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Bokashi

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Bokashi

Post  jazzycat on 3/13/2013, 4:01 pm

I've been wanting to compost for a long time, but it seems so complicated and confusing, and I'm a procrastinator, so I've never done it. I recently learned about a system called Bokashi, and you ferment the food in buckets, and then add it to the compost pile, or dig a hole where you want to plant and cover it, and after a few weeks you have compost. It seems easy enough. You just toss in about an inch of food scraps, cover it with a couple of hands of bokashi mix (which is made up of bran and cultures of organisms that ferment the food) and cover it. When the bucket is full you cover it and let it sit for 10 days or so, and then dump it outside. The container has to be air tight for it to work. It has a spigot and every couple of days you have to drain any liquids that may have accumulated in the bottom of the bucket, kinda like worm tea. You can dilute it and use it in the garden, or wash it down the drain. It's apparently very good for your drains. Very Happy

I will let you know how it goes.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/13/2013, 4:07 pm

Don't be scared to compost on your own. Sounds to me like if you can bokashi, you can compost! Compost happens naturally, and I would be a bit leary of fancy gadgets. They simply aren't needed. We have an entire forum dedicated just to compost. I'm sure with a bit of time going over the information there, you would be composting in no time.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  jazzycat on 3/13/2013, 9:14 pm

Well Rooster, I've been waiting to compost for a long time, and I still haven't done it. So I figure, anything that will get me started is well worth the expense. Wink And I don't really think this is a gadget per se. The technique is being used all over the world by people who want to cut down on garbage and/or build their soil, but don't have room for a compost pile, or they're too scared or lazy. Very Happy I believe it's comparable to having a worm bin, but you can put things in it that can't go in a worm bin, like citrus and meat, and it's way cheaper. I came across it totally by accident. I think it started in Japan. You can make your own buckets and bran, if you're that kind of person. I chose to just buy them instead. If I waited to make them myself, I would still be waiting next year. Very Happy

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Re: Bokashi

Post  camprn on 3/14/2013, 6:49 am

Let us know how it goes Jazzycat.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  GWN on 3/14/2013, 10:40 am

wow that looks like the ultimate composter for someone in a small space, or in areas that regular com posters are not allowed
It sounds like a quiker way to compost bigger things
thanks so much for the info

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Re: Bokashi

Post  GWN on 3/14/2013, 11:02 am

I have just gone and ordered EM
I have a worm farm, 4 bins now and growing, I have 2 very large bins of castings from them. I have 2 very large compost piles AND I have a tumbler. However we seem to be eating a lot of oranges over the winter that seem like they are going to take forever to break down, despite my attempts to cut them up.
This seems like the perfect solution to getting those hard to break down things.

I have so many garden beds that are all going to need compost this year that I am getting worried I might have to buy some.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  jazzycat on 3/14/2013, 12:54 pm

@GWN wrote:I have just gone and ordered EM
I have a worm farm, 4 bins now and growing, I have 2 very large bins of castings from them. I have 2 very large compost piles AND I have a tumbler. However we seem to be eating a lot of oranges over the winter that seem like they are going to take forever to break down, despite my attempts to cut them up.
This seems like the perfect solution to getting those hard to break down things.

I have so many garden beds that are all going to need compost this year that I am getting worried I might have to buy some.

WOW! You have a lot going on! Kudos to you! That's awesome.

When I saw this, I got so excited, I can't even tell you! My setup should be here this week. I'm hoping it comes today. I can't wait to get started. I juice sometimes, and it seems so wasteful to just throw all that fiber away. I haven't juiced in a while, but I think this will get me going again. I feel so much better when I do it. I've been saving food scraps in the fridge so when it comes, I can throw some stuff in there.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  jazzycat on 3/17/2013, 10:19 pm

So I got my bokashi buckets and I started using them today. YAY ME! Very Happy I'm really looking forward to seeing how well they work, and getting some rich compost (fast) to use. I'll keep you all updated.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  syrah2422 on 3/17/2013, 10:32 pm

I have been doing this for about a year now. I love the fact that you can add almost anything to the bokashi composter. I made mine out of two kitty litter buckets. I drilled holes in the bottom of one of the buckets for drainage. They fit tightly together but leave about a two to three inch space a between the two at the bottom, enough room for the top bucket to drain. I still need to add a spigot to make it easier for us to drain the bucket. It didn't compost as fast as I was hoping but I don't think I was adding enough bran either. It may also be becasue the buckets were opened to often and perhaps I need to compress it a bit better.

