Bokashi Update: The First Breakup

So, Bokashi. We’ve been seeing each other for more than three months, and though I know I haven’t been tending to our relationship as much as in the beginning, I feel it is because you don’t have room for me! Every so often, I stir the pot, hoping that the juices will flow, but nada. Sigh. I think we may just have to start over.

Okay, the relationship metaphor is probably a bit too much, but it pretty much sums up our first quarter with Bokashi (I first wrote about it back in February). It shouldn’t be discouraging (especially because Mike warned us that it does require a bit of a learning curve), but seeing the success of others highlights that we’re doing something wrong.

We started adding more material to the composter after about two months, given that the volume in the bin (as a commenter had indicated) had decreased. We also tried to take Sarah’s advice by not stirring it every time, and simply sprinkled the Bokashi over top.


Bokashi after three months

Three months later, we have acceptable mold (apparently, white is the good kind), and on top of the compost, a bit of moisture. But no magical tea.

No tea

No tea for you

It’s still a bit unclear to us how long we need to let the compost ferment in the bin before it can go in the garden, but we figure three months should have been enough time. We’ll be bringing the first load to my parents’ place this weekend.


To the garden!

Hopefully, our second batch of compost goes better. C’mon Bokashi – I know we can get through it.

2 thoughts on “Bokashi Update: The First Breakup

  1. Hi there! This will work — seems like you would have needed an info page to help you get going.
    A few thoughts from my side of the pond…
    – you’re right: no stirring. Just let it do it’s thing in peace and quiet. Airtight is key. So try to open the bin just once or twice a day (collect your scraps in a benchtop container)
    – 2 weeks fermentation is enough! So your 3-month batch is more than ready enough to go in the ground. But it doesn’t matter how long it hangs out in the bucket.
    – adding more bokashi bran normally won’t make much of a difference. 1-2 tablespoons per kg food waste is usually enough, add a bit more if you add some heavy protein stuff like cheese.
    – tea! You’ll nearly always get it but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Usually because you have a lot of bread or dry rice or something absorbing the liquid. Check your grid is not blocked.
    – winter: you can’t always dig (tell me about it, I live in Sweden). Just transfer the fermented bokashi to a plastic bag, seal the bag and store until the thaw. Inside or out, doesn’t matter. You might want to store the bags up in a barrel or something to keep things neat and tidy.
    So keep at it! Honestly, it’s not hard — just to find your feet with it all. And good luck…

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