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Bokashi - Page 2 Empty Re: Bokashi

Post  GWN on 3/9/2015, 12:18 pm

Hi there
I have done the bokashi method for a few years, but last year I ran out of the mix and have not made more. I was making the mix in bulk.
I did not mix it with the mels mix, I just buried it in the ground for awhile and then went back and dug it up later and sprinkled on the beds as a second year compost.

It is so great it is SOOO full of worms.  and I liked being able to compost EVERYTHING even meat etc....
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Post  kittykat on 3/24/2015, 9:49 pm

I started doing bokashi composting a couple months ago.  I've never had any success with a regular compost pile or with compost tumblers.  I lost access to the commercial dumpster I was able to use for my mixed garbage, so had to make some drastic changes to how I was dealing with my food waste.  Bokashi is perfect for me. 

As far as using it in the SFG, once it's completely finished composting, my plan is to treat it as regular compost and use it for top-dressing my SFG beds and rejuvenating the squares between crops.  It IS compost - and it DOES use dirt in the composting process, but I'm gonna just go with the fact that it's composted organic material and use it like I said.  And the "tea" that you are able to harvest during the initial breakdown process is supposed to be just awesome on it's on for rejuvenating your garden beds, inviting all those great microbes, organisms and worms to come have a party.  LOL 

The other thing that is great about bokashi is that you can even compost pet waste.  There are different ways of going about that - and you don't want to use the final composted material from pet waste on a garden where you are producing food, but it can be used around the yard to top-dress your other garden areas nicely.  I use the cat litter that's made from newspaper compressed into pellets, so it's a relatively natural substance that should break down and compost, especially using the bokashi and microorganisms in that process to decompose anything nasty in the litter. 

I'm pumped about this.  Still in the process of seeing how it goes, though.  Lots of great info on the web if you're interested in researching.  Very happy to see a few other people interested in it in this my fave gardening forum!
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Post  clarcks on 4/6/2015, 8:00 am

FG, 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 
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Post  has55 on 5/24/2015, 6:39 pm

This is an interview with the owner of the Bokashi Bucket. He tells how to make it , if you don't what to buy the product. 

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Post  mlpii66 on 4/12/2017, 10:30 pm

@Bart wrote:
TNGeezer wrote:The most economical way to get compost is to make it yourself, using the quick/hot method.
I'd love to be able to make my own compost. Unfortunately, my yard consists mainly of weeds and pine needles. Going all kitchen scraps bring Solder Fly larva. I try adding cardboard, but it doesn't help.
Bart,
I'm looking at trying Bokashi Composting.  A Japanese method using specially blended "brans" that anaerobically processes table scraps.  I'm reading "Bokashi Composting" by  Adam Footer and if it delivers as promised it could be a solution to getting some of your own composting done. Supposed to be able to process dairy, meats and vegetable matter with no odor or harmful bacteria. The bran is a simple wheat bran inoculated with pro-biotics, (yeast, lactic acids) and fermented then blended with the scraps.  The inoculates are commercially available or you can brew your own.  Rice bran, wheat bran and even newspapers have all been used in what I've read so far. 

My ultimate goal is to produce all my own compost as well.
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Post  Banned Member on 4/14/2017, 4:20 pm

I saw an example of this at our state agricultural center a couple years ago.  They had buckets with varying degrees of fermented waste.  They put things in their buckets that cannot go in a standard composter, such as leftover meat scraps and chicken bones.

I passed on buying one, because you had to continually purchase their powder to make the thing work.  It took more than twice as long to make compost, and the finished product while possibly more nutritious would not have been enough to feed our plants even one time.

It is worth looking into, but if it were me, I would buy a couple of 32-gallon plastic garbage cans and make quick, hot compost using any of the hot methods that will give you a cubic yard of finished compost in 10-21 days.

Even if you do not have grass clippings, you can use kitchen waste and possibly find a retailer that has fruit and veggie scraps, like a raw juicer or a restaurant or even Whole Paycheck or similar stores.

