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Experiment making 'non-bokashi'

Mar 5 - morning - I just checked on the worms and they have moved into and on top of, the non-bokashi.  No heat, smells ok (how good could it smell, it's at least 2 weeks old :-)).  Not bad, two days for the worms to move into the food.  I'll move the photos into my album so you can see the progress. 

Conclusion - using worm castings in a closed 'bokashi type' container to start the decomposition process seems to work out well.  I think you could probably project this out to include kitchen containers that hold the scraps until they go to the bins.  Just sprinkle some of the finished castings over each layer of the food and leave on the counter until the container is full.  This will start the breakdown and make it ready for the worms a little quicker.

Thanks for reading the blog and giving feedback.

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Mar 4 - 3:00pm - I checked the bin and two things were happening. First the mix was feeling a little warm. Not hot, just warm. Secondly there were worms starting to get close to the mix. They were hanging out around the edge of the food mass. I would think by tomorrow morning they will be in the food. I'll update tomorrow morning.

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Mar 3 - 12:15pm - I just added some of the "bokashi" to my Can-O-Worms. I put about 5 handfuls of the mix into about 1/3 of the tray. I want to see how quickly the worms start noticing it. The one thing about the handfuls was that there was a lot of orange peels. Let's see how the bokashi affects the way the worms react to it. I will keep you updated.

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Mar 2 - I opened the bucket and it looks good.  It smells a little like citrus, due to the amount of orange peels I added, but it also has a fresh smell to it.  There is some white mold on the top, not a lot but it is definitely there. 

The next step will be to see how the worms like it.

Here are some pictures of the finished bokashi - http://vermicomposters.ning.com/photo/albums/non-bokashi-experiment

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Feb 19 - the Bokashi bucket is full. I covered it with a good handful of castings and sealed it for 2 weeks. I'll let you know how it worked when I open it up on March 5 or somewhere around then. I might leave it til that weekend, just to give it a few more days to process.
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Feb 6 - Non-bokashi container is filling up.  Additions so far:  Wilted lettuce, old bread, biscuits, banana peels (lots), sweet potato skins.  No bad smells when I open it up and everything in the top layer looks pretty much the same as when I put it in. 

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I started a non-bokashi container on Friday, Feb 1.  I'm calling it non-bokashi because I'm not using bokashi bran to activate the process, I am using finished vermicompost/castings.  I want to see if it acts similar to regular bokashi, white mold, ferment, etc. I add a layer of food then sprinkle some castings on it, press it down to get the air out, and then keep the lid closed.  I'll keep adding until the container is full and then let it sit closed for 2 weeks.  The goal is to pre-process the food and then put it into the worm bin.  My thought is that the castings have both the aerobic and the anaerobic micro-organisms present and it will be the absence of oxygen that will let the anaerobic take over and process the food.   I'm hoping that the worms will take to this bokashi and the processing will be faster.  Also, it will be a way to use the things that I normally wouldn't feed the worms, ie. orange peels, onions, meat, etc.  Any comments or suggestions?

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Views: 318

Comment by Joseph Despins on February 4, 2013 at 3:37pm
I look forward to seeing your results.
Comment by Nomar Cuaresma on February 4, 2013 at 10:23pm

Maybe, when you're all done with the 2 weeks, you could spread the finished stuff on a tarp and let it become aerobic again by letting it sit for maybe a day or two. Try small amounts first on one section of your bin. Bigger bins will work better since the worms can avoid the bokashi till the stuff ages and "re-oxgenates" to their liking.

Comment by Nomar Cuaresma on February 4, 2013 at 10:33pm

Also, the anaerobic microbes used in bokashi-composting are very different from the stuff that's in vermicompost. These specific anaerobic microbes are supposed to be dominant in order for composting to work ideally. However, all organics will eventually be turned to soil, it may not be the best quality, it may even harbor things that are toxic to plants (such as alcohols) but once it sits around outside, gets oxygenated and ages for a good amount of time it starts to get better. Without the bokashi microbes, composting may take even longer than 2 weeks.

Comment by Rick on February 5, 2013 at 4:27am
Nomar, thanks for the feedback. When it is finished it will be added in small amounts to the worms in pockets. This will give them room to stay away until it is ready to eat. In regards to "it may even harbor things that are toxic to plants" won't it be made safe through the processing by the worms over the next 3 months?
Comment by Nomar Cuaresma on February 5, 2013 at 1:20pm

Yeah, that's what I meant by, "but once it sits around outside, gets oxygenated and ages for a good amount of time it starts to get better." and also, " since the worms can avoid the bokashi till the stuff ages and "re-oxgenates" to their liking."

You're supposed to let bokashi sit for awhile anyway lol.

Comment by Sue on February 5, 2013 at 2:59pm

""Garden composting, vermicomposting and spinning tumbler composting are what want "lots of oxygen to prevent anaerobic condition that will cause smell." Bokashi is the opposite. Bokashi bacteria work without oxygen. Bokashi wants zero oxygen to prevent aerobic bacteria which in this system will cause smell.""

That is from a posting on GW: Posted by equinoxequinox (My Page) on Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 2:20

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/verm/msg1213193725906.html?40

Interesting thread BTW.
Comment by Sung on March 3, 2013 at 11:28am

Very interesting! I'd love to use my worm castings for Bokashi. Please keep us posted!

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