Burying Bokashi compost completes the composting cycle. As a matter of fact, you aren’t burying Bokashi compost because it hasn’t composted yet. Putting food scraps in the bucket with the Bokashi bran is only the first step of the process. The food scraps are fermented not composted! In fact, the Bokashi process in the bucket pickles the food! Burying the fermented food scraps completes the composting process. It actually turns into compost in this step whether you put it into your compost bin or you bury it.
Burying Bokashi Compost in the Winter is Problematic
You can’t dig the hole necessary to bury the bokashi food scraps if the ground is frozen. At this point I decided I didn’t want to spend the time or energy digging holes. So I looked for an alternative. I decided to simulate burying by creating a Bokashi composting bin!
When the fermented food scraps filled my Bokashi bucket, I took a Rubbermaid Roughneck tote. I layered the fermented food waste with potting soil layers trying to create a mock burying Bokashi situation! The layers were created until the Rubbermaid tote was filled almost to the top. I left the bin in the basement stairwell with the top partially on. This allows oxygen to get in to create an aerobic environment. Aerobic just means with oxygen. Then the bin sat for a few days for the acidity to wear off. I thought it would be slightly warmer in the basement stairwell because it is under the ground and it was winter. As the weather grew warmer I added composting worms to the bin to accelerate the process.
The Composting Worms Loved This Mixture
The red wigglers grew fat and plentiful. It was so gratifying to rake through the mixture with gloves on my hands and see all the worms and all the mating that was going on! The worms loved this mixture! Check out this post and youtube video on: Bokashi and Red Composting Worms!
My Experiment Didn’t Work Out As Planned
This wasn’t an optimum process for me. Even though Bokashi compost doesn’t stink like regular rotten kitchen waste, it was not a pleasant experience layering the fermented food scraps with the potting soil. After the Rubbermaid bin was full it was very heavy and awkward to move.
Burying Bokashi Compost is Easier
I am back to digging holes for burying Bokashi compost. It isn’t worth it to go through the process of making a simulated environment in a Rubbermaid bin. For me, it is quicker and easier to dig holes, bury the fermented food scraps and be done with it. Two words of advice:
- Dig holes in your garden before it freezes and cover them so no-one falls into them.
- Don’t bury the waste near active roots because the acidity will harm them.
Good Luck With Bokashi fermentation and composting!
More posts on Bokashi:
Bokashi Composting Book Review
Bokashi Composting Advantages
Disadvantages of Bokashi Composting
I want to share with you Bokashi composting advantages. I wrote about the disadvantages earlier and some of these disadvantages are still relevant. I am so excited about some of these advantages. This winter has been a very easy composting season. I love that I don’t have to go out to the compost bin all the time. Particularly in the cold, snowy weather. Also it’s just a bother to go out and empty the composting kitchen scrap containers all the time.
To the left you can see my Bokashi composting container. When my composting container is full (I use 1 gallon plastic containers with tops) I add the scraps to the Bokashi bucket sitting right in my kitchen, sprinkle Bokashi bran over the top of the scraps and put a dinner plate on top and squish it down. I add a brick on top of the plate to weigh it down and Voila! I’m done! I often have more than one container full so I just layer it. One layer of scraps, one layer of bran, one layer of scraps, one layer of bran. When I open the bucket with all the scraps in it THERE IS NO ROTTEN SMELL!!!
Amazing Bokashi Composting Advantages
It is truly amazing how there is no rotten smell! The Bokashi bucket is 5 gallons. It takes 2-3 weeks for us to fill a bucket and there is no rotten smell. If you have ever smelled rotten kitchen scraps then you know what I am talking about. The smell is truly disgusting! I find it hard to believe how bad they can smell. With the Bokashi anaerobic fermenting process this smell is eliminated. So I am loving this process! Don’t get me wrong. There is some odor when I open the bucket but it is a mild fermenting odor and not bad at all. So I would say the Bokashi composting advantages are:
- Bokashi fermenting doesn’t smell like the aerobic composting process.
- Bokashi composting eliminates constant trips out to the compost bin.
- The bucket is compact and unobstrusive and fits into a corner of the kitchen.
- Once it is fermented and you bury it, it is supposed to break down faster. ( I am experimenting with this now and will keep you posted.)
Cost of Bokashi Bran
It didn’t take as much Bokashi bran as I was told by the company. The company told me that 5 lbs of bran would do 2 1/2 buckets. For me 5 lbs. of bran did 5 buckets. That reduces the cost of Bokashi bran by more than half. One of the disadvantages that I cited was expense. So it is actually less expensive than I was originally told.
Draining the Bokashi Bucket
I read online that you have to drain the Bokashi bucket every day. I didn’t buy the spigot bucket so I couldn’t drain mine. The bucket with the spigot is much more expensive. I got the regular bucket with a plastic cover. I always wondered if it got really wet in the bottom of the bucket. So now I have dumped out 3 buckets full of fermented kitchen scraps and none of them had a lot of liquid in the bottom. I did line the bottom of each bucket with 8-10 layers of newspaper before I started so I am sure that absorbed a lot of the liquid.
Another disadvantage that I talked about was that you had to bury the contents of the bucket in order to complete the composting process. I have buried the contents of two buckets now and it wasn’t so bad. I didn’t bury it so deeply and I put a concrete square on top of it. I had no problems with animals digging it up. There is still the problem if the ground is frozen in the winter. What will you do with the stuff? I am experimenting with alternatives and I will post here when I come up with a good alternative. You can read more here about Bokashi Composting.
See an interesting youtube video on Boakshi and red composting worms!
More posts on Bokashi Composting:
Bokashi Composting Book Review
Disadvantages of Bokashi Composting
Burying Bokashi Compost