4. February 27th, 2008, at 5:39 PM.

i am very excited by the Bokashi bucket. I have recently started a worm bin and as I don’t want to overfeed the worms I have an over abundance of “food.” So far I have been freezing the food but it usually sits in my kitchen compost bucket for a week and gets very smelly! This sounds like te perfect solution. I have one question – Can I use two stacking buckets and put holes in the bottom of the top to let the liquid drain? I cannot afford a fancy setup with a tap right now (although I would love one later on.)


Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Simon Sherlock
#5. February 27th, 2008, at 5:44 PM.

Tracy, Bokashi works anaerobically so if you did use two buckets it would need to be totally air tight or the process won’t work correctly. Plus, the liquid really , really stinks, which is a great reason for it all being tightly sealed in the bucket.

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Tracy B
#6. February 27th, 2008, at 7:42 PM.

I was looking at this site http://www.greatday.ca/ and if you look at the kit he is selling it consists of 2 pails and 1 lid. I have the exact same pails (recycled) and I was wondering if he has drilled holes. I will pop him an email and ask. Ever frugal (Scottish) I don’t want to buy a $75 dollar bucket and then find out that it doesn’t work for my situation 🙂

Thanks again for your help and suggestions.


Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Mark
#7. March 3rd, 2008, at 9:54 PM.

Hi Compost Guy,
When you asked about the furring f the bokashi liquid I said I would find out why. After consulting with the oracle at Wiggly Wigglers, they said it would do this as it’s not meant to be stored and once air gets to it the micro things start producing the white fur.
Hopes this helps.

Cheers Mark

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Simon Sherlock
#8. March 4th, 2008, at 6:27 AM.

I get the white fur sometimes at the end of the fortnights ‘pickling’ and especially if I leave it any longer. I look at it as a sign that things are active in the bin.

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com sophe
#9. March 9th, 2008, at 7:59 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!?

Re. the fur – my bokashi leaflet says that white fur is good, green fur is bad. Even using the ‘proper’ bokashi bucket, you still get air exposure when opening the lid. The mixture doesn’t get the chance to ferment properly (i.e. anaerobically) until the three week ‘rest period’. This is why the bokashi kits supply two buckets, so you can fill one (since you can’t avoid adding air during the fill process) while the other is fermenting anaeroically.