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Tell me about bokashi  RSS feed

 
Posts: 10
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Glad it's going well!

It really is important to get rid of oxygen if possible, and to be generous with the bran.

If you have any pictures of your set up, I'd love to share them on my site: http://www.bokashicompostinghq.com. Knowing that other people are using Bokashi composting, and hearing how they're getting on can be good motivation for newcomers. If you're up for putting some photos up, please get in touch with me via the contact form...
 
Posts: 9
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I just started "Bokashi" composting in November, I too refused to spend money on the bran. I made my own EM with rice water, then added molasses purchased from the local farm store, $12.00 for 3 gallons. I diluted the mixture into a spray bottle (20 parts water one part activated EM) and spray the kitchen waste as I place it into the bucket. I farm/garden so I felt no need to use a potato masher to press out the air, have palm, cam smoosh. the 1st bucket is ready to add to soil today, but alas it snowed so my day was spent doing other chores. I did move the bucket to the garage as it is in the last 2 days beginning to stink. I opened the bucket and have a marvelous bloom of white micelium no black mold, does not smell like pickles or sauerkraut. this 1st bucket has about 3 lbs of chicken feet in it as I made broth and do not feed cooked bones to my dogs. Biggest learning...... open the lid on the spray bottle, the pressure from the fermenting EM causes the spray bottle to force liquid out. 2nd bucket is full and has no chicken feet so I can make a mental assessment as to weather the large amount of animal caused the less than friendly smell.
compost with out turning is a great thing, I do have plenty of other things that need done... Keep it simple!
 
Posts: 182
Location: San Diego, CA
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Just to clarify. You didn't make EM. You made an LAB solution. The benefit of using EM1 is presence of PNSB which do things like break down wastes and they are reductive (anti-oxidizing). While it is all great to use LAB to ferment organic waste, you can't get the same benefits that you can get using EM1. LAB gets all of the attention because it can easily be cultured from the wild, but the PNSB are what you really want more off. And you won't get them from rice wash.
 
Posts: 101
Location: 39.720014, -74.875139 - Waterford Works, NJ
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I'm a tad late to this thread, but has anyone tried using dried peat moss instead of bran for holding culture? I would imagine it's even cheaper than coco coir, although I haven't priced it. I've heard of folks using it for composting toilets as cover material (without the culture in it), so why not for bokashi? Anyone?
 
Posts: 148
Location: Zone 4b
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And what about dried leaves instead of bran? Or what about ash? I am also curious as to whether anyone has cultured/isolated their own purple non-sulphur bacterium? If so, could you please enlighten us on your methods? If not, I found this which might be of interest to some: http://www.mbio.ncsu.edu/MB452/purple_nonsulfurs/purples.html

adios
 
Posts: 148
Location: Houston, Tesas
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Any dry carbon material can work to make Bokashi, what do you have an abundance of? The 'bran' or whatever you are using is the 'vehicle' to hold the LAB and promote the mycelium growth. Usually, you'll want to chop straw, hay, grasses to have as much surface area as possible, newspaper could be left in a sheet. You could use hulls & husks, sawdust or chips, etc., etc. Remember tho', whichever 'medium' you would choose, you have to be able to thourghly low-heat dry for any kind of storage-life. The peat moss is not usually considered as good a source as some others because our use has become to the point of exceeding it's ability to replace itself. Charcoal would be better a better choice over ashes, as the carbon has not been burned off.
 
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Matt Chester: Your link got me thinking a lot and even got me to make an account so I can post and bounce this off of some of you wise and diverse folks.
The PNSB live in symbiosis with carnivorous pitcher-type plants right(along with hundreds of other strains and species)?

Could you just add their water to the newspaper/bran/bucket and in effect inoculate it with the PNSB? Also, would it harm the plant if you were to remove some of it's water? I don't know much about carnivorous plants to be honest.

Of course they are also found in rainwater and ponds and such but the carnivorous plants have kind of perfected this anaerobic composting thing over thousands of years yeah? Standing on the shoulders of giants and all that.

I'm really liking where this is going as I cannot afford the EM1 bran anymore but the homemade LABs put me off because of their lack of these other beneficial strains. BIM also sounds exactly like my cup of tea.

Lots of love to all of you eco geeks :p
 
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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...deleted post....

 
Posts: 64
Location: Maple City Michigan
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$35.00 = EM1 off Amazon,
$0.00 = Old 5 gallon buckets I had Laying around,
$7 to $9 = "Gamma-Seal" lid from Amazon, (air-tight screw-off lid for the 5 gallon bucket), (mainly for easy access).
$15.00 = 20lbs. Wheat Bran (20# is a huge amount)
$2.99 = Spigot off Amazon (installed on the bottom bucket),
$9 = Bottle of molasses, (organic 'cause I use it daily for myself),
50 cents = a plate from the thrift store, (to seal the top of the food).

That's around $70 for at least a years worth of bran. After that, I only need to spend about $15 per year on the bran itself and the EM1 should last several years. Everything else is a one-time purchase.............

