The bokashi bin

It being my birthday today, it’s been pretty awesome one way or another. Not least, when I got home there were two notifications that I had parcels waiting for me. One was at a neighbour’s, free wild flower seeds for me to donate to my daughter’s school and Woodlesford in Bloom (for the RHS competition Britain in Bloom) as well as Leeds Permaculture Network. The other parcel needed to be collected from a nearby newsagent’s and was in fact a box.

I had a sudden brainwave last week. Although I don’t produce a lot of food waste, inevitably there is such that cannot go in the compost bin, such as burnt toast, the eyes of potatoes and the odd crust of bread which goes mouldy. Leeds City Council does do a waste food collection once a week, which I previously used for disposal but it seemed a shame to donate what I could use for my own purposes. If only I had a bokashi bin.

Anyway, I came across a family-owned business which makes bokashi bins and the appropriate fermenters to add with the food, and the idea crystallised in my mind. What I didn’t expect was the delivery to arrive today. What a perfect birthday present to myself!

bokashi bin with fermenters : bran and libby chan

So, what do you do with all this?

First, you put 25g of the bran and 25ml of the chan in the bottom of the bin. Then you put in a layer of food and press it down so as to get rid of air pockets. On top of that you put another layer of the bran and chan and over subsequent days, weeks, months you add more layers as above.

libby bokashi bin complete with nozzle for extracting fertilising liquid

The fermenting food produces a liquid which you drain off every few days or so. This needs to be diluted 1:100 with water, which I intend to use for plants in pots, tubs and growbags. As for the solids, when the bin is full it only takes a couple of weeks, apparently, for them to be ready for adding to the compost heap. And they should act as an accelerator, so it’s very much a win-win situation as far as I’m concerned.

It’s been fun so far. Can’t wait to see what happens next!!


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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25 Responses to The bokashi bin

  1. atkokosplace says:

    I’m not familiar with this, but I will look into it. Happy birthday to you…happy birthday to you….happy birthday dear Helen…happy birthday to youuuuuuuu!❀❀❀❀ Here’s to a spectacular year! Koko

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Koko 🙂

      Bokashi bins I had heard about but presumed to be, like many other types of composting system, on the expensive side. Now I’ve bought the bins (I bought two so that I could be filling up a second while the first was finishing off), I can see how easy they could be to make. And £40+ is still quite a lot of money (plus I will have to keep buying the bran and chan), but if I get better crops out of it, keeping more stuff in my own loop, that is a good thing.

  2. Cynthia says:

    Happy Birthday!! That sounds intriguing. I like the idea that it continues that percolation process in the composter and that it turns around so quickly. Good luck with it!!

  3. mybrightlife says:

    How interesting. Never hear of this. AND, Happy Birthday! Glad your day was filled with fun events!

  4. Pingback: The bokashi bin | silverbells steps out | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  5. Happy birthday and I look forward to hearing how ‘Bokashing’ goes 🙂

  6. Very interesting method, and Happy Birthday Helen x

  7. Happy birthday! I have had my Bokasi bin for several years now and love it! Pickled veg for the garden and the liquid diluted is fab on pots around the house. You can also pop meat into the bins …

  8. Happy belated birthday, Helen! How fun to get parcels on your special day, too, even it they were things you ordered. I always feel the same way.

  9. I hope you keep us posted on the results that you see on you plants. Does it emit an odor during this process?

    • Helen says:

      Yes and no. When the lid is closed and I am not draining the fluid that comes of the fermenting contents of the bin, there is no odour. However, inevitably there is one when I do either of the above.

      The most conclusive results I have seen so far have been the effect the bokashi solids have on the compost bin when they are put in there. I never had a hot bin until then. It does cool down after a while but it certainly speeds up the decomposition process in the bin.

      I also think the bokashi mix has helped in the hugel beds where some of it went. Basically, that meant digging a trench and filling it with various organic matter, which was then covered with soil again. I will have to see over the long term if that was just my imagination/wishful thinking, but it will have boosted the fertility of my soil, in any case.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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