I was in the right place at the right time a couple years ago, when the person that normally picks up all the pulp from Whole Foods was unable to come pick up his bag.  I took that bag and brought it home, and it added a good foot of space in the then developing compost pile.  I was also lucky one other time, when a nutritional rep had some alfalfa powder that was about to go past its date, so she gave me three large jars.  That heated up our compost pile as successfully as dried blood or other nitrogen products.

I am confident you can make ample supplies of your own compost, even if you live in an apartment in NYC and have to compost on your roof.  It may take longer to fill up a can, but eventually you will, and you will also have motivation to eat more fruits and vegetables to have more waste.

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Post  has55 on 4/14/2017, 5:15 pm

TNGeezer wrote:I saw an example of this at our state agricultural center a couple years ago.  They had buckets with varying degrees of fermented waste.  They put things in their buckets that cannot go in a standard composter, such as leftover meat scraps and chicken bones.

I passed on buying one, because you had to continually purchase their powder to make the thing work.  It took more than twice as long to make compost, and the finished product while possibly more nutritious would not have been enough to feed our plants even one time.

It is worth looking into, but if it were me, I would buy a couple of 32-gallon plastic garbage cans and make quick, hot compost using any of the hot methods that will give you a cubic yard of finished compost in 10-21 days.

Even if you do not have grass clippings, you can use kitchen waste and possibly find a retailer that has fruit and veggie scraps, like a raw juicer or a restaurant or even Whole Paycheck or similar stores.

I was in the right place at the right time a couple years ago, when the person that normally picks up all the pulp from Whole Foods was unable to come pick up his bag.  I took that bag and brought it home, and it added a good foot of space in the then developing compost pile.  I was also lucky one other time, when a nutritional rep had some alfalfa powder that was about to go past its date, so she gave me three large jars.  That heated up our compost pile as successfully as dried blood or other nitrogen products.

I am confident you can make ample supplies of your own compost, even if you live in an apartment in NYC and have to compost on your roof.  It may take longer to fill up a can, but eventually you will, and you will also have motivation to eat more fruits and vegetables to have more waste.

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Post  OhioGardener on 12/28/2019, 6:53 pm

Bumping an old thread....    Anyone doing Bokashi?  I find it a very helpful winter composting method - can still compost indoors when it is zero degrees outdoors.

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Post  Dan in Ct on 12/29/2019, 7:12 am

I start early in the spring every year to make the EMOs Effective Micro-Organisms to make the inoculated newspaper but the plan usually dies with the forgotten lactobacillus in a quart mason jar inside, a seldom used cabinet in the grow room, former computer room. Indoor vermicomposting allows people to compost during the winter months and is better for the soil especially if the vermicompost is added to the seed germination mix as it suppresses damping off disease. Bokashi in my opinion allows people to compost just about all kitchen/food waste including dairy, fats and bones. It is a two step process that is sometimes oversimplified but I am still looking at it as food source in a mid-scale size vermicomposting operation and having the worms devour the second step/product of the bokashi process. It is part of my having a closed loop that would utilize everything similar to a space station environment and if it can be added into the loop of a natural system, all the better. I believe as gardeners it is best that we know of all ways to compost and any other ways that add nutrients or amendments to our mix. I look upon these as gardening tools to have in our gardening tool bag. The more we know, the better we can grow.
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Post  sanderson on 12/29/2019, 7:01 pm

Dan, interesting activity - bokashi and vermicomposting indoors.

