What to do with your Bokashi when you live in a flat

Photo: www.gardengreen.ca

Bokashi works just fine in an apartment, you fill your bucket under the kitchen sink just like anyone else. But every two or three weeks you’ll have a fully fermented bucket on your hands and the question is what to do about it then.

I thought this thread was interesting for just that reason, a woman in Australia who has had her Bokashi going for a while and really likes it, but needs a Bokashi-mate to take over the full buckets from her. She’s used what she can in her balcony planters and now needs someone she can drop off the full buckets to.

Bingo! Seems like she got a response pretty much straight away from someone living in the neighbourhood. And if it worked for her I imagine it would work for thousands like her. And already is I’m sure, people are great at working quietly behind the scenes and finding simple ways of solving what is, after all, a very simple problem.

For a gardener its a godsend to be able to get hold of someone else’s Bokashi buckets. You just can’t produce enough of it yourself. So ask around, maybe you have a colleague at work or a neighbour, in-law or football club parent who’d love to team up with you and your bucket on a regular basis. Who know, maybe you’ll even get a bunch of fresh carrots in return!

And if the handover itself is tricky, you can always transfer the contents to a tightly-knotted plastic bag. Tip it into your neighbour’s compost bin yourself. Or they could keep a biggish plastic box with a tight lid in their garage/carport/back porch that you could tip your Bokashi compost into while they are out. There’s many solutions, I’d love to hear yours!

Where is Bokashi hot?

Google has a trend meter where you can type in a word and see where the hotspots are in the world.

So of course I typed in “bokashi” to see what would turn up. Bokashi is a Japanese word but it’s used widely around the globe as the name for, well, Bokashi. As in household fermenting of kitchen waste.

It turns out that NZ and Australia are the hot spots. Which doesn’t surprise me having grown up in NZ and lived in Australia for many years. Not that people are any greener there than anywhere else, it’s just that there have been a few people who’ve been passionate about getting Bokashi started. In NZ it all began some 10 years ago and is now a part of daily life for many people I know. In Australia it started to gain momentum a few years later, but is again rolling out into the mainstream.

I know for a fact there are millions of users of Bokashi in cities and villages in Asia, but they are not necessarily showing up on Google’s trend-o-meter. Indonesia tops the chart by a huge margin, so I wonder if Bokashi doesn’t have an extra meaning in Bahasa Indonesian or one of their many other languages.

So: — top of the Bokashi pops are (cities):

1. Auckland, New Zealand
2. Jakarta, Indonesia
3. North Shore, New Zealand
4. Adelaide, Australia
5. Melbourne, Australia
6. Perth, Australia
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Brisbane, Australia
9. London, United Kingdom
10. Manchester, United Kingdom

The countries topping the list for news references to Bokashi were the following:

Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Columbia, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Netherlands.

We haven’t got Sweden onto the map yet but we will!!

Click here to see for yourself and do some homespun analysis. It’s interesting!

Bokashi 1-2-3

Jenny Harlen

Jenny Harlen

The thing with Bokashi is that it’s dead easy. The whole concept seems really strange and different at first but when you start doing it you can’t help thinking what’s the big deal. Because there is none, big deal that is. Basically you just toss your kitchen waste in a different bin to what you used to and at the end of the day take care of it yourself instead of waiting for someone else to do it for you.

So: the Bokashi 1-2-3.

1. Put all your food scraps from the day in your Bokashi bin — meat, fish, pasta, coffee, veggies.

2. Sprinkle over a handful of Bokashi bran — the “good” microbes start working on your food waste.

3. Keep on filling your bucket until it’s full then leave it to ferment for a couple of weeks while you fill the other bucket.

4. Drain off the Bokashi liquid regularly — it’s a fantastic organic fertilser for your plants.

5. Use your Bokashi compost in the garden! Dig it down into your veggie patch or garden beds, add it into to your traditional compost, or mix with soil in outdoor flower planters or tomato pots.

6. Enjoy your healthy plants and the knowledge you’re doing a great thing for the environment!

What’s your Bokashi bin called?

Photo: http://www.ecosherpa.com

I was explaining Bokashi to a woman I met the other day with my usual enthusiasm. (Being a bit of a compost nerd at heart and all that.)

She was really interested, got it immediately and you could see the light bulb go on as she went through the mental steps of how this would work at home. Then came the giggle.

“Well I think I’ll have to call mine Allan. Reminds me of my Dad.”

So it turns out Dad always ate up everyone’s leftovers. Quite proud he was of it too. Pity help the kids if they ate up everything themselves…

Back in the old days everyone had a household pig. I’ve often thought of that as I pull off the lid of my bin and shovel in the day’s scraps. A pig would have been nice but a Bokashi bin is better, I would never have been able to serve the guy up for Christmas dinner. Better we feed the garden instead.

No, our Bokashi bin at home is called Junior. Named by our daughter, who I must say is very glad to have him around. Junior loves leftover spaghetti and meatballs, and is particularly fond of vegetables and other icky-sticky suspicious items that she would really rather not face just this day.

“I know, I’ll give it to Junior!” I fall for it every time…

So what’s the Bokashi bin in your family called?