Bokashi Gone Bad!

Tune in at 11 for ALL the details!

Back at the end of June I was still trying to find homes for tomato plants residing in smaller pots (in fact, I STILL have two more left!). I knew I had a couple more buckets in my shed – only problem was that they contained bokashi waste materials and had not been opened in more than two years!


Well, I guess my desire to take care of my tomatoes ended up beating out my fear re: what might be lurking in the buckets (haha), so I ended up opening them up! Me being me, of course I couldn’t resist taking pictures while I was at it – and making a project out of the less-than-pleasant experience!

OK, so it wasn’t THAT bad! I was expecting a lot worse. Still, both buckets did contain a pretty foul mix of anaerobic slop – especially the one that was actually open a crack (pictured above).

I knew I couldn’t expect my worms to consume the material, but I also knew I had to do SOMETHING with it, so I decided to lay out some cardboard and pour the stuff out onto it. My hope was that most of the liquid would slowly drain away, and that the mix would eventually become aerobic.

Of course, I couldn’t just leave it as it was, based on the smell and the unpleasant appearance. I opted to add a layer of straw over top, and recently added a layer of grass clippings as well.

I did all this on June 27, with the hope of seeing Red Worms colonizing the mix at some point (since loads of them near by). Well, the smell has certainly dissipated a fair bit, and a fair amount of liquid seems to have drained away, but there is still no sign of worms (as of Jul 5th). Maggots and other critters have moved in though, so I guess this is “phase I”.

Should be really interesting to see how long it takes before it is “ready” for worms.
I’ll keep everyone posted!

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    • Nic
    • July 5, 2010

    lol- how did you forget about it for 2 YEARS????? 🙂

    • LARRY D.
    • July 6, 2010

    Put that on “Let’s make a deal”! That would really make you wish you chose curtain # two!

    • Paul from Winnipeg
    • July 6, 2010

    Wow, that’s nasty looking stuff. I can’t imagine the smell. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for the redworms to take over.

    • Bentley
    • July 6, 2010

    NIC – I wouldn’t say that I exactly “forgot” about them! haha
    They were sitting in my shed, so not really on my mind all that much, and any time I DID see them, the idea of opening them up just wasn’t all that appealing to me! haha
    LARRY – That definitely would have made the show a bit more interesting! lol
    PAUL – It was definitely pretty foul, but not nearly as bad as I expected. That said, even with the straw over top and lots of hot dry weather, it has continued to remain stinky for quite some time. My wife wasn’t too impressed when she walked out in to the yard recently and caught a whiff! With the grass clippings mixed in it DOES seem much better now though.

    • Kerri
    • March 2, 2012

    Ok, new here and looking for your perspective on feeding Bokashi to worms. I actually only reactivated my wormfarm when I found out worms eat Bokashi, so both started only in the past few weeks.

    Was there a reason you didn’t bury the icky Bokashi or put in the bottom of your compost? I would have thought that the quickest way to get rid of bad Bokashi might be the same as the quick way to get rid of good Bokashi.

    There’s a reason I do Bokashi in a plastic compostable bag. I live in hope that a good batch is not going to smell anywhere near as bad as it looks and I don’t need to look. Split the bag open with my shovel maybe, that’s all.

    However, when I start feeding to worms I’ll use the lidded bucket to keep it under wraps while I introduce it a bit at a time.


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