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Post  Dan in Ct on 12/30/2019, 9:52 am

sanderson, I am afraid to put my worms outside because worms seem to be on the menu of almost every critter here at The Crazy Half Acre. As far as bokashi, I just threaten to get into it, Ohio Gardener is doing it. I would put more stock in what he has to say on the subject. Although I sometimes remember to spray the diluted lactobacillus on the lilac bush to keep the incidence of powdery mildew down on the cukes and squash. There are many different ways to compost. Trying and finding those that work for you is what is important. The more we learn to compost and recycle the easier we will be on the planet and like nature, we should be shooting for a 100% and anything less with over 7 billion people, it will whatever it is begin to pile up.
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Post  OhioGardener on 1/5/2020, 12:55 pm

@Dan in Ct wrote: Bokashi in my opinion allows people to compost just about all kitchen/food waste including dairy, fats and bones. It is a two step process that is sometimes oversimplified but I am still looking at it as food source in a mid-scale size vermicomposting operation and having the worms devour the second step/product of the bokashi process.

Good points. One of the benefits of Bokashi composting that the term "just about all kitchen/food waste" includes everything but liquids, such as oil, bacon grease, and such. Today, for example, the complete remains of a rotisserie chicken went into the Bokashi bucket with a little more bran. After the full bucket has been sealed and fermented for 2 weeks, I dump it in the compost tumbler with some pine pellets, and it quickly heats to 150ºF. After 2 weeks in the compost tumbler, with it being turned every day, everything but the bones is completely broken down into to rich, black compost. When I sift out the compost, I separate the bones and bury them deep in the garden where they will continue being broken down by the microbes as they add calcium to the soil.  BTW, and interesting thing I have noticed is that most fish bones will completely break down with the Bokashi & compost tumbler, and will no longer be found in the finished compost.

I would love to have a year-round vermicompost operation, and merge it with Bokashi. But, that is unlikely to happen since the better half insists they be kept outside and away from view.  In the spring through fall when I do have a worm bin, I have never tried feeding the Bokashi fermented food to them, just using non-acidic kitchen scraps normally. Might give it a try this year. I don't do as much Bokashi composting in the summer, since the composters are more active then, but I do occasionally do some to get rid of meat scraps, etc., that can't be put in the composter.  I recently purchased two commercial Bokashi system buckets when Lowe's had them on sale, and am using one for the first time - it is much easier to use than my old homemade ones, plus it has a spigot for draining the liquid every couple days.

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Post  OhioGardener on 2/1/2020, 4:24 pm

Day before yesterday I emptied one of the Bokashi buckets into the compost tumbler, which was already about half full of juicing pulp from the neighbors. This afternoon I looked out the kitchen window and noticed that there was steam coming out of the vents on the tumbler, and decided I should go look at it since it was only 37ºF outside. I took the compost thermometer with me, and found that the compost was just over 160ºF. The moisture was about right, so I just turned the tumbler a half dozen times to mix everything again until I check it again tomorrow. Apparently those microbes were very busy in that compost! Smile

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Post  OhioGardener on 2/2/2020, 9:58 am

@Dan in Ct wrote: Bokashi in my opinion allows people to compost just about all kitchen/food waste including dairy, fats and bones. It is a two step process that is sometimes oversimplified but I am still looking at it as food source in a mid-scale size vermicomposting operation and having the worms devour the second step/product of the bokashi process. It is part of my having a closed loop that would utilize everything similar to a space station environment and if it can be added into the loop of a natural system, all the better. I believe as gardeners it is best that we know of all ways to compost and any other ways that add nutrients or amendments to our mix. I look upon these as gardening tools to have in our gardening tool bag. The more we know, the better we can grow.

Dan, I found this interesting statement on this subject in an article on using Bokashi:

Bokashi pre-compost can also enhance vermicomposting. Rinse the pre-compost before letting the worms snack on it, though. “You have to rinse the heck out of it because the acid can be so intense,” Newsom says.  Full article at [url=Bokashi pre-compost can also enhance vermicomposting. Rinse the pre-compost before letting the worms snack on it, though. “You have to rinse the heck out of it because the acid can be so intense,” Newsom says.]Bokashi Makes Composting More Flexible[/url]


