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AnnaD

Bokashi Buckets

Does anyone use one? I like the idea that you can compost cooked food and meat in them, and that it's usable compost in 6 months. But I want to know if anyone has tried one and if it's worth it.
cab

Yes, and sort of.

Bokashi, as it has come to mean here, is not a composting process. At all. It doesn't make compost, but it does convert material that can't be composted because it'll go rancid or attract beasties into something that you can bury and ignore, and it also produces a nutritious liquid plant food.

But the magical 'effective microorganisms' of which the sales pitch would have you believe are, in my view, rather spurious.

The best results I've obtained have been by taking a fresh load (a little kitchen composter pot sized amount) of mixed kitchen waste, mixing in a tablespoon of glucose from a health food shop, and some Lactobacillus bacteria powder, of the type that you get from a health food shop (and which a home salami maker may have lurking in the fridge!). Mix up, put in a tightly sealed filled plastic container (a bokashi composter) with a tap on the bottom, and leave it for three weeks.

When it works (which has been all but twice) you've basically got a bacterial de-proteination of the waste. Or, in other words, the Lactobacillus bacteria have gone nuts, eaten the glucose, and then gone looking for more goodies. The pH has dropped to a point where much of the protein has lysed out of the food waste and is sitting in the liquid (tap that off as plant food, needs diluting a lot of course), and the solid matter smells just a little unpleasantly sweet. Bury the waste in a corner of the allotment somewhere and ignore it. It'll rot down, and worms will eat it.

When it doesn't work, it goes rank and horrid and you'll need a strong stomach to deal with it.

Using the bokashi 'bran' has been no more or less successful than a spoonfull of bacteria powder and some glucose.

I conclude, therfore, that the process (at least with the waste we've been producing!) is very much akin to ensilaging.
Tavascarow

Sounds like a cross between a compost toilet & a worm bin.
Easy to make your own with an old tapped fermenting bucket & some plastic mesh.
Bet sawdust or shredded newspaper would be as effective as bran.
As far as I can see it's only acting as an odour neutraliser & adding extra carbon?
cab

Tavascarow wrote:
Sounds like a cross between a compost toilet & a worm bin.
Easy to make your own with an old tapped fermenting bucket & some plastic mesh.
Bet sawdust or shredded newspaper would be as effective as bran.
As far as I can see it's only acting as an odour neutraliser & adding extra carbon?


Actually the processes going on inside are very different to either. In construction you're aiming at getting it anaerobic; a plastic bin with a tight fitting lid might do well, with a mesh and a tap as described.

As for sawdust or newspaper... Dunno. Give it a bash and see.
AnnaD

Thanks for that. I think I might just stick with a normal kitchen compost bin then. I'm not sure I want to risk that not working Confused
cab

Don't blame you.

I do it because we've got a fortnightly 'compostables' collection here in Cambridge. And, frankly, food waste has got no business sitting out in a bin, in the sun, for a fortnight. In my opinion its uncivilised and potentially dangerous. So through Spring and Summer, until Autumn gets cooler, I deal with any kitchen waste this way.
JB

I've just given up on the bokashi here. It worked but a wee boy kept trying to investigate the contents of the bin before I could get it to the compost bin !
AnnaD

JB wrote:
I've just given up on the bokashi here. It worked but a wee boy kept trying to investigate the contents of the bin before I could get it to the compost bin !


Hmm, I can see that being a problem here too!
Hairyloon

What about worm farming?
Can't they eat meat and other things you're not supposed to compost?
cab

Hairyloon wrote:
What about worm farming?
Can't they eat meat and other things you're not supposed to compost?


My standard composter has been merged with my worm bin with no ill effects to the worms. As for meat... Dunno, haven't tried, try looking through this guys experiments:

http://syndicated.livejournal.com/redwormcompost/
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