Leah Holder wrote:A friend recently sent me a Bokashi kit and quite frankly I’m a little skeptical. How can promoting anaerobic organisms help the overall well-being of my plants? Won’t that just stifle the growth of the good stuff? I know you explained a bit Dr. R, but I could use a little more if someone doesn’t mind.
My original question is actually about pigeon manure. Can using Bokashi kill pathogens in my pigeon manure, making it safe enough to add to my working compost, incase I don’t make temperature? Will the flush of anaerobic EM counteract the aerobic progress of my pile? And lastly, would a bucket of Bokashi be beneficial dumped into the center of my hugelkultur mound? Thanks in advance, I’m loving it here.❤️
My experience has been that the fermentation with bokashi has two major advantages. The first is that it allows for a contained process to build up food scraps until they are at a volume that will compost instead of just attracting rats. The second is that I have found that I can compost everything from our kitchen including meat, bones after theyre made into stock, cheese, cardboard/to go packaging, grease, everything.
My observation is that when the fermented kitchen waste is put into our drainage barrel it is quickly colonized by what I believe to be actinomycetes. Then, when it is combined with the browns into the original compost pile it heats up really well and is absolutely swarmed by fungi (which often fruit prolifically once the pile cools a bit) and worms. When it is turned once there is still some larger chunks that aren't broken down but it is quickly swarmed by fungi again and I am left with a dense compost that my garden seems to love.
I don't know that it would be worth it if we had more space because I could make simpler compost systems, but the ability to compost animal parts does , I think, make for a particularly humus rich product. I also think that using bokashi could allow for a very easy no turn system. I turn mine because we have so little space that I often need to make more room in the compost system for incoming kitchen waste.
As for buying stuff, I don't think you need to. I've had great success by making my own bokashi (just seems to mean a fermented grain bran, basically a substrate to house the em and dose it into the food you want to ferment) and even buying organic wheat husks and commercial EM1 I could make a years supply for less than $100. Of course you can also source free options for the substrate, coffee chaff worked really well for me, I've also heard cocoa husks work well. Both can be found free from local places that make coffee or chocolate.