Bokashi bucket question

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Re: Bokashi bucket question

Postby Pam » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:11 am

If they take 18 months to break down, that might be a bit long for this purpose do you think Sam? I guess there's always the chance they might break down faster if they're buried, or if you slice them open with a shovel upon burying, then it really wouldn't matter if they took a bit longer.
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Re: Bokashi bucket question

Postby Sam » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:33 am

I was thinking they'd break down a lot faster if buried. Busting with the shovel would also help, I think.
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Re: Bokashi bucket question

Postby Geoff Clifton » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:49 pm

We got some big ex council wheelie bins when they downsized them. Drilled a dozen big holes in the bottom and just fill 'em up dusting with a little lime occasionally. They evolved from out the back to now right in the veg patch. Everything goes in. Weeds and old plants, kitchen scraps, shredded paper, lawn clippings if not mulching. When I do a big prune or pull down the choko vine at the the end of the season they get put under the lawn mower and in it goes. We've got a small electric mulcher for the harder prunings. The bins are performing best in maximum sun and mostly get too hot for worms. Any juice just drains where they stand. Once composted down to about half full I drag 'em out and upend 'em. Sometimes they are a tad smelly but mostly not and left in a pile for a week or six before spreading it soon passes.
So there's a fancy name for what we've been doing :lol: I really don't think there's any way the fancy ferment could control the process to a specific yeast as wild yeast and bacteria would have to get in. I'm sure they do with mine as I add nothing. Ask any home brewer how much cleanliness is required to restrict fermentation to one yeast.

Back on topic, I've seen small kiddy size wheelie bins in the rabbit shop and others that would do fine with holes in the bottom or a tap fitted. Also a plastic dustbin upside down with the bottom cut out and lid on with a weight works very well as the bin just needs lifting off when the compost is ready. Trench composting sounds fine but we don't want to become the local rodents diner.

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Re: Bokashi bucket question

Postby betr2garden » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:49 pm

Sounds fantastic Geoff. I know a lot of people doing a similar thing with Bokashi. Difference is the bin needs to have a clip or seal on the lid to keep the air out and allow anearobic activity (but layered stuff does that anyway). Bokashi generally does the ferment bit first and so speeds up the time for scraps to turn to soil. If you have good enriched soil due to a lot of good practices over time, you could just add some garden soil and you would expect there to be a balance of good bacteria, yeasts, etc in your soil which will do something not unlike what Bokashi does. I include meat, bones, seafood, cheese, onions and citrus in mine, but wouldn't try that without knowing I had the matching required combination of micro-organisms to aid in the breakdown (or there could be some unhealthy and smelly compost). Doing Bokashi in a bucket certainly keeps the critters out that like to get into open compost, but my dog will dig up any Bokashi she knows is there (and I have to keep my traditional compost covered for the same reason).

If you have plenty of room, plenty of time and plenty of knowledge of soil microbial activity, you probably don't think you need Bokashi, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are many non-gardeners, people with small or no gardens, people that live in places where the weather does not allow for traditional composting, impoverished soils (and polluted soils) where Bokashi is making an amazing difference. I guess it is bringing people into waste reduction that wanted to do it, but aren't inclined to the sorting, turning and even the use of compost.

I don't necessarily support the commercial side of Bokashi (although I am a believer in the EM range being a well balanced and user friendly collection of micro-organisms for specific needs). I do like that people have options to bring sustainable practices into their lives without having to 'get their hands dirty'. I am in awe of some of the great things being done in third world countries to clean up long polluted waterways and at sites of natural disasters to control disease outbreaks. There are also many broadscale uses in agriculture. There is a lot more to this than some expensive bucket down the hardware store.

Doing Bokashi in a bag means people can just give it to the gardener down the road who can use it when they get around to it. It also means scraps that would usually go to landfill and be part of dangerous methane gas outputs might be collected or stored and end up in a more environmentally friendly soil building use.

Sam, the biodegradable bags are really easy to find (most supermarkets have them now). Let's face it, it doesn't matter what the bag is really, but I wouldn't bury in the bag if it was only degradable, but would send the bag off the landfill to break down there. I'd just open the bag and bury the contents. Generally, I would (as Pam suggested) cut open compostable bags with a spade and mix some soil in to speed things up.

Degradability/compostability has to do with what and how much is left of the bag when it breaks down and is covered by different standards across the world. I think anyone would need a market for their bags to buy them in, but generally they keep just fine until they come in contact with the right conditions to decompose.

Pam, I heard back from Maze products and they don't think their bags will do the trick. As they are certainly not expensive and they are 7 litre so will suit my 5.5 Litre bucket, I'll probably just buy some and give them a try. If they are no good for Bokashi I can always line the waste bin in the toilet with them. :|
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