Monday, March 2, 2009

Why is Bokashi a better Composting method?

On facebook a friend asked me "Never having heard the term bokashi, much less contemplated it, how is that different from putting our food scraps and lawn clippings in the compost bin the city gave us?" I must continue to preface what I say by admitting that I am new to this and am not an expert but bokashi... here's me trying to paraphrase what's said on numerous sources which I believe to be true...
  • Bokashi is speedier and safer than tiger worms and cold composting.
I got rid of my worm bin last fall because it was high maintenance. I had a problem the 1st year with it becoming infested with fungus gnats which in turn did damage to plants in my house including seedlings I was attempting to start for my vegetable garden outside. I believe those gnats killed half of them at least. Then last summer it got infested with some other weird fly, not a housefly but something large resembling a mayfly. To keep my wormbin going I had to bring it inside and some worms also would escape. It was just kinda messy.
  • Acidity kills human and plant pathogens
I hope this is true. I have avoided putting pepper scraps in because they eventually sprout, or at least that's what they did in my wormbin. Other seeds did too and it was kinda annoying. Considering that I am putting bones and cheese in here, I am increasing the likelihood of more weird bacteria. I don't fear it.
  • 2-3 weeks turn-around
This is actually true but that's sorta a cheat. When you empty your bucket, it is not broken down compost that you may dress your plants with. What you have is pickled compost. You need to bury it somewhere and let that go for a few weeks. In theory this breaks down very rapidly, at least you may plant something in that area when the acidity dissipates.
  • All your food waste, including meat may be composted
This is true and I love, love love that. That means you truly get to keep your actual trash can odorless. No more freezing Chicken bones and other mysterious meaty things!
  • Bad smells are eliminated
I have found this to be true so far. It certainly has made my trash can less stinky. The stuff under the sink has not offended my nose yet, not the stuff sitting in the basement. The stuff in the backyard that is buried is not stinky either.
  • Less pests around to annoy
My wormbin as stated above had some very unwelcome guests. No only that but the bin I kept under the sink kept attracting fruitflies. The bokashi bucket under my sink just doesn't provide a home for them so they are gone. Houseflies that could get into the regular trash if I had to throw old meaty waste have no where to go either so they are GONE. I LOVE this.
  • Less work and less THOUGHT required
Expired plain yogurt helps my bacterial balanceA motto I have is "Don't make me think!" I don't have to think "Can I put this in my bin?" If it's foodwaste, it's OK. I don't have to think about when the trash goes out. I don't have to think about the seeds sprouting from stuff I throw in. It all goes into the bucket!

Anyhow, I hope that this will be my last post on this for a while. What is pictured over there is some yogurt being added to the bucket. This adds Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, from some old yogurt in the fridge. I hope that this will help with the mix of micro-organisms.

Here's hoping for some real spring stuff happening soon. I might actually plant a few seedlings to get a slight head start on greens. I think it's time. I'll update for that as it occurs. I think I've address a lot of bokashi concerns here, but again I urge anyone interested to google it and help me correct any mistakes I make here.

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