Bokashi Bucket Adventures: Month One

It’s now been a month since my bokashi bucket arrived and I started my composting adventures, apartment style so I thought I’d check in with an update on how it’s all going! I decided to leave the bokashi on my balcony both for space reasons and as I thought I’d test out the claim that it doesn’t smell! I found it a shady spot at the back of my balcony and went about using it as per the instructions.

It took a little longer than I thought before any of the liquid was draining off, but I think that might be because I was only adding food every 3 or 4 days, as I tend to cook in bulk. It eventually did start producing the liquid, and whilst it has a bit of an odd smell to it, it was nowhere near as odorous as I had read (and braced myself for!). Whether that’s because I don’t add meat or dairy to mine, or for another reason entirely I’m not sure, but I’m quite okay with it!

It is producing much more liquid than I can use on my plants at this point as you need to dilute it quite a lot (and I don’t have many plants yet!) but as it is said to be a great drain cleaner I’m pouring the excess down a different drain each time, so I should have the cleanest drains in Melbourne soon! Hopefully once I get my balcony garden in full swing then I’ll be able to make better use of it as plant food. Unfortunately it is recommended you use it within a day or two of removing it from your bokashi, otherwise I’d bottle it up and give it away like worm juice!

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I’m not finding the bucket smells much either which is great news. Sometimes it’s a bit gross when I take the lid off to add more food scraps, but that’s to be expected. I did have to look up to check that white mould forming wasn’t something I should be concerned about as there seemed to be more each time I opened it up, but luckily it’s actually a good (albeit a little gross) sign that the bokashi is doing its thing. I’ll spare you a photo though.

It does fill up quite quickly, and even with just 1 or 2 peoples food waste the bucket is getting pretty close to full after a month, but it has not yet broken down fully so I can see why they recommend you having two buckets so you can rotate their use. I’ll see how I go over the coming weeks, but may investigate getting a second bucket to make sure I always have somewhere to deposit my food scraps (other than the bin of course!). This first load will be going out to my parents next week to be added to their compost bins and then eventually put on their veggie patch, so my food waste is going full circle and will be used to grow more food!

Speaking of the bin, since starting to use my bokashi I have noticed a huge decrease in the amount of waste in my bin. I only have a fairly small bin in my apartment and I was having to empty it every few days pre-bokashi, and now it’s once a week at the very most, more like every 10 days or so, which I’m really happy about. It really does show how much of our waste is avoidable!

So far I am pretty happy with my bokashi, it seems to be living up to its promises and makes me feel like I am helping to reduce my impact on the environment a little by diverting my food scraps from landfill. It’s a good start at least!

If you’ve got any questions about the bokashi or how I’m finding it, please just ask away in the comments!

If you’re looking to buy a bokashi for yourself, this online store* has lots of different colours and sizes to choose from, as well as the grain if you need to stock up!

* this post contains affiliate links but I would never promote something I didn’t believe in! Check out my disclosure policy for more info!

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6 Comments on Bokashi Bucket Adventures: Month One

  1. Michael
    March 26, 2014 at 10:35 am (5 years ago)

    We had a bokashi for a while at our old place but for some reason our little tap had a slow leak that we couldn’t fix, which meant our house always smelled like bokashi. We’ve been going down the road of making our own veggie stock as a waste reduction option, but now that we’ve actually got a decent balcony garden we should probably try to compost again.

    Reply
    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      March 26, 2014 at 11:17 am (5 years ago)

      Oh yikes, that wouldn’t have been pleasant at ALL! I’ve been going down the stock route too (I actually have a post on it coming up!) and I’m finding the combination of the stock making and bokashi are working well together. Now to get cracking on my balcony garden!

      Reply
  2. Foodie
    April 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm (5 years ago)

    Great to hear an update on how the Bokashi bucket is going! I am going to try one out now that I know what to expect. Thanks Liz!
    Foodie recently posted…Beef & gnocchi hotpot

    Reply
    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am (5 years ago)

      My pleasure! I’d love to hear how you get on, and I shall keep you posted on my adventures!

      Reply
  3. Tamsin
    April 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm (5 years ago)

    Liz, I’ve had just one Bokashi bucket for over two years now and it is great. I empty it into a friend’s compost bin and the worms that live in there love it. I haven’t had to worry about having a second bucket on the go, it seems to break down fine in my friend’s compost bin. A warning when you empty it though, it smells a lot! And even though I wash it out, it still smells until I start to put food scraps in there again. One thing I’ve done is replace the lid with a wooden chopping board that is bigger than the bucket. It is much easier to just lift the chopping board to throw scraps in that it is to take the sealant lid off and on. If the moisture builds up inside the bucket, the chopping board can grow mould, but I just wash it off and put in the sun to dry out.

    Like you, I love not having to put my rubbish bin out regularly. Especially now that I also recycle all my plastics in the bins at Coles (http://redcycle.net.au/redcycle/how-to-redcycle). I’d be lucky to put my rubbish bin out every 6 weeks these days – and even then it’s only 1/3 full (and doesn’t smell because there are no food scraps in there).

    Reply
    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      April 14, 2014 at 11:52 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks so much for your comment Tamsin, it’s great to hear you’ve had a good experience with your bokashi for such a long time! I’m about to get a lot more plants for my balcony so I’m looking forward to getting more use out of the broken down soil and the liquid I drain off as well. The chopping board idea is great – I shall have to look out for one the right size!

      Reply

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