Natural Living Des Moines


Happy Farmer™ Kitchen Composter with Bokashi by nuevogreen
September 21, 2007, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Products

Happy Farmer™ Kitchen Composter with Bokashi

My first compost bin! Makes me feel like a grown up greenie rather than the baby one I really am. After much research I decided on the Happy Farmer™ Kitchen Composter with Bokashi additive and so far, I love it! Its a recycled plastic bin with spigot and a bag of Bokashi (a dry breadcrumb texture additive).

Its much larger than I expected taking up almost all the height and 1/3 the width of my undersink cupboard space (official dimensions: 16″h x 10″w x 10″d). The idea of this composter is that you place all cut-up food scraps including chicken bones and meat (I have only done fruit, veggie and bread scraps so far) into the bin and cover it with a layer of Bokashi inoculant. Once the bin is full, keep it closed for 2 weeks and voila you have a fermented product that can be added directly to your garden or into an outdoor compost bin for further decomposition without attracting critters to a free dinner.

You may be asking, how does it smell? Well, when the bin is open there is a strong, mildly unpleasant smell, but when the bin is closed I don’t smell anything at all. It seems to me that I don’t smell the food spoiling, what I smell is the Bokashi. Its kind of a beer/yeast odor.

There is also a spout on the bottom which allows you to drain a rich liquid fertilizer that I’ve been using on my house plants, and they’ve never looked healthier. The documentation says to drain every couple days, I tend to forget and only drain once a week or so, and still its only about 1-2 tablespoons of liquid. I dilute this in a gallon of water which must be used immediately.

Today I opened up my compost after its two-week hibernation. All the food is black, but you can still kind of tell what everything is, its not a soil substance like you find in an outdoor compost bin. The top has some white mold, but the documentation says thats normal (black mold is not okay).

The cost is a little less than a manufactured outdoor unit as well. I purchased mine for about $45 at Sustainable Community Development out of Kansas City, Missouri. I was concerned that the Bokashi wouldn’t last long but its been a couple months and I think I’ve used less than 1/4 of the bag.

The verdict for me? I like it. I really like the convenience of having the bin directly under my sink and I think I will appreciate it even more when winter arrives. I debated long and hard between this system and a traditional manufactured yard compost bin and decided to go with the Happy Farmer for its convenience and I think that was a good decision for me. So, this batch will go into our yard waste pile (open air) until we’re ready to work it into our garden for next year.

For more information, go here: http://www.scdworld.com/product.cfm?product_id=030212

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8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i work at a green building design firm called Re:Vision and we just picked one of these kits for ourselves in the office. it is great. i think the bokashi smells like vegetable stock. its rather pleasant. this stuff chews up everything. i wanna take bokashi up to valdez and pour it on the seals to suck up that oil. we tried the worm bin route but the micro climates in philadelphia are nuts. we had to keep moving them inside and out and in light and out. it was crazy. bokashi is a much more viable option for our garden. let us know how it goes in a month. ill repost as well.

Comment by darreck

Is there any place locally (Des Moines) to buy the bokashi system?

Comment by Lynn Baskin

what do you recommend during the winter? i was thinking of mixing the bokashi mixture with soil in bins in my garage over the winter.

Comment by Lil

Lil, why couldn’t you use this system in the winter?

Comment by sarahtar

The ground is frozen, I’ll have nowhere to bury the mixture.

Comment by Lil

Sorry to take so long to reply. And I can’t be of much help. I never filled up the bin over the winter such that it had to be emptied before spring. When I bought it though, there were lots of blog posting out there about using the system. Have you tried Googling it to see what comes up regarding winter use?

Comment by sarahmcconnell

have a look at the link below, making soil with bokashi in a bucket, hope that answers your question.
http://bokashiworld.wordpress.com/2009/09/12/make-your-own-soil-factory/

Comment by vernon

Thanks for sharing, a lot of information! I am looking for a Bokashi bin, and it seems that this system has a lot of benefits! Durable, ecologic, no smell and good for my plants. I think i’m gonna buy it soon.

Comment by Bokashi Jolijn




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