Disadvantages of Bokashi Composting

I wanted to continue my previous post and talk about disadvantages of Bokashi composting.  In Adam Footer’s book Bokashi Composting he often says that he thinks Bokashi is easier and better than traditional composting.  He is making a case for Bokashi composting, which I can understand because he is very excited about the process.  I would just like to present some disadvantages of Bokashi composting to present both sides. I  don’t want people to embrace the Bokashi composting process without hearing another opinion and considering all the ramifications.  Please read my updated blog post on Bokashi Composting Advantages for my latest experiences using Bokashi!

I See 5 Disadvantages of Bokashi Composting

  1.  It is expensive. You need to buy the Bokashi bran to do the process on a continual basis.   The prices are 2 lbs for $9.99 and 5 lbs is $14.99 plus shipping.  They told me it takes 2 lbs to process one 5 lb bucket which takes 2-3 weeks so the price could add up quickly.  Right now Teraganix has a sale buy 1 get one free.  When I purchased mine for my experiment I got this sale which helps a lot with the expense.  It says on the website while supplies last so I don’t know how long this deal is available.
  2. It looks like a hassle to make the bran yourself. You can make your own Bokashi bran and it is much cheaper.  This is definitely true but check out the bran making process.  It seems like quite a job to me particularly if you are buying a 50 lb bag of raw bran to inoculate with the Bokashi microbes.  50 lbs is very heavy and a lot of wheat bran!  The video at the end of this blog post makes it look easy and fun.  This video was made by Teraganix which sells everything you need to do Bokashi composting so it has a hidden agenda and a positive slant on the process. If I like Bokashi composting I would try making my own bran to see if it is a feasible process for me.  If you do it on a big tarp maybe it is not so bad.
  3. You have to bury it in the soil after it is fully fermented. These are some drawback to this.  You need enough space to bury it.  Depending on where you live the ground could be frozen in the winter.
  4. You have to bury it in a deep hole so animals don’t  dig it up.  I thought because I was working with fermented food that the animals wouldn’t want it and that would eliminate digging deep holes.  But no such luck apparently animals like fermented food scraps!!
  5. When you bury it it is very acidic so you have to keep it away from your plant roots that are already planted.  It was stated that this acidity is neutralized very quickly.

Adam Footer does state that it breaks down faster in the ground.  If that is the case then that is a plus but I need to experiment with this to see how it works out.  I will keep you posted in the next few months.

One big advantage so far is that I don’t have to go out to the compost bin all the time and I am loving that it doesn’t stink!  I have 3 weeks of food scraps in a 5 lb bucket and it does not smell.  It would absolutely stink if it didn’t have Bokashi bran in it.

Disadvantages of Bokashi Composting

I have buried my first batch of Bokashi kitchen scraps.  I just dumped my bucket into a small hole.  Then I chopped the kitchen scraps with the shovel and mixed them with dirt.  It wasn’t so bad burying it.  Actually it was quite easy.  The ground has not frozen yet.  I will check it in two weeks to see how it is doing.  Of course it is not going to breakdown as fast as in the summer because it is cold outside.

I have new thoughts and experiences on Burying Bokashi compost.  Check them out!

Here is a great article on making your own Bokashi bran.  It has a recipe for making a smaller amount than 50 lbs.