Our Permaculture Life: The no smell compost scraps bucket

The no smell compost scraps bucket

I collect every bit of food scrap and biodegradable waste that I can.  Some of it goes to the worms, some to the chooks, some to the guinea pigs and some to the compost systems to replenish and improve the soil in my gardens.

I take the baskets for the animals out quickly so the scraps don't spoil, but I let the bucket for the compost bin fill up before I take it out. I used to have a bench top bin, but it cluttered my bench space and looked ugly, so now I have a narrow bin tucked conveniently under my sink.

During these hot summer days, a bucket of food scraps under the sink can begin to really stink - very unpleasant.  There is a way to totally avoid this. I sprinkle a handful of Bokashi mix on top of each layer of scraps I add to the bucket. I keep it in this little container next to the bin.

Bokashi, an effective micro-organism mix, ferments the scraps and makes them smell sweet. Using this method, a week old bucket of food scraps has no unpleasant odour at all.  It's remarkable. Another fabulous benefit of using bokashi is that you can add meat and dairy into the bin, and other things not usually recommended such as citrus and onions.

I usually buy a bulk 1kg pack of the bokashi. This lasts me over 6 months. I store most of it under my laundry sink - a nice cool dark place, and just have a enough out for a couple of weeks. There are expensive plastic buckets sold with the bokashi mix, but you don't need these. Just add the sprinkles to inoculate your normal scraps bucket.

These sprinkles are rice hulls and wheat bran, mixed with a little molasses and activated with effective micro-organisms and. These are like yoghurt for the soil - probiotics for plants - an addition of good bacteria to accelerate decomposition.

Activated food scraps, once buried in the soil or added to the compost bin, break down rapidly into beautifully rich humus.

A project soon is to make my own bokashi mix again.

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