A great way to convert smelly scraps into odourless fertilizer
Bokashi is a wonderful step in the composting process but my mind is often full and I forget things…
The last Bokashi dog poo digester was full yesterday, It is time to pull up the first and see if our theory works. The good new is that it does! Even over winter, the action of anaerobic bacteria, followed by worms and other soil critters, turned a 20 litre bucket of dog poo and Bokashi bran into about half a bucket of good stuff. No smell, no yucky liquids, just crumbly goodness! As a general precaution, I wouldn’t sprinkle it on our annual vegetables. It’s source material is poo, after all and there are many variables to consider: soil temperature, variations in bacteria on the bran, time, composition of the dig poo etc. I think its best to either bury it beneath perennials or put it through a second stage of composting such as worms (who just love eating all the microbes,) or a hot, aerobic compost pile.
I’ve been fiddling for a while trying to work out a way to extend the Bokashi liquid that we buy from the shops. I’m happy that I’ve finally got a system that provides consistent results. It is ridiculously simple. All it takes is – 20 ml of commercial Bokashi liquid 20 ml cup of molasses 2 ml of liquid seaweed fertilizer 2 litres of filtered or rain water All you do is mix them all up, put them in a container of the appropriate size, leaving the lid a little loose, or use some other way to release the gas that builds up such as a daily ‘burping’. Leave the container in a warm place for a couple of weeks. The time will depend on the temperature – in Summer it can take only a few days. You will notice small bubbles forming on the surface. This is carbon dioxide that comes from the activities of the microbes in
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