I love your comment, "The more we know, the better we can grow." How true that is!  I was amazed a year or so ago when we were at a dinner with one of our neighbors when the discussion of juicing came up.  I asked the simple question about what happens with the rest of the vegetable or fruit after it was juiced, and was shocked to find out it was put in the garbage disposal and sent out to the septic tank. What a waste, I thought. After some conversation, I convinced them to save the pulp for me to put in the compost tumbler. Turned out there was another couple there that does the same thing. To make a long story short, since that time one neighbor brings over a a 5-gallon bucket a week, and the other neighbor brings over a 2-gallon bucket a week, and all of that pulp goes into the compost tumbler with pine pellets, rock dust, and biochar to produce wonderful black gold for the gardens.

As so well stated in the above referenced article, "It’s about becoming aware of how much you throw away, how much you don’t eat. You realize your relationship to food."

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Post  OhioGardener on 3/7/2020, 11:41 am

Amazes me how fast the Bokashi decomposes as soon as it is added to the compost tumbler. I put together a new tumbler last Sunday, 6 days ago, and started it with two 5-gallon buckets of juicer pulp, two 4-gallon buckets of aged Bokashi, and a gallon of pine pellets. Today I had another 5-gallon bucket of juicer pulp that a neighbor brought down, and took it out to add to the tumbler with some more pine pellets. The Bokashi that was added last Sunday had broken down so much that it was impossible to find identifiable pieces of vegetable other than a few pieces of orange rinds.

I may have to get a third Bokashi bucket though, as we seem to producing so many kitchen scraps that the bucket fills before the two-week period needed for the previous bucket to age before emptying.  Eating a lot of fresh fruits & vegetables tends to create a lot of food scraps to compost....  Very Happy

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Post  OhioGardener on 4/27/2020, 8:49 pm

I am trying something new with the completed Bokashi compost. I have always either added the completed Bokashi to the compost tumbler, or buried it directly in the garden soil to finish decomposing. Since moving completely to raised beds, I have not buried it in the soil, but just added it to the compost tumbler to turn it into regular compost.  I used to only do Bokashi composting during the winter months, but am now doing it year around to simplify my life of composting. Currently I have a completed bucket of Bokashi every two weeks.

I recently saw an article on putting the Bokashi into a "Soil Factory", and am giving it a try. (if you're interested, the instructions are Method 1 of this article: Soil Factory)  It will be interesting to see what the "soil" looks like after completing this process.

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Post  lvanderb on 4/29/2020, 2:36 pm

I will soon have things ready for Bokashi.

However, I won't use it much this summer/fall, as I'm trying out a "compost in place" concept where you put your kitchen waste with your yard waste and some soil etc into plastic bins with drainage. You can also just have containers with kitchen waste. They can all be out in your yard/garden, fertilizing everything.



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Post  OhioGardener on 4/30/2020, 10:02 am

I did a lot of in-place composting when I did in-ground gardening - I simply dug a hole in the garden, threw the kitchen scraps in the hole, and covered it. And, when I changed to raised beds I continued do that for a period of time. But, I soon found that I didn't have any open space in the raised bed where I could bury the scraps. So, I changed to using compost tumblers to compost all of the kitchen scraps, and that has worked extremely well - but only in the warmer months. Then I began using Bokashi composting during the winter months, and compost tumblers during the warmer months. That has been working very well for year-round composting.

This winter it occurred to me that during the winter months I have been able to compost everything from the kitchen, including both raw and cooked meats, bones, and dairy products, but during the summer I could not put those into the tumbler and had to throw them out. So, this year I am continuing the Bokashi composting through the summer as well. I can either bury the completed Bokashi in one of the beds, or I can dump it in one of the compost tumblers. Either way, it completely decomposes in about two weeks into rich compost.

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Post  lvanderb on 4/30/2020, 10:45 am

Yes, I never got too excited about burying kitchen scraps. However, if I can put them in a container with holes in the bottom and top, or a plant in the top, that I can move around to fertilize the garden, I like that better.

