Bokashi pilot program in H.R.

by Melanie
(High River)

Hi Leslie,

Will diverting kitchen scraps from my compost heap to use in the Bokashi system slow down the rate of development of my yard waste compost?

The Compost Gardener Answer

Hi Melanie. That's a good question.

For those who don't know our town is hoping to do a small pilot test this year using the bokashi method of composting kitchen wastes. Bokashi is being tried as it is a safe and effective way of dealing with virtually all food wastes - even meats, cheese, eggshells etc.

Kitchen wastes are high in nitrogen and materials that are high in nitrogen generally do speed up the compost process.

Secondly, they are often quite moist. Your yard compost probably gets a bit of water with every addition to the pile. Here, where it is so dry I'd say 90% of the compost failures are due to the pile drying out. We are better at mummifying garbage than composting it.

Add the Bokashi Treated Waste to the Compost

While things in the yard waste compost could slow down if those moist, high nitrogen wastes are not added there is a neat solution.

After the bokashi has fermented you need to bury it in a trench in the soil to finish it off. However, there is another option. You can add it to your compost pile.

I've read stories about this and remember one in particular where the people said that when they added their bucket of fermented waste to the compost their compost heated up for the first time.

I'm going to try that myself today as one of my buckets is ready to bury or add to the pile.

If you are vegetarian and already compost all your kitchen waste the bokashi won't necessarily change level of waste diversion from your kitchen. But, if you eat meat, fish, or dairy products and often need to toss parts of them then this is a way to get those materials out of the waste stream and into your garden.

Good Luck

Bokashi Heats up Compost
by: Leslie

Just a follow up. I did an experiment and buried half my bokashi bucket of fermented food waste in my compost. It instantly heated up the pile and maintained the heat at a nice steady 108F. I like this temperature as it is friendly to the broadest range of compost microbes.

Bottom line - if you bury your fermented bokashi waste in your compost it will speed it up beautifully.

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