Compost awareness week – top tips for using bokashi bins!
I’ve been asked the following question about bokashi bins from one of our readers “I just acquired a bokashi bin off freecycle, so would love some info on the pros and cons of it, as at the moment I’m not sold on the idea of having to buy bokashi bran to make compost. But then it does enable me to compost things that would otherwise go in landfill.“
I guess one each of the pros and cons has already been answered by her concerns, but here are some of mine. I’ve collaborated with John Costigane and Mrs Average as my answers come from guess work. I don’t actually own a bokashi, but have researched them in the past.
Both John and Mrs A are seasoned and reputable bokashi users, so it’s great to have their input too!
So without further ado, here are our pros and cons along with some top tips on getting the most from your bokashi. I want to hear your ideas too – let’s make this a great resource for people who are considering the bokashi route!
- Ideal for people with cooked food waste (especially great for Mums with picky eaters in the family!) which you can keep out of the landfill and turn into a valuable resource.
- Can compost dairy, meat, fish and small bones in a way which will not attract vermin.
- Fermentation takes place in two short weeks which can then be added to a compost heap, wormery, donated to a gardening friend or dug into the ground.
- Produces a valuable liquid which can be diluted 100 times with water and used on plants. Use neat in the drains to keep fresh (safe for septic tanks).
- Ideal for use in small homes without a gardens it sits on the work surface
- Useful for ingredients like citrus and onions, which some worms don’t like!
- Ongoing cost from buying EMs.
- Need somewhere to deposit the ‘finished’ contents as they still need to fully decompose.
- Can be an expensive outlay – you really need two bins to get a good system going.
- Some people find the smell of the liquid and finished product offensive
- People with teeny tiny kitchens might struggle with giving up their workspace for a bokashi bin
Tips for getting the most from your bokashi bin
- To successfully ‘pickle’ the contents, the lid must be airtight.
- Compress the waste after putting on bran, with something like a potato masher to help remove air.
- Drain off the liquid every few days and use within 24 hours.
- Keep the unused bran in dry condition.
- Cutting waste into small pieces and freezing the waste allows more infrequent filling, especially if waste amounts are minimal.
- Bokashi contents can be quite sludgy, so sprinkle finely into the compost bin and add a layer of scrunched up paper or cardboard on top.
Any other seasoned bokashi users out there? Come and share your tips and experiences with us!