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Bokashi Leachate Super Juice

Coralee Palmer
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We have been developing our TomatoBarrel© for the last four years. It is portable and uses the heat storing capacity of its water reservoir. This enables a longer growing season and minimal need for watering. Tomato production on the Oregon Coast is hard because of the large amount of cold Oregon rain; the Coast’s ground is cold until usually June or early July. With a TomatoBarrel© you can start planting as soon as you build your 25-gallon growing area container barrel.

The containers are mobile and can sit anywhere – on a deck, in a yard, on a sidewalk – they can be easily located in the sunniest area throughout the season. Since they are not in contact with the ground they stay warmer. There are 30 gallons of water stored in the bottom. They also only need to have water replenished about once a week.

TomatoBarrel© Secret is – Wicking

Wicking is a way of growing plants in which water is wicked up from a water reservoir. The TomatoBarrel© © has a 30 gallon water reservoir and 25 gallons of root space.

The major advantages of the wicking are:

  • You do not have to water every day. You can fill the water reservoir when you feel like it.
  • Water usage is reduced by up to 50% over conventional watering.
  • Evaporation of water is significantly reduced.
  • Evaporation of water is significantly reduced.
  • Rain harvesting techniques can be used which means water at no cost.
  • Improve soil quality when worms are introduced.
  • Significant increase in production.

  • Picture before Bokashi Leachate was added to the water reservoir


    This year we started to experiment with Bokashi. Bokashi is a Japanese term meaning ‘fermented organic matter’. It is often referred to as a type of ‘composting’ but it is a two a two stage process. There is a fermentation stage, and a composting stage. The fermentation stage results are much different end product than that produced via normal composting. It is process where a person can ferment their table scraps.
    Many people like Bokashi because it is very easy, and no bad odors, but it does have an odor. The smell can be strong, but is not putrid.
    All that is needed is a Bokashi Bucket with air tight lid, some special Bokashi Mix, and of course, some table scraps.

    Table Scraps

    Any type of food waste can go into the Bokashi Bucket. If you are familiar with normal composting, you will know that there are some materials not recommended for a compost pile – namely meats, oily foods and dairy.
    With the Bokashi method there is no limit, as long as it is an organic product, no plastic.
    Bokashi Bucket
    Our Bokashi Bucket is a two buckets system, one inside the other. The top bucket has holes in it to allow any liquid to drain into the bottom bucket. The liquid is called leachate. A valve is provide to drain any excess liquid.
    Bokashi Mix

    The key component of a successful Bokashi Bucket is the Bokashi mix.
    It typically consisting of wheat bran inoculated with a special mixture of microbes, variously referred to as ‘effective microorganisms’, ‘friendly microorganisms’, or ‘efficient microorganisms’.

    The Process

    Once you have the table scraps, bucket and mix you are ready to get started.
    Place you table scraps into your bucket, make a 2”- 3” layer of table scrapes. Cut the table scrapes into small pieces. The smaller the pieces the better the fermentation stage works. Sprinkle a handful of mix over top – that’s it!

    Continue doing this until you’ve filled the bucket completely. You may want to use a heavy plate of some sort to help press down the materials in the bucket. This will force the air out. Air will cause the bucket to smell bad – get the air out.

    Simply pressed the food down each time then put the lid on the bucket and everything seemed to work as claimed – no bad odors.
    If a batch will develop a strong putrid smell. Usually it means the bucket contains too large table scraps, too much liquid or not enough mix. The leachate (liquid) will accumulated in the bottom bucket. If your table scraps are fruit like apples, excess liquid will need to be drained.

    This leachate can be put down your drain, it will clean your drain pipes just like plumber helper. You may mixed with water and use it immediately with your plants.

    We put the leachate in the 30 gallon water reservoir of the TomatoBarrel© and the results were amazing. The TomatoBarrels© with Bokashi leachate outperforms other TomatoBarrels© which were using regular slow release organic fertilizer.

    Picture after Bokashi Leachate was added to the water reservoir

    We believe the Bokashi Leachate is not a fertilizer, it sure makes the Tomato plants grow fast. We will keep experimenting and testing next growing season and keep posting the results.

    allen lumley
    Posts: 4154
    Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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    Coralee Palmer : I am not truly knowledgeable to have an intelligent opinion on ether the TomatoBarrel , Or the specialized two stage fermentation composting produced
    with your Technique, or simply the collection of 'Leachate' an accurate term that unfortunately reminds me of contaminated water after it has filtered through coal slag !

    Any wy I am bumping this up hoping it will receive more attention in its re-posting ! Good Luck, and keep us in touch! Big AL
    jimmy gallop
    Posts: 194
    Location: east and dfw texas
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    I one time had three plastic barrels full of water and planted a tomato in the middle of them on the ground had tomato s till Christmas that year
    not to changing just bumping
    like the tomato barrel idea
    I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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