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Bokashi on order
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wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14752
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 08 12:40 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

How're they going? Shall I put one on the wedding list -bearing in mind we're both too busy to breathe and some household members can't consistently put things in the bin, let alone a variety of recycling catergories and composters?

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 08 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

its just an automatic thing for us; part of clearing up. Need to order some more bran though; you've reminded me!

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7745
Location: 91 N
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 08 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ours seems have slowed down it's working as the weather has got colder but otherwise it seems to work. Stuff is still perfectly recognisable and doesn't seem to break down that much but comes out of the bin looking slightly pickled (something like a wet cold chutney). I don't seem to have the same pest problems in the compst I used to and it's cut down how much we put into the dustbin each week (very little now)

The onyl problem seem to be that as the bokashi has slowed down over the winter the waste is less processed than before so a couple of times I have seen evidence of something trying to dig into the compost bin. Of course that could just be coincidence as it's somewhere warm and dry for things to try and hang out over winter. We aslo try to separate out anything that could go straight onto the compost (coffee, tea, eggboxes etc) or which might be slightly antiseptic (citrus, tea, onions) to reduce the amount they need to process and avoid any antispetic effect stopping the process.

I think Wiggly wigglers do cheap bulk quantities of the bran. They also do a liquid em activate which I was tempted to try simply because it migth be easier to store.

Edit - I've just looked and it seems that they no longer do the bulk packets of EM bran.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43882
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 08 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Any updates from our resident Bokashiers?

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 08 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Its... Okay. The boxes are small, which is apt for home use, but they're difficult to keep anaerobic while you fill them up meaning that the batch can go quite bad and smelly. Its easy enough, and it does work well though; buried bokashi waste degrades quite quickly, but I'd question whether it degrades THAT much faster than it otherwise would. The idea that its in a very anoxic, reduced state and warms up to degrade fast when exposed to oxygen is appealing but does not match my observations.

I think (althogh I'll know later in summer) that a simple ensilaging process for cooked food will be better and easier to control, and that the ensilaged, low pH waste will have most of the protein in it dribble out simply in the liquor, making for a handy high nitrogen plant feed, and that the ensilaged food waste should degrade marvellously when buried. It would be an easier approach, if it works.

Blue Peter



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 2400
Location: Milton Keynes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 08 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
I think (althogh I'll know later in summer) that a simple ensilaging process for cooked food will be better and easier to control,


What would an ensilaging process be - simple or otherwise?


Peter.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 08 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Blue Peter wrote:

What would an ensilaging process be - simple or otherwise?


Crudely, in this instance it would mean selecting an appropriate lactic acid producing bacteria and giving it a carbon source it can use (probably glucose, although I'm sure it would do fine on ordinary sugar). It uses the sugar and other nutrients from the mix, outcompeting the other bacteria quite readily in this environment as long as you keep it close to anaerobic. The production of lactic acid eventually drops the pH to a point where the bacteria stop doing a great deal and not a lot else can grow either, and at a low pH most of the available protein in the waste will be lysed out. The remaining solid matter should be a bit spongier, and far more readily degraded by organisms in the soil such as assorted fungi and actinomycete bacteria, i.e. it'll rot down pretty quickly and not fester with nasty smelly bacteria.

MUST have been done before but I've been too lazy to do the literature search, instead choosing to experiment with lactobacillus powder and sugar/glucose. Thus far the little placcy box experiments I've done seem promising.

Edit: Many years ago I built something to do this with prawn heads in, and it worked very well. Don't ask...

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7745
Location: 91 N
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 08 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Seems to be working fine. I haven't had any problem with it going smelly. The only problem I have had is that it has had a hard time keeping up over winter as I think the process slowed down considerably. I'm not 100% convinced that it processes to a point that is not going to attract any pests but having transferred it from bokashi to compost it disappears fairly quickly so the problem is reduced and it does mean that a lot of vermin attracting waste that would normally go to the dustbin now goes (indirectly) to compost.

I did buy a bluk load of the bokashi bran and I am now wondering if that goes off. So I may look again at the EM liquid that some companies offer.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 08 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

JB wrote:

I did buy a bluk load of the bokashi bran and I am now wondering if that goes off. So I may look again at the EM liquid that some companies offer.


Expensive?

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7745
Location: 91 N
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 08 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
JB wrote:

I did buy a bluk load of the bokashi bran and I am now wondering if that goes off. So I may look again at the EM liquid that some companies offer.


Expensive?


Per kilo the bulk order was about half the price. Can't honestly remember the exact figures now.

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7745
Location: 91 N
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 08 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Wriggly wrigglers also do this which may be a better option as it might remain active and is a lot easier to store.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14752
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 08 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
Blue Peter wrote:

What would an ensilaging process be - simple or otherwise?


Crudely, in this instance it would mean selecting an appropriate lactic acid producing bacteria and giving it a carbon source it can use (probably glucose, although I'm sure it would do fine on ordinary sugar). It uses the sugar and other nutrients from the mix, outcompeting the other bacteria quite readily in this environment as long as you keep it close to anaerobic. The production of lactic acid eventually drops the pH to a point where the bacteria stop doing a great deal and not a lot else can grow either, and at a low pH most of the available protein in the waste will be lysed out. The remaining solid matter should be a bit spongier, and far more readily degraded by organisms in the soil such as assorted fungi and actinomycete bacteria, i.e. it'll rot down pretty quickly and not fester with nasty smelly bacteria.

MUST have been done before but I've been too lazy to do the literature search, instead choosing to experiment with lactobacillus powder and sugar/glucose. Thus far the little placcy box experiments I've done seem promising.

Edit: Many years ago I built something to do this with prawn heads in, and it worked very well. Don't ask...


Saturday nights must rock round your way, Cab! My bokashi should be here any day now!

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 08 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:

Saturday nights must rock round your way, Cab! My bokashi should be here any day now!


Tentatively planning a little photochemistry this weekend, so yeah, weekends rock

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43882
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 08 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

So, is it something I can assure the missus won't be attractive to rodents? Not sure how she'll feel about displacing our rodent issue to the other side of the veg plot if we bokashi first and then stick it on with all the garden waste...

She's threatening to cease composting if we're not rodent free

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 08 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
So, is it something I can assure the missus won't be attractive to rodents? Not sure how she'll feel about displacing our rodent issue to the other side of the veg plot if we bokashi first and then stick it on with all the garden waste...

She's threatening to cease composting if we're not rodent free


I can't say for absolute sure, having a walled off garden in a housing area so riddled with cats that it would be a brave rodent to venture out, but so long as you drain off the watery stuff before burying the bokashi composted material (which I favour over composting it), then you ought to have no problems with rodents. Hopefully someone with a rodenty neighbourhood will know better.

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