Re: Urban cohousing communities -- do you compost?
From: nancybtoo (
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2013 09:13:43 -0800 (PST)
I have been intrigued by Bokashi but haven't tried it.

Bokashi is a fermentation- it's made the same way you make sauerkraut.

I was curious about the possibility of methane generation during fermentation.

Here's what I found (from :
The issue of non-CO2 GHG production as part of the fermentation process and 
land spreading needs to
be carefully considered, both theoretically and empirically. The limited 
literature indicates that
methane is not produced in significant amounts while no information on nitrous 
oxide has been
found. There may be variation in GHG production, if they are produced, between 
different production
systems, e.g., starting material, inoculants, temperature etc.

A microbial ecologist could probably explain better than I can why bokashi fermentation does not produce a lot of methane. From my brief research temperature and the C/N ratio of the added food waste are important. To get a lot of methane you need a high temperature (130 degrees fahrenheit) and moderate C/N ratio (30/1). Bokashi fermentation takes place at room temperature with a feedstock C/N ratio of 10/1.

One of the intriguing aspects of bokashi fermentation is that it likes high nitrogen materials like meat scraps. For many people those are problematic in compost. And yet because of the large amount of nitrogen, meat scrapsare also valuable in the compost.

I will write a separate post aboiut our successful composting operation here at CoHo Ecovillage in Corvallis, Oregon.


On 2/25/2013 4:58 AM, david bygott wrote:

We have been using the "Bokashi" system for years and find it effective. All you need is a 
few airtight buckets (you can buy online "gamma-seal" twist-off lids that are easy to open 
and close and fit on any 5-gal bucket) and the EM (effective microorganism) culture, which also you can 
find online. There's no smell (unless your bucket leaks!) When we fill a bucket we set it aside for 3-4 
weeks to allow the anaerobic fermentation to progress, before digging it into the garden, so you need 
about 4-5 buckets to keep that rotation going. The process can handle just about any food scraps, 
including eggshells and chicken carcasses, but NOT plastics, and some items like large bones and 
avocado skins & pits don't decompose. Here's a starter link:

David Bygott
Milagro Cohousing

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