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Simple bokashi bucket with biochar sponge?

 
Jason Greenwood
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I've been reading through some of existing bokashi threads. Tons of great information! I've got some ponderings about using biochar in the bokashi process, and wonder what you all think.

Something that really got me interested was the idea a few people shared of putting organic material in the bottom of the bucket as a sponge for liquid that seeps out, or lasagna-style layering with organic material. That way you can just use a simple bucket, no need for making any kind of drainage system for it.

I'm wondering if biochar might be a good fit for the organic sponge role? If it wouldn't interfere with the fermentation in some way (like being fairly basic, while the fermentation goes for acidic conditions), it would make for a simple bucket and simple final processing (just dump in a hole in the ground, no worry about tea). And if that is an okay idea, what about using biochar as the EM substrate instead of bran or something?

I intend to try this out sometime and post my results (unless somebody has an obvious reason why it wouldn't work). Just need to get around to making a batch of biochar...
 
allen lumley
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Jason : Did you see the comments here ?

http://www.permies.com/t/50933/composting-toilet/storing-source-separated-urine

For the good of the crafts ! Big AL
 
ricardo medeiros
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"I'm wondering if biochar might be a good fit for the organic sponge role? If it wouldn't interfere with the fermentation in some way (like being fairly basic, while the fermentation goes for acidic conditions), it would make for a simple bucket and simple final processing (just dump in a hole in the ground, no worry about tea). And if that is an okay idea, what about using biochar as the EM substrate instead of bran or something?"



Biochar and Bokashi work great together. My Bokashi generates far too much liquid, so I am not a fan of the single bucket method. I use 6-gallong buckets with a good 4 inches of shredded toilet paper roles, dried leaves, or other absorbent material. I have used biochar in layers over that and in between food layers and it works just fine. Bokashi creates its own acidic environment, which works well to balance the biochar's higher PH. Honestly, the real magic happens when the contents go into the ground and the critters come in.

I have also used biochar to make the Bokashi inoculant and it worked fine. Coffee grounds also do a good job. The disadvantages to both coffee and biochar are that the feel is completely different (clumpy as opposed to flaky bran), and availability. If you can generate lots of biochar responsibly, you can use it as the inoculant and even just mix it into your soil to spread effective microorganisms.

Have fun!
 
Jason Greenwood
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Alan: I read that whole thread. Very good stuff. Thank you!

Ricardo: thank you, I was hoping to hear a voice of experience. As for using coffee grounds as an inoculant: how do you store up a batch to use without then getting nasty? Do you do them as you go or something?

J
 
ricardo medeiros
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Jason, I apologize for being unclear. I have used the single bucket method, and it works. The big challenge was that I ended up using a ton of organic material (shredded leaves or paper) which filled more than half the bucket. Any less and the bottom would be soupy. I am sure there are ways around that, such as pre-drying a bit, but I have not used them. The tea collects in the bottom, and I do not bother draining until it is time to bury the Bokashi anyhow.

As for the coffee inoculant, I lay it out on a tarp in the summer shade to dry, then stored it dry. No funk involved.

I hope that helps.
 
Jason Greenwood
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That does indeed help, Ricardo. Thanks!
 
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