19 March 2013

bokashi--part 2

Bokashi juice
Here's where we get down to the nitty gritty.  Above is some yummy yummy bokashi juice.  Make sure you read the preceding sentence with a lot of sarcasm.  This juice that comes out of the bottom of the bucket is loaded with beneficial bacteria and has a wide range of uses.  It's meant to reduce algae build up in your drains.  Diluted it acts like fertilizer.  I did dilute it and use it to help out my chilies and capsicum plants which were struggling and now they are all doing quite well and laden with peppers.  However, I think the juice smells like vomit.  I suppose that depends on what goes into the bucket and we tend to put mainly fruits and vegetables in which produce more liquid.  The bucket itself usually doesn't smell when I lift the lid and the bokashi has a sickly sweet smell to it.  The juice, though, is rank.  As long as I'm able to lift the bucket, I prefer to perch it over the edge of the sink and drain it straight in while I have the water running.

Ready to bury

In order to complete the last steps of breakdown, the fermented food needs to be buried in the soil.  When you go to bury the contents, you have to wait a week after the food at the top has been put in so it has a chance to ferment.  You can see in the picture how the food is covered in white mold, which means to process is working.  Green mold is another story, but fortunately that hasn't happened to us.  I reckon it all begins to look slightly yellow like it's pickling.  This is where I was crossing my fingers that everything worked like it should.  I was worried that our rocky, dusty soil wasn't even quality enough to complete the breakdown process.  Fortunately everything worked well.  I checked the soil about three weeks later and was having problems finding any evidence of food.  I started to think that maybe I had the wrong area of the garden, but I did come across an eggshell which hadn't broken down yet.  It's like magic!  My hope is that over time we will end up with quality soil throughout our garden.

Just needs to be covered in soil

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