I make broth on a regular basis and have been, sigh, throwing out what's left, bones etc. This has been a big incentive for me to start using bokashi, so I don't need to throw that out. Also, the winter composting issues should be resolved with bokashi.

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Post  Yardslave on 4/30/2020, 10:59 am

The compost in place idea may work for some, but it definitely didn't work for my garden. The rats, racoons, voles, and skunks in the area began to be attracted by the scent of kitchen scraps and wreaked havoc with the garden. They were availing themselves at the kitchen scrap "buffet" nightly and when the food was gone, they started foraging in the MM for worms and then the veggies. My beds looked like it was tilled by an excavator - a huge mess. They are still poking around on occasions, as my beds seem to be a free dining venue. Trapping and relocating has gotten rid of some of the worst of the freeloaders, but I wish I would never have introduced a composter within my beds, as critters never forget where they can locate an easy meal.
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Post  sanderson on 4/30/2020, 2:59 pm

Reading all of your discussions on this thread has peak my desire to get the worm tubes back into operation. I saved kitchen trimmings for the worms in the tubes and for the compost piles. My freezer would be packed with bags of frozen trimmings. Now that I don't compost or use the PVC tubes and caps, the amount of produce waste just the 2 of us produce and toss in the garbage is bothersome.

YS - I can imagine that where you live, critters love to visit your garden.

OG - When I used the 3" PVC tubes, I moved them around in each bed when they got full. The original design from Josh, a then young teenager, used 4" PVC pipes. I found that only a few 1/2" drilled holes worked fine, but they had to be below the MM line or nasty gnats or small flies invaded the the decomposing waste.


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Post  lvanderb on 4/30/2020, 3:10 pm

sanderson, I actually started with the worm tubes last year, but I quickly gave up on them, lol... perhaps too far from house? plus watering them didn't happen either. Good thing I only had 2 installed. But now what to do with these 3" pvc pipes with holes in them...sigh...

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Post  sanderson on 4/30/2020, 3:18 pm

Can you use them out of the SFG, like in flower beds that are closer to the house? That's what I'm thinking I will do. I may spray paint the PVC caps for the front yard.

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Post  OhioGardener on 4/30/2020, 3:29 pm

I tried using 4 different 4" worm tubes last year. My beds are 18" tall, so I made 24" tubes out of the 4" PVC pipes, drilled holes in the bottom 14", and buried them the full depth of the beds. I put the PVC caps on top of the pipes so that they were sealed from gnats, etc..  I soon discovered that we created far more kitchen scraps than the worms could eat in those tubes. It took less than a week to completely fill a tube, so in a month's time they were all full and slowly being eaten. I may put the tubes back this year, but not sure I want the extra work of digging the posthole to install them. The beds are all full of earthworms, though, so they would enjoy the extra food. Maybe if I put them in the middle of the bed instead of the corner....

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Bokashi - Page 2 Empty Re: Bokashi

Post  OhioGardener on 4/30/2020, 6:06 pm

I have two Bokashi buckets, each 4 gallon capacity. It takes us 2 weeks to fill one of the buckets with kitchen scraps, which includes vegetable, fruit, meat, dairy, fats, and bones. Once a bucket is filled, it takes 2 weeks to complete fermenting before emptying it to either bury it in the garden, or dumping it in the compost tumbler. So, one bucket is fermenting while the other one is filling up. By the time the one is filling up, the other bucket has completed the fermenting process and can be emptied to begin the process all over again.


The two Bokashi buckets. The one on the left is fermenting and is marked with the start & finish dates, and the one on the right is being filled up.
Bokashi - Page 2 Bokash10


The buckets open. The one on the left is finished, and has the white fungi that shows it was successful.  The one on the right just got filled today, and will begin the fermenting process for the next two weeks.
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A closeup of the finished Bokashi. Much of the contents is still recognizable, but all of it is fermented and ready for finishing the compost either by burying it or dumping it in the compost tumbler.
Bokashi - Page 2 Bokash12

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