I will keep using this method and I'm considering making my own bran mixture. I will also be making a traditional compost pile this year.

Good luck! I would love to hear how it goes for you!

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Re: Bokashi

Post  GWN on 3/18/2013, 4:22 pm

syrah, I wonder if the problem is that you are not creating an anaerobic environment with the holes.
My understanding is that it needs to be airtight, which creates the environment for anaerobic bacteria to thrive.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  jazzycat on 3/18/2013, 8:52 pm

It's so cool to know someone else here is doing this. I just recently heard about it. Haven't added much to it yet, but I imagine it will take a couple of weeks to fill it up.


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Re: Bokashi

Post  GWN on 3/18/2013, 10:09 pm

I have ordered the EM, and am going to get a few airtight containers from the local hardware store, and so hope to be starting in the next week or so.
Our family would fill up a bucket a week.

Yes I told my husband and my son (23) at dinner tonite what our next "composting technique" is going to be...... Life is an adventure, if nothing else.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  GWN on 3/20/2013, 7:19 pm

OK I have spent the afternoon getting all the right supplies to mix my bokashi bran, which I have done, I made about 2.5 gallons of it (small batch)
But I bought all the wheat bran that the locaL grocery store had in stock so I have set the mix in a warm place and it needs to sit for 2-3 week to begin fermenting before we can begin our process.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  syrah2422 on 3/21/2013, 9:53 pm

GWN - what are you using to make the bran other than bran? Very Happy

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Re: Bokashi

Post  GWN on 3/21/2013, 11:59 pm

Well.... I took a large bokashi mix and altered the recipe to make it smaller
I used all the wheat bran that I could find locally.
3kg of wheat bran
923 mls of water
18.5 mls of blackststrap molasses
18.5 mls of EM which is the part of all of this I had to order. It is a mixture of microorganisms, sort of like probiotics. Google EM.

I put the wheat bran out on a piece of plastic poured the mixture of everything else on top and the mixed with my hands until it was evenly mixed and then put it in an air proof container and smunched it down .....

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Re: Bokashi

Post  mschaef on 6/20/2013, 3:16 pm

I am considering getting a bokashi bucket system because I can't have a compost bin in military housing. How difficult is it and is it worth the expense?

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Re: Bokashi

Post  No_Such_Reality on 6/20/2013, 4:19 pm

GWN, that seems like a lot of work. Why not just pour the EM1 and molasses in the compost when you need it. Maybe add the bran on top.

Basically, what you're making is a dormant dry version of EM1.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  GWN on 6/20/2013, 11:12 pm

I think it would be a great thing in military housing
It is completely enclosed in a container, and so no risk of animals getting into it.
I am now on my 3rd month and I have an outside large compost pile, and a worm farm, and a bokashi bucket system and I love it.
I use the bokashi to get the large compost pile going but when left just to bury it, it just disappears in the ground, and is replaced by worms and nice compost in 2 weeks.
I LOVE IT and have been composting for years.
I have a sister who has a cottage out in a bear area.  She has trouble composting whilst out at the cottage for fear of attracting bears.
However this system, it ferments inside the bucket, and then you can just bury it after 2 weeks into the ground with a board on top of it.
I also bought those special lids from Lee Valley tools, which you can take a 5 gallon bucket and just twist the lid on and off.

I should add, you can JUST bokashi compost things, OR you can put the bokashi INTO your compost pile to heat it up.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  abyssa on 5/3/2014, 9:56 pm

Great to see other people using the Bokashi composting method. I just started using this method and I am very excited about it. I also was interested in making my own EM mix, thank you for the breakdown on the recipe. I have thrown in meat, fish, and bones and it really doesn't stink! It is amazing. I love the quickness of this type of composting. I have already fed my house plants some compost tea and some outside plants. I will warn you that my dog also likes the smell of it. I had to scurry him away from digging up the plants I just watered with the tea. It seems fine now though.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  GWN on 5/4/2014, 5:38 pm

My dog also likes the smell, so when I bury i the yard, I put a board over the stuff, and a large rock on the board.  I have gone back and scooped out the stuff after it has sat for several months, and then added it to the regular outside compost.

