Bokashi

Madison, VA

Hi ... my first post to Dave's.

I have recently started experimenting with the Japanese Bokashi method of anaerobic composting, adding Organic Rice Bran EM•1®Bokashi to my collected composting materials, letting it "stew" for a couple of weeks, and then burying it in the ground. Is anyone else using this method? What kind of results have you had, if any? So far I have buried two batches, averaging one a month for the past two months.

Peg

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

No tell us more about what this accomplishes.

Madison, VA

According to what I have read, the first buried batch should be fully composted within 3 weeks. I will check this weekend and see what my first, month-old batch, looks like and let you know.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

I have heard of it and was curious too about it, It looks really cool. Easy too.
sue

Denver, CO

Peg; Welcome to Dave's and thanks for streching all of the unstretchable minds at once... Time for some research.

Denver, CO

Hmm. I would like to know from a chemist's standpoint of how well it recycles nutrients. I frankly do not see any benefit it has over the simple pit method: Dig a hole and bury the stuff. Enough worms present will make it disappear in a month or two.
Please tell us what happens, Peg, and about the smell. That seems the biggest "Why do it?" factor to me.

It reminds me of some time ago:
One winter, I had a bucket on the shaded part of my patio in which I was putting all of my raw kitchen compost (which would freeze immediately.) I figured I would properly compost it all when spring came. Instead, I filled it to the brim and lidded it to keep animals out during our spring thaws. When it was entirely spring-like and I remembered the thing, I took it to the big, passive, back compost and dumped it. The odour had a perfect affinity to vomit, and burying the slime in dry material did not stop it from being rank for days. The material was soggy and too fine to be releived of anaerobia. Animals came and my dog got sick eating it. The only end to it was when it dried out and hardened into an awful patty of puke that took some time to deteriorate in the compost.

My unfounded thought is that anaerobic bacteria is not exactly the kind that a person needs to encourage in his soil. (or rather, teh conditions for such) Healthy, plant-friendly soil is aerobic, no? Perhaps the fermenting bit is intended to soften the material for faster worm dining?

Regular run-of-the-mill vermicomposting sounds pretty good right now. Just my opinoin,
Kenton

Sultan, WA(Zone 8a)

It makes me think of makes vinegar. I have to encourage a nasty situation in order to get the micro-organisms I do want in there to complete the chemical reaction. Then I hope it all dies when I boil it and stick it in bottles.

I found this quote, "The microorganisms in EM are known to produce bioactive substances, vitamins, hormones, enzymes, amino acids, and antibiotics, which enrich and detoxify the soil."

Sounds a little like compost tea too. Except I've never had a compost tea attract racoons. Just feed it to the chickens!

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

thank you Kenton on that lovely rendition of "what not to do with kitchen scraps ' LOL uuhhg i think i will go vomit now, yuk . Some of us have weak stomaches you know, :) LOL
sue

Madison, VA

Hi again, back from the country ...
The smell is kind of nice, very yeasty, like the stuff we used to drink in the 60s, brewer's yeast. I did not dig up my first batch to check on it yet, too busy planting. I also was wondering if there is any 'real' benefit to adding the EM, or if burying it would be sufficient. I can't seem to find any specific literature that tells me exactly how the microbes work, but I will keep looking. I guess I need to get more scientific and bury two batches, one with and one without bokashi. Several people have mentioned the 'vinegar mother' parallel. Also reminds me of yogurt starter. The bokashi suppliers make special containers with taps on the bottom so that you can draw off accumulated liquids, and that you can use like compost tea, so there are similarities there as well. I think you are supposed to keep it pretty dry.
Peg

Simi Valley, CA(Zone 10a)

Here's a good bit of info on the subject: http://www.cityfarmer.org/bokashi.html

Regina, Canada

Can anyone answer why some bins smell like pickles and the next bin knocks your socks off with a terrible "vomit" smell? No sign of green mold on either only white. Is it the contents that is making the difference? I do not add any meat products - only fruit and vegetable. Any info on this is really appreciated.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Too wet? Also do not use cooked veggie scraps, raw only.

Vancouver, Canada

I just wanted to add my experience. I started bokashi composting a couple of years ago and I am completely converted. It allows me to compost all of my food waste and bury directly in my garden (or in a soil factory when my ground is frozen), without the risk of attracting pests. There is lots of useful information here www.bokashiliving.com/blog

Would love to hear how others are getting on with this.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

My mother used to do this - she called it feeding the worms. We had the old style garden row-path-row-path, we buried scraps in the paths, working our way through the garden over the season.
As for the smell, that sounds like making silage. Chopped corn silage doesn't smell too bad, a little like molasses. But if you make silage out of a chopped up pea field, it smells pretty bad. Which is why most farmers use corn - that and the nutrition profile, I suppose.

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