1/2 cup EM1
1/2 cup Molasses
20 cups water
20# Wheat Bran
= 1 year supply of Bokashi Bran (family of 3)


My compost pile got up to 130 degrees. I waited about 5 days. I added a few sprays of Diluted EM1 as I turned it. It cooled to 100. I waited about a week. I turned it and it cooled to 80. I waited a week. Turned it, added more green garden trimmings and sprinkled in some composted steer manure. Stayed at 80. Waited a week. Added more EM1 as I turned it. We got some really cold weather (26 at night and 45 in the day). Now it seems dead and sits at 65. Moisture seems correct, Everything looks like it's barely "starting" to break down, but the size of the pile is pretty much the same. I know I "can" add Bokashied food to it, but will ading the food start it heating up again and help the balance of the materials finish breaking down? Or is this just going to assist the Bokaski finishing "it's" decomposition?



 
Posts: 32
Location: Alberta Canada 3b I think....
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Hi folks,
Just started my DIY batch of EM starter about a week ago. You may be familiar, its the one you start with rice water, add milk later and then ferment newspaper. I thought this would be an economical way to try this kind of composting out. I am just wondering, those of you who do this, do you see drastically different results? I have read that the fermented product still needs to be composted afterwards, but its supposed to be faster to get nice dark compost. I do worm compost as well but the limitations of it make me want to expand into this area. I want to be able to compost meat, bones and heavy citrus material. In the summer I also want to employ this to speed the process times for my dog poo digesters.
 
kirk dillon
Posts: 64
Location: Maple City Michigan
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James Barr wrote:Hi folks,
Just started my DIY batch of EM starter the one you start with rice water


Just to clarify... That is "not" EM. It is Lactobaccilus bateria which is just one of the many parts of the EM bacteria mix.
I've only done one batch so far and haven't finished it's seconfary decomposition but it will definitely add another way to compost.
 
James Barr
Posts: 32
Location: Alberta Canada 3b I think....
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kirk
I am wondering if using this method will give me an inferior product. Is there a way to capture the other microbes and get them into my mix? Why are the other microbes so essential?
 
kirk dillon
Posts: 64
Location: Maple City Michigan
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Will it be inferior? Yes, But that doesn't mean that it won't be good enough. LAB (lactobacillus) is great all by itself. I was just trying to clarify that EM is not the same as LAB.
 
Diego Footer
Posts: 182
Location: San Diego, CA
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James Barr wrote:kirk
I am wondering if using this method will give me an inferior product. Is there a way to capture the other microbes and get them into my mix? Why are the other microbes so essential?



Each set of microbes breaks down different things. And the consortium of microbes in EM were designed in such a way that one set of microbes can eat the waste from other microbes. So a sole LAB solution will break down waste, but it is more limited it's use. The PNSBs do a lot of things that LAB and the yeast can't. They would be found in nature in places like the bottom of ponds. I have fermented A LOT of food waste using EM and LAB and for whatever reason LAB alone doesn't work as well.

For as cheap as EM is and the fact that you can extend it out, it just doesn't seem worth it to make you own solution (assuming you aren't in the middle of no where). SCD is probably the better of the retailers in the US. SCD Probiotics Or you can use Teraganix.
 
kirk dillon
Posts: 64
Location: Maple City Michigan
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Diego, Thanks for further clarifying the specifics...........
 
pioneer
gardener
Posts: 204
Location: Morongo Valley
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Bokashi/EM has been incredibly useful for us in ridding of "barnyard" and manure smells.  We spray our poultry cages with it, and it completely eliminates the smell. Completely.  For a small pen, it only takes one or two sprays per year, in our experience.

We make EM the raw milk/rice water method, with added molasses.
 
pollinator
Posts: 685
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Hopefully I'm not being redundant, but just found this TED talk... it is great about manure/biochar/composting etc., but I really liked the first part of his story where he used sauerkraut juice... I think that is 'bokashi'.. for odor?  (Vegans:  we don't have to eat the cows, just use their magic ability to live on grass, and sequester CO2)



Which leads to other questions... how to produce lots of lactobac...   easiest/cheapest substrate & process? any problems with acidit/pH in soil?  (I don't think so, as bokashi ends as a soil amendment) and ??
 
nancy sutton
pollinator
Posts: 685
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Just an fyi... I really like the effectiveness of sauerkraut juice!  talk about easy ;) This is from the Wiki article on EM's

"In a study (2010), Factura et al. collected human fecal matter in airtight buckets (Bokashi-dry toilet) over several weeks, adding a mix of biochar, lime and soil after each deposit of fecal matter. Two inoculants were tested—sauerkraut juice (pickled sour cabbage) and commercial EM. The combination of charcoal and inoculant was very effective in suppressing odors and stabilizing the material. EM had no advantage over sauerkraut juice."

Could probably just add ? molasses? to sauerkraut juice, more water and grow EM's to 'pickle/deodorize' all kinds of 'organic matter' ;)
 
Posts: 73
Location: Finland
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I just dont have the patience to read all the messages in this thread, so sorry if this is told once already!

As far as I know, EM was developed by Japanese scientist with unique blend of microbes. And they are not genetically modified, but they just survived in conditions that they shouldnt: making them efficient in composting also.

As any other microbes, these can also be cultivated by yourself. As far as I know, they can be cultivated in molasses.

When you use them on compost, they will take the space of the compost microbes: but eventually, the compost microbes take over again so you need to add the EM every now and then, in big compost pile.

Also you dont want to use too much EM since then they will become too much populated in compost, and then all the normal compost microbes don't work.

I think EM is very good in certain situations.

Also you should read about kashimori, which is EM added into ceramics. So the information is stored, but the microbes arent alive. Quite like homeopathy works. Cant find anything about kashimori-ceramics in english, so maybe it has different name.
 
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