Monday, April 09, 2007

More thoughts on Bokashi

I am still thinking about it.........

What is it? Where does it come from?

Apparently with bokashi you can discard meat, fish, dairy and even bones right in your kitchen without the requirements of turning it like you do outdoor compost and without creating unpleasant smells. Developed in Japan, a bokashi bin quickly and odourlessly converts your organic waste into a high-grade soil conditioner through the use of effective microbes or bokashi — a Japanese word meaning "fermented organic matter."

Similar to the process used to make wine, this system relies on fermentation to decompose the matter rather than putrefaction, so no offensive odor is produced. In about 10 days you can bury the nutrient-rich matter in the garden or add it to your compost pile to help improve physical, chemical and biological environments in the dirt. Sprinkle a handful of bokashi onto the waste every time you add to the bucket. One bag of bokashi is good for one bucket full of compost.

I do not have any experience of bokashi at the moment but that is about to change, What appeals is the waste that finds its way each day from the table, that cannot be recycled in any other way. I am curious....but beware, dealing with waste is an expensive matter.

How to use bokashi:

1. Place an initial layer of Bokashi at the bottom of the bucket.
2. Collect your daily food waste and chop it into small pieces.
3. Place waste in the bucket and coat it with a layer of Bokashi. For less than a 3" layer of food waste, sprinkle two fistfuls of Bokashi to cover the entire surface. Mix this layer thoroughly and compact the waste by pushing it down. Sprinkle a coat of Bokashi to cover the surface and place the plastic barrier directly on the compost mixture, completely covering it. Stir each new layer only and try not to mix it with previous layers of food waste.
4. Periodically, drain the liquid that has accumulated at the bottom bucket.
5. Once the bucket is filled to capacity, continue to drain any liquid and let the contents ferment for 7-10 days at room temperature.
6. Fermented compost will not completely degrade but will retain much if it original physical properties and will have a pickled appearance. Complete breakdown of material will occur once it is transferred into the soil.

Transfering the Compost:
1. Transfer directly into your garden - dig a trench at least 18" - 24" deep. Mix the fermented material with soil as you add it to the trench. Be sure to cover the compost completely with soil.
2. Transfer material directly to a planter/container - fill 1/3 of container with potting soil. Then add fermented material and mix lightly with soil. Fill remaining 1/3 of the container with potting soil and cover with a dark plastic bag to maintain anaerobic conditions. Wait two weeks before planting.

Notes: Only fresh waste may be added. Rotten foods disrupt the fermentation process.

Materials that can be included: Vegetable, fruits, grains, dairy, meat, bones, coffee grounds without filter paper.

Materials that cannot be added: Plastics, paper, tea bags, cigarette butts, tin cans, aluminum.

What does bokashi look like? One website explains it here

The question remains how to dispose of the mixture every 2 weeks. Do you just add it to your compost heap to speed up and add to it or do you simply dig holes on a regular basis all over your land and create a small bokashi landfill site? You’ll have to wait and see....we are about to find out. Pictures will follow and I will tell all.
At least it has got to be worth a try ....or experiment to deal with the remaining waste issue.


Katie said...

I nominated you for a Thinking Blogger Award. Check out my blog for details...

Mark said...

Hi , just thought i would say hello as we are both on the Wiggly web page.
I have added your link to my blog , are you happy to exchange.

Cheers Mark