Bokashi composting is a unique method of composting that originated in Japan. It involves using a special blend of beneficial microorganisms to help your organic waste ferment, which includes your food scraps, into nutrient-rich compost.
How Does Bokashi Composting Work?
In Bokashi composting, a mix of kitchen food waste and a Bokashi inoculant that contains microorganisms (EM), is layered into an airtight container.
The microorganisms break down the waste by fermenting instead of decomposition. This reduces foul odors and makes a nutrient-dense compost.
Getting Started with Bokashi Composting
To begin Bokashi composting, you’ll need a Bokashi bin or container. It’s important that the container is airtight and has drainage with a tight-fitting lid to make sure it works correctly.
Collecting Bokashi Materials
Collect all your kitchen food waste, including:
- fruit and vegetable scraps
- coffee grounds
- tea bags
- small amounts of cooked food
Just like traditional composting, avoid meat, dairy, and oily items, as they can disrupt the process.
Applying the Bokashi Inoculant
Sprinkle a small amount of Bokashi inoculant over each layer of kitchen waste in the Bokashi bin. The inoculant adds in beneficial microorganisms that kick-start the process.
Sealing the Bokashi Bin
After each layer of waste and inoculant, press the contents down firmly and seal the Bokashi bin tightly. This airtight environment promotes anaerobic fermentation, preventing the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
Anaerobic composting is decomposition that occurs using microorganisms that do not require oxygen to survive. In an anaerobic system the majority of the chemical energy contained within the starting material is released as methane.Global Composting Solutions
Aerobic composting is decomposition of organic matter using microorganisms that require oxygen. The microbes responsible for composting are naturally occurring and live in the moisture surrounding organic matter. Oxygen from the air diffuses in to the moisture and is taken up by the microbes.
Draining Bokashi Juice
During the process, liquid known as “Bokashi juice” is produced. Open the drainage tap at the bottom of the Bokashi bin regularly to collect this nutrient-rich liquid. Dilute it with water and use it as a plant fertilizer.
Mix about 4 teaspoons of the Bokashi liquid with 1 gallon of water to make Bokashi “tea”.
Completing the Process
Once the Bokashi bin is full, seal it for two weeks to allow the fermentation process to complete. During this time, the contents will break down and transform into nutrient-rich compost.
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Curing and Using Bokashi Compost
After two weeks, bury it in a garden bed or compost pile. Or you can mix it into potting soil for container plants. Allow the compost to cure for a few weeks before planting into it in your garden.
- Bokashi composting uses beneficial microorganisms to ferment organic waste.
- Choose an airtight Bokashi bin with a drainage system.
- Collect kitchen waste, excluding meat and dairy, for Bokashi composting.
- Apply Bokashi inoculant between layers of waste to start the fermentation.
- Drain Bokashi juice regularly and mix with water and use it as plant fertilizer.
- Seal the Bokashi bin for two weeks to complete the fermentation process.
- Bury or mix the fermented waste into the soil after curing to create nutrient-rich compost.
Bokashi composting offers an efficient and odor-free way to transform kitchen waste into valuable compost.
By using beneficial microorganisms, you can create nutrient-rich compost for your plants. Give the Bokashi composting method a try, and you may decide it’s the best way for you and your plants.