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An unpleasant picture, but it’s of a successful project.
This the last full bucket of Bokashi compost that I sealed when it was full to about 5 inches from the top and, as you can see, it’s reduced in volume by about 30%
What’s so great about a bucket of muck? Well, it has reduced from its original volume by 30% or so and there’s no smell beyond the slight acidic one that seems to come from fermentation.
This is especially good when you consider that, as a first experiment, I challenged some of the claims Bokashi enthusiasts were making and added meat, citrus peels, eggs, fish and a little dog poo. Now, with normal anaerobic composting, this would have become a smelly sludge, but here, it is quite OK.
If I had used aerobic composting, I would have needed a larger pile and some kind of aeration (e.g. manual turning – hard work!) to get it cooking and couldn’t have done it right next to the kitchen window and side walkway.
Disadvantages? Well only one. The end result is quite acidic, a little below a pH of 6. That’s it, no other drawbacks that I can see and one that’s easily fixed with some dolomite.
I was going to add some composting worms directly to the bucket as it is, but they don’t enjoy acidity, so I need to add another step to the process and bring the pH up first.
For composting a variety of materials in a small space, especially one that is used often, I think Bokashi is a winner.
I would agree. Amazed that your bokashi reduces by so much. That said, as I am filling up the bucket, which takes me two-three months, the pile is reducing as the liquid comes off. So, at the start, the bin seems to fill up quickly, then it turns into a seemingly never-ending job.
Hi Helen. I was pretty ruthless with the pressing down part of the process. Maybe I used too much bran too, so that would account for compaction as well. I am using home made bran too, so maybe its stronger than the commercial stuff (I have no way of checking that though). I guess every batch is different, its almost like they’re living organisms that respond to food and temperature. That batch was done over summer, my winter batch is hardly changing at all.
I’ve noticed a big difference between summer and winter. I use a liquid probiotic rather than inoculated bran – eventually would like perhaps to make my own but for now am happy to support a family business.
The contents of my bokashi might benefit from being pressed down more but then it would take even longer to fill up the bin. In any case, one year after I put my first ever batch in the ground it has all completely vanished into the soil.
I think as the fertiliser decomposes in the ground, it becomes less acidic. At the same time, as I add other amendments such as wood ash, I think that helps correct any imbalance.
We did find something amazing with a friend’s bokashi. Normally I wouldn’t have put it in a worm farm, it’s very acidic, but he did.
The composting bugs must have loved it because it got very warm and stayed that way for days. It didn’t get too hot for the worms because after a couple of days we found them all the way through the bokashi bit of the bin.
It’s something very counter intuitive that I will try next winter.
Maybe it’s not as acidic as say citrus fruit? I do find the contents of the bokashi bin quite greasy, so perhaps the consistency is attractive for the worms? Anyway, good luck.