Bokashi composting is a natural, green and earth-friendly way of composting everything that is not eaten (food scraps, kitchen waste) and turned into safe, stable and renewable organic material – organic fertilizer which is free from any side effects.
What is bokashi composting
Bokashi composting is one of the more recent trends in composting. It can be a very effective way to recycle your kitchen scraps into something that can be beneficial to your garden.
Composting is a process in which organic material such as food scraps and kitchen waste are turned into a good soil for the plants in your garden. When the various materials are broken down, they are nutrients that can be used by the plants. Bokashi composting is a method of turning your kitchen food waste into an organic fertilizer.
Benefits of bokashi composting:
- No food leftovers in the trash bin – No more foul smell from your trash bin
- Food waste recycled into beneficial compost
- Homemade organic fertilizer for your garden that saves you money
- Can be done all year round
- Considerably fast decomposting (1-2 months) and it’s ready to be used
- Bokashi bin/bucket and bran can be easily made at home
- Can be used for vermicomposting (red Californian worms love bokashi compost) for extra benefits as a fertilizer
What you need to start bokashi compost:
- Bokashi bin or bokashi bucket – you can buy or you can made one yourself.
- Bokashi bran – at the beginning it would be best to buy it from a store to make sure bokashi composting goes well. Later on you can also make bokashi bran yourself.
- Masher or other tool to push the waste down tighly
- Food waste
- Dark place to keep your bokashi bin/bucket – do not keep your bokashi bin in direct sunlight. Best is to keep bokashi bin in the house (fermentation requires room temperature) hidden from direct sunlight.
Homemade bokashi bin/bucket – How to make a bokashi bin
It is the least expensive way to obtain a bokashi bin.
You will need two plastic buckets, lid and a tool to make holes in one of the buckets’ bottom.
1. Take one of the buckets and turn it upside down.
2. Drill small holes in the bottom of the bucket. Holes are necessary to drain the bokashi tea from the compost so it doesn’t get ruined.
3. Put the bucket with the holes in the bottom into the second bucket.
4. Put the lid on.
It is ready to be used as a bokashi bucket.
Related articles: What You Need To Get Started With Gardening
How to compost leftover food – the process
1. Sprinkle handful of bokashi bran into bucket with holes.
2. Add a layer of about 2 in of kitchen food waste.
3. Sprinkle another handful of bokashi bran. If you have more food waste, you can add more layers.
4. Close the bucket lid tightly so there is no air incoming into the bucket with food waste.
5. Put the bokashi bucket away from direct sunlight.
6. Drain bokashi tea every few days.
What to do with bokashi tea
Bokashi tea can be diluted and used as a fertilizer.
Also, bokashi tea is used as sink and pipes cleaner. Simply poor into your sink and leave for few hours or overnight and then rinse your sink.
What to do when the bokashi bin is full
After you filled you bokashi bin up, add thicker layer of bokashin bran, cover it tighly and leave it to ferment for couple of weeks.
Then dig a hole in the ground in your garden, pour the fermented bokashi in the hole, and cover it with soil.
Your bokashi gradually will decompose and within a month or two there will be no leftovers.
You also can use fermented bokashin for vermicomposting.
Warning: fermented kitchen food waste is acidic. Before letting your red California worms into bokashi, allow it to sit for about a week outside until the acidity drops. High acidity may hurt or even kill the worms.
Important things to remember while bokashi composting:
- Make sure the lid is on and there is no air flow into the bokashi bin while you are fermenting kitchen food waste. Fermentation requires no air since it’s an anaerobic process.
- Avoid opening your bokashi often. You shouldn’t open it more than once a day. Best to open your bokashi bin to put your food scraps once every few days.
- Drain bokashi tea every few days.
What food you can compost in bokashi bin/bucket:
- Citrus and banana peels
- Prepared food / Cooked food
- Cooked and raw meat
- Smaller bones
- Coffee grounds
- Tea bags
- Withered flowers
- Small amount of tissues
Things you should NOT put into bokashi bin/bucket:
- Big bones
- Animal faeces
Bokashi composting starter kit
Bokashi composting starter kit may be another, tho more expensive option for those who are considering to start bokashi composting at home.
Bokashi composting starter kits often consists of:
- 2 bokashi bins
- Bokashi bran
- Guide to bokashi composting
- Some bokashi starter kits include a tool to be used as a masher and a small container to drain bokashi tea into.
You may also buy one bokashi bin starter kit.
After a while you will need to buy additional supply of bokashi bran.
Some people found a way to make bokashi bran themselves at home. It may be cheaper to make bokashi bran yourself but there is no guarantee that it will work just as good as professionally made one.
Bokashi composting has some amazing benefits for your garden and it is certainly worth a try. With Bokashi composting, you will have a significant contribution to the environment with your organic gardening practices, so if you have considered bokashi composting for yourself or a family member, we strongly encourage you to give it a try.