We’ve been doing Bokashi style composting since Christmas break this year. It started out at as web search for storing compostables over the winter – I was picturing a goopy mess of partially rotted grossness once it all thawed – and ended up at ADHD Canuck’s page where he had just started an experiment on the ease-of-use of Bokashi composting for city dwellers. His blog led me to Jenny’s blog, THE best source of beginner Bokashi tips and tricks I’ve found online, and dozens of other pages and blurbs on what works and what doesn’t when fermenting organics.
So, what worked for us?
Well, I have three bins. The stainless steel bin collects our scraps, peels, plate scrapings, and time-expired refrigerator contents. Once every day, or so, I dump it into the white bokashi bin (or the black bokashi bin), and sprinkle a few handfuls of bokashi bran over top. Once the bokashi bin is packed full, I drain the tea, and bring it down to our mechanical room to ferment for two to four weeks.
Here is a view of the cupboard under my kitchen sink:
Once it’s finished fermenting, I drain the tea again, and dump the bin contents into our drum composter.
I cycle through two bokashi bins. So once my white homemade bin is set to ferment downstairs, I dump the contents of my black bin (by EcoLiving Organics) into the drum composter and set it up under the sink to collect our compostables once a day.
Here is our custom bokashi bin fermenting away in our mechanical room:
That’s it. So far, our drum composter (which was already half-full of veggie matter from last year) has consumed and composted 25 GALLONS of fermented organics. I’ve yet to dump it, but this stuff breaks down to black compost in just a couple of weeks, leaving lots of room to add more bokashi material.
And what’s in the little green bin, you ask?
Well, by the time I started looking at Bokashi bins, I already had about 15 gallons of frozen compostables in a bin beside the house. Frozen solid, and just waiting to turn into slushy, sloppy grossness in the spring. About four weeks ago, I layered several inches of shredded paper under all of the mucky veggie waste, mixed in a full 1 lb bag of bokashi bran, added another several inches of shredded paper, and put the lid on. I’m hoping it’s all nicely pickled and ready to turn into my garden.
I’ll let you know as soon as I’m brave enough to open the lid!