I ran out of the mix, and so quit over the winter, but will begin again this fall.

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Using Bokashi in SFG

Post  AbiKool on 3/8/2015, 12:45 pm

Hi all,

I saw a few conversations about using Bokashi as "compost" but nothing seems to confirm if Bokashi can actually replace what Mel considers as compost. Bokashi is a way of fermenting food to seemingly give better nutrition to plants than normal composting. Look for "EM Bokashi (Full Version)" on youtube for a pretty detailed explanation of Bokashi (sorry, I wasn't allowed to post the link directly).

Considering the fermented food is supposed to be dug directly in the ground, it can cause a problem with the system I understand Mel suggests. I was thinking of putting the fermented food in a bucket with a medium (soil probably) to let it disolve and look like compost. Considering that I could be putting enriched soil in my SFG, I don't think that was Mel's intention either. Can you think of another medium that I could put in the bucket with the fermented food? What if I put either peat moss or vermiculite? Could I still consider that as "compost" according to Mel's standards? If so, would a trowel full of this mix still be sufficient nutrition for the plants?

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Re: Bokashi

Post  sanderson on 3/8/2015, 3:11 pm

Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here Your Canadian host, Kelejan, will also be along soon to welcome you.

I had to "Bing" Bokashi to learn more about it. This is my take on it. It's a good way to keep kitchen scraps from building up in the freezer until it's time to build a real aerobic compost pile. Or for the patio gardener needing only small amounts for compost.

The article I read stated that the finished product is considered acidic "pre-compost" and still needs a couple weeks to change from anaerobic, acidic pH product to aerobic, neutral pH product. Maybe adding and mixing it in over time to ready-to-use compost until 2 weeks before needing it. This way is can get inoculated with good micro-organisms. If you want to stay with the Mel's Mix principle, dirt could not be used. Peat moss and vermiculite could not be used because they are 2 equal additions added to equal part of ready compost to create the initial Mel's Mix, so adding a trowel of this mix would not be considered replenishing with straight compost.

Being in Canada, it's probably cold or snowy so this is a good time to think what and how you are going to do this.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/8/2015, 3:24 pm

That link is very interesting, AbiKool.  Thanks for sharing it.  I'm big on experimenting!  So I say you could always try putting some of the new improved soil in a part of your MM/SFG just to see how it compares to those areas without it.

I've been composting in sealed buckets due to necessity this winter.  But, along with a lot of fermented foods & drinks, I have been making sure that there is air and shredded paper in there.  I think for the next bucket I will try drizzling & mixing it with water kefir every  inch or so & leaving the paper and air out.  Wonder if that would  have the same affect as Bokashi composting?  No spigot though, I'd have to tip drain it or just leave the liquid.  That liquid is amazing stuff if all you use is 1 tsp / gal...was that the ratio?

Anyway, however my kefir bucket turns out, in about a month or so the contents of all my buckets will get dug down into the compost pile out back that is currently under a 6 ft snow drift.  That compost pile will be used in the SFG/MM come mid summer.  

Although you know what?  I do have some in-ground gardens that I could dig one  finished bucket down into just for an experiment.  But personally, I wouldn't bury the bucket content directly into my SFG boxes.  Nor would I introduce soil into them.  That's just my preference.  

If you decide to try it, please keep us updated as you go?  I'll do the same.

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RE:Using Bokashi in SFG

Post  AbiKool on 3/8/2015, 3:40 pm

Thank you soo much for the fast reply and the suggestions and comments. I had seen the possibility of putting the fermented food in the compost pile to continue the process of composting, but I don't have a compost pile yet. I hadn't thought of putting the fermented food in actual completed compost. I think I'll go out and get some store bought compost to start the process shortly. All depending on how much space the fermented food takes up, I'll be able to lower my cost of compost by the time I'm ready to build my SFG this spring, and the plants will have the benefits of Bokashi-enriched compost.

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Re: Bokashi

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/9/2015, 9:30 am

Hi Abikool!  Welcome from Atlanta, GA.

I've looked at Bokashi, but unfortunately DH would pitch a fit...!  As it is, he doesn't like my compost pile even tho he understands how good it will be for the garden...  I think most of it is because I can't get out there regularly and things "pile up" in the buckets.

But maybe I'll experiment with this some.  Please keep us updated on how it goes for you.

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