Bokashi Bucket

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Have you tried composting but always have putrid problems with it?
Is turning over the compost regularly a pain to do?
Do you wonder if there is a good way of getting rid of meat scraps or chicken fat?
Is getting the compost out of the bin too awkward and heavy for you?
Do you live in a house with only a small garden?
Does your worm farm resemble a scientific experiment with lots of other creepy-crawlies enjoying it too?
These are just some of the shortcomings which put people off dealing with organic household wastes.

Bokashi is a simple solution for anybody fed up with the problems involved with the more traditional ways of recycling organic waste.

“Bokashi” is the Japanese term for “fermented organic matter”. It is not a radical new idea because this system of recycling organic waste has been used for centuries in Japan. Now available is the Bokashi Bucket, into which 100% of your organic household wastes can be recycled easily and cleanly.

It doesn’t stink!

The Bokashi Bucket is a sealed container that can take all of your food scraps and wastes, including dairy and meat, and turn them into a highly nutritious fertiliser that is applied directly to your soil. Unlike composting, where the end-product should not resemble the original scraps in any form, the waste from the Bokashi system does not look very different to when it was put into the bucket. This is because it has been fermented, or pickled anaerobically, and not composted. The breakdown into fertiliser occurs once the pickled waste product is dug into the soil. This is a radical re-think for those of us who are used to the end product that comes from traditional compost bins or worm farms. However, because the Bokashi bucket is a sealed system, there is no loss of the valuable nutrients that does occur through composting. There is also no odour, no insect or rodent infestation and no greenhouse gases produced.

The important ingredient in the Bokashi Bucket is the actual bokashi. This is made from crushed grain, to which has been added a proportion of a microbial solution and a type of sugar. This bokashi is sprinkled over the food waste in the Bucket each time you add scraps to the Bucket. The system also provides a masher, which you use to compact the wastes to eliminate air pockets. At the base of the unit is a tap from which you can drain any liquid waste that has accumulated. This liquid can be diluted with water (1:100) and used in the garden. It is full of beneficial microbes that get to work in your soil. Once the Bokashi Bucket is full of the fermented wastes, these are removed and dug into the soil next to your plants. The physical breakdown occurs here very rapidly, providing naturally produced fabulous nutrients, microbes and enzymes to your garden.

Takes 3-4 weeks to fill

The Bokashi Bucket system provides the answer to the shortcomings of the compost bins where the carbon-nitrogen ratios need to be balanced; and worm farms, where the worms are not happy with citrus or onions. The Bokashi Bucket will also take wastes such as meat scraps and chicken fat and all the other bits and pieces which usually go to landfill. The whole fermentation process can take as little as 3 weeks from start to finish, which is a lot quicker than composting. It can sit under the sink or in the laundry as it is not a large unit and is odour-free, yet will take the average Australian family 3-4 weeks to fill. The cost of maintaining the unit with the fermenting starter can be as little as $1 per week, as only a light sprinkling of it is used at any time.