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Bokashi

 
Donna LeClair
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I bought a ready-made bokashi bin recently but it's pretty full already.

For my second one, I bought 2 plastic pails that fit one-inside-the-other leaving a gap at the bottom between pails. I drilled holes for drainage on the bottom of the inside pail and it has an air-tight lid. I did not put a spigot in the outside bucket but intend to lift the inside one out every couple of days and pour off the bokashi liquid. I just didn't want to spend another 50 bucks on a plastic pail.

Anyone have any feedback about this
 
Ollie Puddlemaker
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Location: Houston, Tesas
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It's called, 'Tuition', many times it's unavoidable, in some ways, it's the only way it can be, othertimes, you can beat it. If you had known what you know now, you may have made a different choice, but you didn't. Now, today...you have the knowledge and confidence to do another route. Don't dwell on what might have been different on something that now makes no or little difference. Learn even more, make your own LAB, BIM, EM, IMO's and get on your way to enjoying what Bokashi can do...
 
Donna LeClair
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Tuition is a good way to think about it and I am not regretting buying the kit...it was exciting to get started in an easy way!

I am just wondering if my home-made system will be as convenient in terms of draining the liquid. Otherwise, I can't imagine why it won't be as effective!

So thanks for the encouragement, Ollie. And yes, next step will be learning to innoculate my own bran with EM, LAB, IMO. etc.
 
Ollie Puddlemaker
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Good, then your purchase was the 'icebreaker' you needed. If you Google 'DIY Bokashi Buckets' you will find your 2-bucket design, I've seen it...read some of the comments from others that have already made theirs, hear what their challenges were and what they might have done to overcome...it will work just fine. Another way, is to be sure you're not putting in a lot of liquids or if you do adjusting for it with more carbon material and adding more 'bran' or whatever you plan to use as a carrier, i.e. newspaper, dry hay/grass, sawdust, etc., to handle it.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Donna LeClair
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Thanks for the links, John!
 
Ollie Puddlemaker
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Donna -
I apologize, I just assumed that you were farther along, here too, is a link that has everything you should need to know to be productive. Features Bryan McGrath with Prokashi.com http://www.prokashi.com/videos/
 
Donna LeClair
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Thanks, Ollie

I have seen all or most of the prokashi vids by Bryan McGrath. I am probably a little farther along, yes, in terms of finding out all I could about the process, just not in practice so much! My first purchased bin is full though and after a couple of weeks more of fermenting, I will store in in another bin/location since here in central Ontario where I am, the ground will sadly remain frozen for at least another 2 months

I have been vermicomposting for close to 20 years now and so bokashi is going to be another way to capitalize on kitchen waste all winter long!
 
Ollie Puddlemaker
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After your Bokashi is completely fermented and the pH is not so acid, you could feed it to your worms. Just another way to spend 2+ more months in the frozen North.
 
Donna LeClair
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Yes! i will try that. I was wondering about the acidity but it sounds like people have had success. I will wait a while and let it mellow. I have 3 different worm "farms" so I could probably put the finished product to good use!
 
Diego Footer
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Donna LeClair wrote:I bought a ready-made bokashi bin recently but it's pretty full already.

For my second one, I bought 2 plastic pails that fit one-inside-the-other leaving a gap at the bottom between pails. I drilled holes for drainage on the bottom of the inside pail and it has an air-tight lid. I did not put a spigot in the outside bucket but intend to lift the inside one out every couple of days and pour off the bokashi liquid. I just didn't want to spend another 50 bucks on a plastic pail.

Anyone have any feedback about this


Empty the liquid every few days and you should be fine. If you lift off the top bucket then I would suggested dumping the liquid at that time regardless of amount. If you put the top bucket back down without dumping the liquid, then you are probably going to have a smell issue.
 
Donna LeClair
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Thanks Diego,

So far, so good. I have drained the liquid from the bottom bucket and since I am on a septic, have a great use for it! I was worried at first that no spigot would be a problem but it appears not! When the bucket starts to get quite full, I am sure it will feel a bit heavy at times but good for building arm strength!!!
 
Mateo Chester
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Location: Zone 4b
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After working in boots all day, I must admit, I develop a rather delicious form of "funk-foot"... Lovely, I know, but it's the truth.. I discovered this method after soaking my feet in neem cake, powdered, and diluted in water. After a couple soakings, and some supplemental aeration, we had lift off! Logically, I then bought neem tooth paste, and what my old man used to call "Alpo breath", was a thing of the past!
Anyways, though graphic, I felt it necessary to preface this with my deep seeded (pun probably intended) appreciation and use of- the neem tree.

