After the recent ABC War on Waste documentary I have had multiple individuals ask me about my methods of composting. For the past 10 years I have used a system called the Bokashi One Bucket, an Australian family owned product. When I fist started using my bokashi I was living in a unit with only a small backyard space and we wanted something with minimal odour or offence to neighbours, as well as something that was simple to use.
The Bokashi One buckets come in a small plastic size which can be sourced in a variety of locations including online, through Bunnings or at Let’s Be Natural Mawson (who also stock a larger metal size)….. we upgraded to having multiple going at once. Once adding your daily kitchen scraps to the bucket, you sprinkle on a handful of the dry bokashi mixture full of helpful microbes to assist in the breakdown of food matter and reduce the odour discharge. You will need to continue to add the dry mixture in layers as you fill your bokashi up.
Every couple of days the juice of the bokashi needs to be drained through the tap – like a worm farm – and this can be diluted and used to give nutrients to your garden. the garden.
I highly recommend the Bokashi bucket for anyone wanting an easy introduction to composting! More detailed step by step instructions can be found here.
The advantage over a traditional worm farm is that you can add meat scraps, tissues, paper towels, coffee grounds and onions without a worry to your Bokashi bucket as it breaks down with the assistance of the microbes. Once the Bokashi bucket is full it will need to be dug into the ground, if you do not have pets this does not need to be particularly deep. If you do not have a garden there are many community gardens in Canberra that would be thankful for the nutrients to improve their soil! Or phone a friend! This stuff is like gold for improving soil quality! Areas of the backyard that are full of Canberra Clay that only a crow bar and some elbow grease can get through are turned into lush black balanced, easy to dig into soil.
My three biggest tips for using a Bokashi are:
- BLUE IS BAD WHITE IS WONDERFUL: Do not put in any foods that develop blue mould, white is fine but blue is not – the type of bacteria that develop causing blue mould tips the balance and overtakes the microbes. You will
- AN OBSERVATION A DAY KEEPS THE ODOURS AWAY: Now although I don’t feel you have to check your bucket every day, i do find it best if you place your scraps straight into the bucket after preparing a meal and draining off the juice at the same time. This just helps reduce the small risk of it going rancid … and smelly.
- DON’T ADD ANY SOIL OR PLANT MATTER: Leave the garden matter to the traditional larger scale composting.
And if you are lucky enough you may even get a something wild growing out of where you dug your compost! We had over 20 pumpkins come from this patch… all from thrown out seeds!