Question: What should i consider when comparing Worm Farms to Bokashi to Composting systems?
Answer: there are a number of things to consider, and each system is different on a number of fronts:
Bokashi is kept in the kitchen or laundry, you dont have to leave the house (no need to leave the baby, get wet in the rain etc)
Composting: requires a walk throught the garden - this can be a positive, you get to enjoy the garden, smell the roses
Worm Farm: if kept close to the kitchen door it is convenient, otherwise requires a garden stroll. Needs solid shade.
Bokashi: uses a consumable, a 1kg bag of bokashi mix required for each full bin
Compost Bin: no ongoing cost
Worm Cafe: no ongoing cost
Ease of use:
Bokashi: simple, empty the bin monthly by digging the food into the ground. You need to empty the liquid regularly.
Compost Bin: aerate regularly, which is easy with a compost turner, take finished compost as/when you need it from the opening at the bottom of the bin
Worm Cafe: easy, just throw food in; when all trays are full, lift all trays off to remove the bottom tray and empty it. You can take worm castings when you need them, and create extra liquid as needed. You must to empty liquid weekly. (Or remove tap and let it run into a separate bucket)
Bokashi: gives you a liquid fertiliser continually
Compost Bin: if it's the sort that is in contact with the soil, the earthworms etc will distribute the finished product for you if you neglect it.
Worm Cafe: gives you a liquid fertiliser continually
Potential for problems:
Bokashi: dont add rotten food and dont add liquids, and there will rarely be any problems
Compost Bin: dont add meat and dairy or you'll attract mice or rats, dont add citrus or onion family (you can add rotten food) You need a mix of waste for it to work well.
Worm Cafe: dont add meat and dairy or you'll attract mice or rats, dont add citrus or onion family (you can add rotten food, worms dont mind)
When you're on holidays:
Bokashi: just sits and waits untill you return.
Compost Bin: Nature takes over and does its thing, slowly turning biodegradables into compost. It just happens.
Worm Cafe: give them the stuff that you've cleaned out of the fridge before you go, add wet cardboard or any other extra organic matter, and they'll be happy. If you forget to give them extra food to tide them over, first they'll get skinny, then die. If your worm farm is shaded and remains damp, the eggs will survive and bring forth new baby worms when you start feeding them again. If the worm farm dries out, empty it and start again with a new batch of worms.
Limitations of each system:
Bokashi: good for food/kitchen scraps, doesnt do garden waste(lawn clippings and prunings)
Compost Bin: good for garden waste, limited use for food. very good for chookyard rakings.
Worm Cafe: good for food/kitchen scraps, doesnt do garden waste(lawn clippings and prunings)
We throw lawn clippings into the chook yard, after raking up the previous lot of lawn clippings. These rakings contain chook poo and decomposing lawn clippings, and really speed up the action in the compost bin. We use the worm farm mainly for treating dog poo. The Bokashi bin gets the things the chooks and the dog dont like - such as tea bags, coffee grounds, banana skins, egg shells. These could go to the worms or compost, and sometimes do.