I wanted to genuinely say hello to you all, as this is my very first posting on any forum anywhere, and I am just familiarizing myself with this whole internet forum thing.. I have been bokashi'ing all food scraps for about a year, and feeding the fermented material directly to my worms... I consider myself to be generally new to the whole permaculture paradigm, and absolutely LOVE it. I have learned of this method due to personal bucket failure, or what I like to call a "funky-bucket". If you do bokashi, you know what I am talking about

...This might be for people who already have this material laying around, or who can source it cheaply and locally.... neem cake. If you have funky (smelling) bokashi buckets, you may use neem cake... aka neem seed meal.. Powder it using a coffee grinder if you want to increase surface area. You can use this as a preventative measure, or if you have the beginning of a "funky" bucket, or even one that has been "funki-fying" for some time now, you can apply about a 1/2 inch layer of neem cake to the bottom of the bucket or bin that catches the "bokashi juice", or bokashi liquid. And then leave it... Don't dump it out or anything. You can leave the neem cake in there for the entire cycle of the bucket to completely control smell and to absorb moisture. I can safely say this puts adding sugar to the bottom of your bucket to control smell, "out of the water". It might cost more, but the versatility of neem cake in your garden is astounding, even in very minute amounts... Hopefully this helps someone avoid getting to the point where "slime" is even a factor.... namaste
 
Donna LeClair
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Thanks for your reply Matt. Where do you get neem seed meal from?
 
Mateo Chester
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Donna,

You can usually get the product from specialty garden stores, or some nurseries. The most typical product I've seen out there, at least in my neck of the woods, is by a company called Down To Earth. They make a variety of amendments and the like. I have since begun to source my neem cake directly from Ahimsa Alternative/Neem Resource. A higher quality, and more dense product, one who's intense aroma speaks for itself.. I also use neem cake as a soil amendment, and also topdress with it, for reasons I'd be glad to explain if you would like..Hope this helps.

Matt
 
Donna LeClair
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Of course, I am now curious....why do you top dress with neem?
 
Mateo Chester
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Location: Zone 4b
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Primarily as part of my pest/disease management.

Cite:
1. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07060660509507191
2. http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/1-4020-2596-3_1
 
Mateo Chester
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Location: Zone 4b
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Just wanted to give this picture upload thing a try. The first is a picture of the bottom of the catch bucket in my bokashi 5 gallon bucket system. I dealt with bucket nastiness over the winter, and when adding sugar did little good, I decided to use neem cake and wheat bran instead. It worked flawlessly. I opened the bucket for the first time in 3 months and this is what I found. The dark stuff is the neem cake and the lighter material is the wheat bran. On top, was this wonderfully pure white, cotton ball-lookin' fungus. It had very little odor, other than the "proper bokashi odor". There wasn't a drop of liquid and I didn't have to keep emptying the liquid as I was doing before. I put in about 1 cup of each at the start of each bucket and voila. Hope this helps someone out there on the interwebs.

The second pic is of the bokashi being fed to my worm bin. I only cover half of it so as to not overwhelm them little wigglers!

Thought I'd share.
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Bottom of Bokashi bucket with Neem Cake, Wheat Bran and a white cotton ball-like fungus!
photo-1.JPG
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Bokashi fed to worm bin
 
Mark Livett
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Matt Chester wrote:...This might be for people who already have this material laying around, or who can source it cheaply and locally.... neem cake.


I have a neem sapling in a pot, I don't suppose I can just chuck a few leaves into the bottom of the liquid reservoir could I? That would make life so much easier.

Unless of course it is really powerful because I then dilute the liquid and put it on my garden, I would hate to kill off any of the good bacteria or my worms, though I wouldn't mind slowing down some of the other bugs.
 
Mateo Chester
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Location: Zone 4b
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I can't give you any first hand advice on using neem tree leaves in place of the neem cake (seed meal), but I do know that most every part of the neem tree is beneficial. I can say with certainty that unless you use incredible amounts (too much of anything type-of-deal), your beneficial microbiology nor your worms will be effected negatively. I feed the meal directly to the worms, and have it in my potting mixes to specifically suppress pathogenic pests and diseases and to promote the good guys. Not to mention it is a great organic slow release N fertilizer, but thats another can-o-worms.

The image I posted of the bokashi bucket indicated to me that the neem cake did just this: promoted the good and suppressed the bad.

I am unclear by what you mean:

"Unless of course it is really powerful because I then dilute the liquid and put it on my garden, I would hate to kill off any of the good bacteria or my worms, though I wouldn't mind slowing down some of the other bugs."

Is what too powerful?
 
Mark Livett
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I was just concerned about using too many neem leaves which would make the whole thing toxic to all life forms it comes into contact with but you have already put my mind at ease regarding that. I just didn't want to start pouring the equivalent of bleach on my garden.

I will give it a try once Summer gets here and the tree starts growing.

Thanks for the idea.
 
Mateo Chester
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Far from bleach! No problemo! Let us know of your progress! Thanks
 
2017 Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs http://richsoil.com/pdc
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