Category: customer service

Kat uses my bokashi in her own bokashi bucket.

By , 10 July 2012 15:12

Kat writes:

I read this post on Organic Gardening and was motivated to make my own bokashi bucket. It makes me pretty upset to be throwing the compostables in the garbage just because I live in an apartment building. I totally understand why there is no apartment composting yet – apartment dwellers use the anonymity to throw whatever they want in whatever recycling or garbage bin is the closest. I can’t imagine the nightmare of an apartment-sized compost bin.

Boyfriend went to the hardware store and got two lovely 5-gallon buckets and drilled the required holes in one. I got my bokashi bran from The Bokashi Man [my old blog/website – Al]. It’s that easy! When the bucket is full I will let it sit for a week then dump it in my sister’s compost.

There are many ways for people who live in apartments to compost in the city.  Compost Here is a way to connect people who want to compost with people who have compost bins.  Spread the word!

Hello

By , 9 July 2012 07:30

New content below this post.

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Thanks for visiting. If this is your first time here, you can find information about bokashi in the top sections or on my website. If you have a question about bokashi or composting in general, send me an email and I’ll blog my response.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Here’s a video about bokashi made in the summer of 2008:

Directed and edited by Rita Jasper. http://ritajasper.wordpress.com

I track tweets about bokashi and if I reply to one of your tweets, I do so as a public service. Instead of following me, subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog as most of what I write about bokashi will be here anyway.

Thanks to Carol Browne for the photo[s].


Press: Students get lesson in Bokashi

By , 27 September 2010 09:47

When Todd from the Richmond Review called me to do a story about bokashi I suggested we meet where the bokashi is being used by one of my customers in Richmond.

Click on the link to watch a short video.

Students get lesson in Bokashi

Bokashi composting may be the next big “growth” industry in the world of green—and Richmond elementary schools are leading the charge.

Unlike traditional composting in which plant materials are stored in a bin and turned from time to time while the organic matter breaks down into soil over several months, Bokashi composting is a much faster process. All food waste—including meat, bones, dairy, bread and just about anything edible—is put into a bucket and “pickled” with a sprinkle of special micro-organisms called Bokashi.

Invented in Japan in the 1980s, the secret of Bokashi—which, roughly translated, means “fermented organic matter”—is in the “pickling” action of its micro-organisms.

When spread over food waste at eight- to 10-centimetre deep intervals in an airtight container, these organisms ferment the contents rather than simply allowing them to rot as in a traditional compost bin.

The result is no foul smell, no insects and no lengthy decomposition time—even with non-organic foods like meats and cheese.

According to Vancouver’s self-professed “Bokashi Man” Al Pasternak, that makes Bokashi composting perfect for condo-dwellers or those with limited to no yard space who, nonetheless, want to reduce their environmental footprint by composting in their homes.

Perfect too, it seems, for Richmond elementary schools, with Quilchena, Ferris, Grauer and Maple Lane elementaries all boasting in-classroom Bokashi programs this year.

Once filled, the Bokashi container does need to be dumped into a garden or standard compost bin for the final stage of its transition into soil. But the Bokashi advantage is that once transferred from the bucket, the Bokashi waste is typically ready to be planted in within about a month, starting a new growth-cycle much quicker than standard yard composting.

“When it comes out of the bucket, the food looks exactly the same as when it went in but its chemical structure has changed completely because it’s now a pickled leftover onion or whatever it is. It’s infused with the microbes that do the pickling and it’s more wet but you’ve got no smell and it doesn’t attract fruit flies,” Pasternak said.

“Bones won’t necessarily break down in the bin but they won’t smell and won’t attract critters once they go into the compost, and after they come out of the Bokashi they’re much more pliable and, if you did have a lot, could be easily broken up in the garden with a shovel blade,” he added.

According to Quilchena principal Ric Pearce, his school’s student-run Bokashi program fills as many as four 20-litre buckets of food waste each month.

“We have small buckets in each classroom and then in one of our storage rooms we have one of the larger buckets,” Pearce said. “We have a group of kids that go around and gather it up every lunch and put it into the big bucket and put the Bokashi on it and then deliver the small buckets back.”

Once the school’s four rotating large buckets are filled, they deliver them to the Terra Nova community gardens where some Quilchena classes go every two weeks to plant, tend and harvest their crop of strawberries, peas, potatoes and sunflowers, Pearce said.

