Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bokashi Project

On our way home on Friday we stopped off at our friends in Pringle Bay. Their latest project is the Bokashi project, their composting system which also delivers nutrient juice for their plants. They have already tried the wormery option but it was not a major success for them.

They have purchased four  buckets. Two buckets are stacked into the other two buckets. In each of the outer two buckets they have cleverly installed a tap at the lowest level possible. (you can buy buckets with an installed tap but they are pricey)  The inner buckets have holes drilled into their bases. A lid fits over the inner bucket. I recall that they have attached a seal to the lid in order to totally block out unpleasant odour.

They throw all their vegetable peelings  into the inner bucket. After every 5cm layer of peelings, they sprinkle Bokashi granules on top. 

These layers of peelings and Bokashi alternate until the bucket is full. 


A liquid residue  filters down into the lower bucket and every three to four days, they tap off this liquid, dilute it and use it as liquid fertilizer on pot plants and garden plants and lawn. (different ratios for different plants. See my friend's advice below) 

The one bucket is empty while the other one is being  filled. If the first bucket is full before 6 weeks have passed, they start filling the second bucket while the first continues to mature.

This process to fill a bucket and mature the mixture takes up to 6 weeks, whereupon they throw the entire bucket contents into a huge composting bin/heap where they have also tossed grass clippings, manure etc. There, it all continues to cure until ready for use.   

They keep the two bucket-pairs in a utility room below a counter on a mobile platform behind a pretty curtain disguise. This gives easy access to the buckets. 

Definitely on my "to do" list (or should I say "bucket list" ?) as its a way to make compost without necessarily putting it somewhere in the garden in baboon-edible stage! 

Ratio mixing advice:

As for ratios, look at, no.7.  But to be honest, I don't measure very carefully anymore and I haven't killed anything - yet!!  I would advise getting an old measuring jug just for the Bokashi juice - because it's difficult to get the smell out completely. I pour 100ml into a 10 litre bucket of water for the lawn and about 50 - 75ml for flower beds/ shrubs.  I put 2 teaspoons in a 2 litre jug for my pot-plants.  I feed the pot-plants every couple of weeks. Use a very weak solution on seedlings.  Don't be surprised if you don't get juice for the first couple of weeks - it all depends on what goes into the buckets.  And in winter, everything seems to slow down.  I get approx. 200ml juice every 2 - 3 days.

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