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Old January 21, 2007   #1
mdvpc
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Default bokashi composting

Garnetmoth mentioned this in her myco thread. She has done it, and I experimented with it last year. Anyone else done this? I wonder what your experience with it was. It is a Japanese method of composting. You can make your own compost "starter" rather than buying the sawdust and bran product.

Here is a blurb:

Bokashi is a Japanese term that means “fermented organic matter. EM Bokashi is a pleasant smelling product made using a combination of sawdust and bran that has been infused with Effective Micro-organisms (EM). EM Bokashi has traditionally been used to increase the microbial diversity and activity in soils and to supply nutrients to plants.

* Place your kitchen waste into the bucket, then sprinkle a hand full of EM Bokashi over the waste.
* Repeat this layering process until the Bokashi Bucket is full.
* Drain off liquid (Bokashi juice) as necessary.

Once the bucket is full to capacity, the waste can be buried. If you have two Bokashi Buckets, begin the process again in your second bucket. Let the waste from the first Bokashi Bucket continue to ferment for 10-14 days or for any additionallength of time. Then, bury the waste and wash out Bokashi Bucket ready to use when your second Bokashi Bucket is full. If you have only one Bokashi Bucket the waste can be buried as soon as it is full, obviously the waste on the top has not had much or any chance to ferment, even so, the waste will still break down quickly becasue of the micro-organisms mixed in.

With two Bokashi Buckets the waste gets extra time to ferment, you will get more of the valuable Bokashi Jucie and it is more convenient, however, this wonderful composting system will still work with just one Bokashi Bucket.

Bokashi Compost will look different to other compost that has decayed. As the food waste does not breakdown or decompose while it is in the bucket, much of its original physical property will remain and it will have a pickled appearance. Breakdown of waste will occur after it has been transferred to the soil.
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Old January 21, 2007   #2
Thomas
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mdvpc, do you think dry molasses would be a good starter in this case? I use alot of it in the spring to give my soil a jump start. It also gets my compost pile cooking pretty good.
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Old January 21, 2007   #3
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Thomas-I really dont know. I bought a commercial bokashi starter. I do know some folks make their own. I tried to find a link that I had seen a year or so ago that described how to make your own starter, but I couldnt find it.
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Old January 21, 2007   #4
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im actually just starting making the "bokashi" myself. its a term that means innoculated compost (or a printing technique with gradiated colors!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96fSXccQx9Q

the cermamic powder absorbing infrared energy? sounds a bit kooky to me. the EM store has LOTS of cermaic stuff you can buy.

"EM" contains:
http://info.asapsupplier.com/index.php?pageid=478

Im still working on my innoculant, but this first pass just included yogurt culutre and bread yeast. Ive got a Winogradski column set up to isolate Purple Non-Sulfur bacteria......

As for using bran, it may be nice, but im thinking anything with surface area, ive seen some with sawdust, and im not trying to buy a lot of inputs....

Good Luck!
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Old January 21, 2007   #5
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Garnetmoth-thanks for the links. I got my bokashi stuff out and am going to start again composting my food wastes.
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Old January 22, 2007   #6
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So, mdvpc, do you find the Bokashi compost breaks down faster than aerobic pile composting?

Did you buy an expensive bucket? im hoping I can do this as on-the-cheap as possible. I bought a stack of Gamma Seal Lids- I decided to invest in them for my chicken feed buckets, and a 7/8 drillbit and a sink-stopper on a chain from the hardware store- instead of putting a clog-able spigot on the bottom to drain the liquid.

Im also just using some sorghum syrup ive had laying around. I know molasses has trace minerals that make it preferred, but the microbes went nuts for the sugar....
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Old January 22, 2007   #7
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Garnet-I dont know which type of compost breaks down faster. I used the fluid that is produced as a soil drench and the compost I put in containers, put potting soil on top and planted. At the end of the season, there was no trace of the bokashi. I do put a couple of worms in each container, and I am sure they contributed to the breakdown.

I bought the buckets, but there is no reason they cant be homemade. One thing you need to do is not put any fluid in the container, and make sure you drain off what fluid is produced during the break-down period.
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Old January 23, 2007   #8
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Ive found many more products than reviews from users, so I am a bit sceptical, which is why im DIYing it as much as possible.

Im looking for a quicker way to get more thoroughly done compost, and there are some good outcomes reported with this procedure. Its supposed to break down the lignin so stems compost more quickly.

I could to regular compost vs bokashi in my 2 worm bins- after I harvest in March or so, ill set them up as a side-by-side comparison.
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Old February 4, 2007   #9
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Here is a photo of the juice that is a by-product of the fermentation process. I use it as a foliar or soil drench fertilizer.



Here is an excerpt from something I found on the internet:
Using the Bokashi Juice
The amount and colour of the liquid drained will depend on the type of food in the bucket. Fruit and vegetables tend to release more liquid than other foods. Don’t worry if little or no liquid is produced, but do check it every few days.
NOTE: The Bokashi Juice cannot be stored – use it within 24 hours after draining from the bucket.

The Garden: To fertilise the garden or pot plants, dilute the liquid with water at ~1:100 (for delicate plants, dilute ~ 1:1000)

Around the house: Pour the liquid directly down kitchen and bathroom drains or toilets. Adding liquid to septic systems will help prevent algae build-up and control odours.
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Old March 10, 2007   #10
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I have been using bokashi juice on my container tomatoes in my greenhouse along with my tomato tone. I have not used any foliar at all and I ususually do. Here is a thread here with photos of my container plants and showing how much growth in a few days. Granted, its not a controlled experiment, but the bokashi juice as a soil drench seems to be good for the tomatoes. The fermented bokashi itself is still cooking-its recommended that for 2 weeks it should ferment to complete the process.

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=4291
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Old March 14, 2007   #11
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My Aussie-Canuck friends with Japanese connections told me about this concoction just last month. Synergy methinks. With your recommendation now, M., I'm definitely going to try it this summer.

Jennifer, moving to a farm next month
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Old March 14, 2007   #12
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Jenifer-it really seems to be worthwhile. I had a bushy charabosky (sp?) that produced ripe fruit in less than 41 days using bokashi juice.
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Old April 22, 2007   #13
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I have been using bokashi juice on all my plants in the greenhouse and outside. Today, I got 2 quarts of the juice that I used for foliar feeding and soil drench. Although I have not done a controlled study, I believe that my plants are healthier and more productive using the juice.
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Old April 22, 2007   #14
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Hi, Michael.

I'm am very interested in Bokashi. I've read about it as much as is practical. I intend to try making my own this year; I just haven't gotten round to it yet. <Always too many things to do!>

I hope you will post here from time to time with updates. It need not be scientific-impressions, feelings, reactions, etc. Bring 'em!

Michael
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Old April 22, 2007   #15
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Michael-not much to it. I have bought the bokashi, but I am thinking about making my own later this year. I am using the fermented product (not the juice) for the first time in my containers of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and cukes, so I will post on how they do. I did a nice foliar/soil drench this morning of everything-toms, cukes, peppers, cutting lettuces, etc.
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