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Bokashi Workshop

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How to put on a Bokashi Workshop[edit]

Preparations at least one day ahead[edit]

  • 2 plastic tubs (preferably food grade) per participant; one for making bokashi; one for using bokashi with food waste. Alternative: one plastic tub (for food waste collection) and one large ziplock bag (for making and storing bokashi) per participant
  • sufficient de-chlorinated water (at least 1 liter per participant); (just pour water out of tap and let it sit for 24 hours)
    • or boil water and let it cool down ... or as last resort, use hot water tank which might already be sufficiencly dechlorinated)
  • source Friendly Microbes (commercial or homemade) ... see Bokashi for list of suppliers; encourage some sort of co-op or sharing
  • source of micro-nutrients: sea-salt or kelp
  • source of carbon: easiest is wheat bran or rice bran from animal feed store (suggestion: 2.5 kg per participant)

Introductory Comments[edit]

  • Local governments are beginning to collect green waste incl. meat, dairy and oils to compost them; acknowledge that up front
  • list advantages to handling one's own green waste:
    • educational and a "gateway drug" to other composting and fermenting recipes
    • in case local government stops collecting green waste, or has incentives to reduce city collections
    • less pests, less smell, more ingredients for the compost

Stories that Motivate[edit]

  • The story of how "Effective Microbes" were discovered in Japan
    • Dr Terua Higo pioneered the study of multiple micro-organisms ; A mixture he had thrown on a patch of grass (as a failed experiment) became famous; he noticed the area where he had thrown the “waste” product had grown considerably.
  • Lakes and streams pollution reduction with mudballs ref.
  • Story of Garbage enzymes

Teach only one simple Recipe[edit]

  • Recipe: 3/4 liter blood-warm dechlorinated water, 3 tsp (15ml) microbes, 3 tsp (15ml) molasses, 1 pinch seasalt/kelp; 2.5kg bran
    • adding more microbes and mollasses is fine.
    • Recipe as a ratio: 150:50:1:1 of bran:water:microbes:molasses
  • make sure the water is blood-warm (temperature of blood = 37 deg Celsius) by combining dechlorinated water with boiling water
  • mix ingredients together saving microbes for last; then wait 15 minutes
  • mix just enough liquid into each plastic tub
  • have participants "massage" the mixture (10 min) until it feels moist enough to almost hold when squeezed together (30% moisture)
  • verify that even the deepest parts of the tub are well mixed
  • have everyone squeeze their tubs and put some plastic on top to keep it anaerobic
  • advise participants to put something heavy on top of plastic when they get home; an appropriate sized plate is best
  • advise them to wait for 2-4 weeks in the warmest place of the house (or even better on a warm seed-starting mat)
  • discuss the indicators of finished , ready to use bokashi: white fungus (no other colors of fungus); or one month and no fungus
  • explain how to use it: layer 1-2 inches of food waste with thin layer of bokashi
  • discuss advantages and disavantages of drying bokashi (2 year shelf life) vs wet bokashi (2 months shelf life); best to dry in the sun outside rather than in oven where it will smell up the whole house

Review and Send Off[edit]

  • make sure participants understand the different steps and indicators clearly
    • must store freshly made bokashi in the shade and in the warmest spot of the house for up to a month (or till white fungus appears)
    • at that point, decide if it will get used within a few months, or if it should be dried (do not dry before this point)
  • remind them that if a batch has gone bad (and it is easy to tell by smell), to put it straight into composting
  • they can use any left over liquid as a spray for smelly parts of the house; or directly instead of bokashi on food waste