BOKASHI

Bokashi is an anaerobic (fermentation) process that converts food waste into a soil amendment, adding nutrients and improving soil structure. Bokashi is produced by the fermentation of organic materials (fe. wheat or rice bran) along with a microbial inoculant called EM-1®. The inoculated bran is added to the food waste in a closed container and left to ferment for two or more weeks.  When adding to the soil, a second phase of decomposition occurs.

 

The matter is quite different than traditional composting as it’s fermented by specialist bacteria, not decomposed. It is directly added to the field soil, without requiring any mature time. This results in all carbon, energy and nutrients going straight into the soil food web, without having been emitted in greenhouse gases and heat nor leached out.

 

Advantages:

  • The bokashi method allows for a quick turnaround to healthy soils.

  • The nutrient value is much higher in comparison to other composting methods.

  • It has a much less offensive smell than decomposition.

  • It allows for meat and dairy to be added.

 

Method:

 

  1. Each week, the clean bucket will have a handful of bokashi in the bucket before putting in the first batch of food waste.

  2. Gather your daily food scraps in a smaller storage item in your kitchen and empty this in the bucket once it is full. Depending on how much waste your household creates this is once a day or every few days.

  3. After emptying your storage item in the bucket, make sure the food waste is well spread out and press the waste down with a large leaf, a soup spoon, or whatever has your preference. Take roughly a handful of bokashi bran and sprinkle it over the food waste.

  4. When you have added the bokashi to the food waste, you can close the lid of the bucket. Make sure it’s sealed properly, the bokashi wants to get as little air as possible for it to do it’s magic.

 

Other attention points:

  • The maximum layer of food waste is about two inches (otherwise the bokashi might not penetrate deep enough).

  • You can never add too much bokashi, especially when it comes to waste like meat or dairy as this is harder to break down.

  • Don’t place the bucket into direct sunlight.

  • Check what can and can’t go in the bucket HERE.

  • Bokashi is an anaerobic process that requires that you isolate the materials from oxygen as much as possible. The bucket should be opened only to add scraps, not to check on the materials.

© 2019 by Changing Tides Foundation & Community Compost Movement