We’re in the throws of winter and there are two things I’ve learned about bokashi:
- You can still ferment scraps during the winter
- Two buckets are better than one
Before it got too cold, I purchased two trashcans and half filled both with dirt. After my bokashi bucket is full and has fermented for a couple of weeks, I add the contents to one of the dirt-filled cans.
The cans sit outside next to the house most of the time, but I store it in the garage for a couple of days prior to adding the contents of my bokashi bucket. It gives the dirt enough time to thaw and makes it easier for me to fully mix the bokashi in the soil. Once it’s fully mixed, I stick it back out in the cold again.
When I made my first few bokashi buckets, I placed a drain plate at the bottom of the bucket to allow the tea to drain. I would then pour the tea out using the spigot. I’ve since changed my bucket system.
Instead of using one bucket with a drain plate and spigot, I use two 5-gallon buckets. There are holes drilled in the bottom of one bucket that is inserted into a second bucket. When it’s time to access the tea, I pull out the top bucket and pour the tea from the bottom bucket.
Why the Bucket Change?
The reason is simple. My spigot started to leak. The last thing you want under your sink is leaking bokashi tea. Unfortunately, the two-bucket system makes the bokashi containers too tall to fit under my sink so I had to find a different home for them. On the up side, the two-bucket system gives me more room inside the bucket. I’m able to collect more food scraps before having to empty it.
When I first started with bokashi the weather was warm and I was concerned as to whether or not I would be able to continue during the winter. My experience over the past few months tells me that winter bokashi is just as easy as summer bokashi. If it weren’t for the dirt-filled trashcans, I’m not so sure I would have continued during the winter.
I consider the winter bokashi experiment a success!
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Lining your bucket with a plastic bag (preferably compostable) occasionally, while give you the ability to simply fill an empty drum with fermenting bags. When your ground thaws, you will have an ample supply of bokashi for all the gardening you want to do.
Information about this and lots of other simple ideas for bokashi on Jenny’s Bokashi Blog. Jenny lives in Sweden so has frozen soil for the whole of winter. I live in temperate Australia, but still love this.
Of course, you need a lot more absorbent material and you miss out on the Bokashi juice which you normally tap off your bucket, so you might want to do both bags and buckets.
Just a thought.
Thanks for the info, Kerri.