Last year, Quilchena’s Bokashi program delivered 43 28-pound buckets of food waste to Terra Nova, according to Pearce. That’s approximately 1,204 pounds, or over a half-tonne, of food waste diverted from area landfills and turned into nutrient-rich soil and a learning opportunity for Richmond schoolchildren.

Pasternak, who may [be] the only homegrown cultivator of Bokashi in Metro Vancouver, supplies Quilchena with its Bokashi blend and delivered a refill of the micro-organisms on Tuesday.

“I’ve been supplying Quilchena with their Bokashi for the past year and there may be another supplier in Richmond because Bokashi is very popular in the school system there, but I believe the other supplier’s source comes from back east,” he said. “But it’s very easy to make yourself and then put onto any dry medium from coffee grounds to wheat bran to pencil shavings even.”

And pencil shavings are a resource that one young, enterprising Grade 6 student assured Pasternak that Quilchena Elementary has an endless, and potentially lucrative, surplus of.

Ivan's Bokashi success

By , 27 September 2010 09:22

This is from last year….

Elanor's Bokashi Success

By , 27 September 2010 09:19

This is from last year….

Andre's Bokashi success

By , 22 August 2010 21:29

Andre and partner tells us about their bokashi success.

Get your bokashi kit today!

2009/10 Winter Farmers Market Schedule

By , 27 November 2009 09:38

Many people during the summer asked if I would be at Winter Farmers Market at the Wise Hall, so I decided to apply.

 

2009

December 5 – 10am – 2pm

December 12 – Holiday Market 10am – 6pm

Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive

2010

January 16

March 27

 

I am, of course, available at other times to meet with new and repeat customers.

 

There is also a coupon on p. 209 of the 2010

GreenZebra_Color-S

book [and p. 201 of the 2009 edition]

 

http://www.greenzebraguide.ca/GetHome.php

http://www.greenzebraguide.ca/AllListings.php

http://www.greenzebraguide.ca/Buy.php

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2009 Farmers Market Schedule

By , 26 June 2009 08:30

If you are a returning customer, send me an email or give me a call to let me know the day you plan to come. That way I will bring extra bokashi for you.

New this year: All customers will get a bokashi card. After your 5th refill, you get a free bag of bokashi!!

June 28 – Kitsilano [Map]
July 1 – Main Street Station [Map]
July 8 – Main Street
June 15 – Main Street
July 22 – Main Street
July 26 – Kitsilano
July 29 – Kitsilano
Aug 2 – Gastown [Map] – New!
Aug 9 – Kitsilano
Aug 16 – Gastown
Aug 23 – Kitsilano
Aug 16 – Gastown
Sept 6 – Kitsilano
Sept 27 – Salmon Celebration*
Oct 18 – Kitsilano
Oct 25 – Kitsilano

*in Vanier Park [Corrected 25Sep09 – Not a Farmers Market event. Regrets for the inconvenience this may have caused]

I have also applied to am attending the Gastown Farmers Market which will operate on Sundays between August and September. When I know my dates, I’ll add them here and in the sidebar.
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Bears and Bokashi

By , 3 June 2009 05:16

From the email:

T writes: Have you had any experience with the bears and the fermented compost? Are they attracted to it? I live in West Vancouver and would like to order some dry bokashi mix but was wondering about the bears when I go to bury the fermented food scraps.

All I can say with certainty is that the deeper you bury the fermented food scraps, less smell will percolate above ground. It is my opinion that bokashi compost does not smell like normal rotting food waste so it is less attractive to animals that may want to eat it.

A few years ago, I put a large quantity of bokashi prepared food waste on a raised garden bed and covered it with straw. Purposely, I left one corner exposed and waited to see what would happen. Wasps and flies were around but never landed on it.

Your own experience may vary. I hope this helps.

Al

[as this person did by some bokashi, I’ll be asking for updates]

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Bokashi and odour control

By , 20 May 2009 05:14

From the email:

From: Sue N
Date: Tue, May 19, 2009 at 7:09 PM
Subject: [Bokashi]
To: aapNO@SPAMgreatday.ca

Hi Al,

I save organic waste for a friend who has a community garden plot. As I live in very small studio apartment with no cross-ventilation, the odour can be fairly overpowering every time I lift the lid of the ice-cream pail containing the potential compost.

A friend gave me a sample of your [Bokashi] product, and it made an immediate difference to the strength (and quality) of the offensive smell.  I can now continue to save this material for my friend during the summer months, rather than stopping until the cold strikes again.

Good product!

Sue N

Thanks Sue. I really appreciate this kind of feedback.

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