Category: Opinion

Is bokashi cost effective? Yes!

By , 20 February 2010 21:39

In this article from the Kamloops Daily News, Deanna Hurstfield is looking to start a bokashi composting network where she lives. It has a good overview of the process.

I need to respond to these lines in the article:

Bokashi seems to offer many advantages, Hurstfield said. The catch? It’s not cheap.

There are bokashi kits available through Internet dealers, she said. The costs of those systems appear to run at about $20 to $30 a month for all the supplies, substrates and microbe mixes.

Here are the costs for the first year of bokashi composting using my system:

Two bokashi buckets: $85
4 x 1Kg Bokashi*: $30
Total    $115
Monthly cost:  $9.58

*[two 1Kg bags are included with the bokashi kits]

In the second year or, if you have your own buckets as Deanna does, all you need is the bokashi: $60

Monthly cost: $5

I’ve been generous on the amount of bokashi you need for a year. Although I say that a 1Kg bag of bokashi will last 2 – 4 months, I’ve had customers come back for a second bag after 6 or 9 months, even a year later. Recently, a small office re-ordered a bag of bokashi nearly two an a half years after their first purchase!

While my competitor’s prices probably do come close the article’s monthly estimate for the first year, the cost in the second year is much lower.

"If we can find a microbiologist who can help us figure out what is in there, we can cut the costs even more," she said.

It isn’t hard to find what is in the bacterial culture used to make bokashi. This blog post from 2007 addresses the issue of making and using your own friendly microbe culture, as does Bokashi Composting.

I have never hidden how to make your own bokashi which will lower your costs even more. I only ask that you buy the Terra Biosa Friendly Microbes [aka EM] from me.:-)

Do it today!


Walking my dog and beautifying the 'hood

By , 1 February 2010 13:38

Over the past four months since we started fostering Chloe, I’ve been noticing the damage to lawns caused by crows and other critters going after the grubs of the European Chafer Beetle when I take her out for a walk.

A video from City Farmer explains the problem:

Last week I decided to do something about it. I created a flyer that I am distributing only to houses that have lawn damage clearly attributable to the Chafer Beetle. It isn’t hard to figure out.

Flyer: [Click for full version]

Easy Care Lawn from West Coast Seeds

We don’t need more lawns. Ideally, as the City Farmer says above, we need more vegetable gardens in our front yards like this one,

Front Yard Veggie Garden

but if you are going have a lawn, use a grass seed that doesn’t require much mowing or watering. The product above meets that criteria.

So far, I’ve walked between Cambie and Main from 16th to 19th and plan to go all the way up to 24th. Then I’ll do the same route between Cambie and Oak. It takes me about an hour at a leisurely pace and Chloe loves it too.


100 flyers: $5.55

Exercise and improving the world: Priceless


"Without the ability to grow our own food…"

By , 31 December 2009 11:30

Without the ability to grow our own food, we leave our children and grandchildren held ransom to buy food on the world market from whatever source, of whatever quality, at whatever price.

Gary Runka,

First General Manager of the B.C. Agricultural Land Commission.

Source [pdf] @


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]

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.


That has never happened to me before

By , 11 July 2008 02:58

InPrint Graphics

InPrint 10Jul08

is at 1935 West Broadway across the street from the big box FedEx Kinko’s*.

I have used the services of both stores which are open 24 hours but InPrint is better. Here are a few reasons why:

They let me access the internet, download files and edit them without charging me a penny.

They printed the files directly from the computer, so there were no darkened images.


They designed and printed my banner

Banner design

There is the fixed priced and the "I’ll give it to you for this much" price. The deal price is probably built in, but it feels good anyway.

However, nothing prepared me for what happened on Tuesday evening this week.

I needed more brochures printed and when I went to pick them up I discovered I had brought the wrong credit card. Ready to leave my order behind until I returned with the proper payment, I was shocked when Dave said

"Take it now."  What?

"Yeah. Yeah. Its okay. Take it now." So I did and came back a few hours later.

This is Prabhakar "Dave" Davkar


Thanks Dave!

I have experienced a casual, but professional work environment. When I went to InPrint in May, I made a decision not to worry about how long it would take get what I needed done. I haven’t tried them on a rush order yet. They are sometimes very busy so patience is required. Usually that pays off in more attention for you when most needed. And you may see some customer interactions that are worth the price of admission!




*long time Vancouverites will remember that the Kinko’s current location was also home to Cardz Computers – I worked there for six months in the early ’90s.

What's the worst that could happen?

By , 7 November 2007 09:58

With that question, wonderingmind42 -“a high school science teacher in the process of burning out” begins a 10 minute lecture on climate change / global warming and the consequences of doing nothing. Rightly so, he titles his video “Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See [and the most important]”

Stop Press!

DON’T WATCH THIS VIDEO [the link above]. I’m serious. This message isn’t a hack (I’m the guy in the video), and it’s not a ploy to get you to actually watch it (reverse psychology).

It’s just that there’s a hole in this argument big enough to drive a Hummer through because of an assumption I didn’t realize I had (isn’t that just the way with assumptions. . .), and the argument has been UPDATED to address that hole.

So instead of watching this old, tired, hole-y video, go watch the NEW, IMPROVED version

The cost of doing nothing is a lot more expensive and disastrous. Click, watch and share with everyone.

Then do something – change public policy – to avoid the negative [far worse] scenarios.

Click through to YouTube to see all the supporting material.

My Vision v.07

By , 14 June 2007 07:26

Today, someone asked me what my vision was with this business. This is how I responded….

I want people who live in cities to be composting with Bokashi

I want people who live in apartments to be composting with Bokashi

I want to collect the Bokashi prepared material that people cannot dispose of and process it at a central location.

I want the compost produced there to be used to grow food.

I want some that food given to the people who provided the compost material to show them that their efforts did make a difference.

links for 2007-01-29

By , 29 January 2007 00:26

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