Bokashi Composting

What is Bokashi Composting?

Bokashi composting is the fast and easy way to recycle all your kitchen scraps.

The system harnesses the power of microorganisms to break down food waste through fermentation. It's a technique that's been used in Japan for Centuries and was perfected by Dr Teruo Higa in 1968 who studied the process in detail to discover the best combination of microorganisms.

Modern systems use bran infused with these active microbes, just a couple of scoops on top of each layer of food waste is all that's needed. It's safe to use for any type of food waste, including vegetable peel, fresh and raw meat, fish, bones and dairy products. 

A Bokashi bin makes it easy to turn food waste into nutrient rich compost from the comfort of your own kitchen!

 

What are the Benefits of Bokashi Composting?

It's Faster and Easier than Traditional Composting Methods

Bokashi breaks down waste using active microorganisms. This fermentation process is much quicker than traditional composting methods and the whole process takes only four weeks from start to finish.

You can Compost more with Bokashi  

One of the beauties of the Bokashi system is that it works for pretty much all of your food waste, including things that are no-gos for the traditional compost heap. Raw and cooked meat, fish and dairy products can all be safely fermented without worrying about rotting smells or nasty pathogens.

Super-powered Garden Compost

Bokashi compost is a great way to supply your plants with the rich nutrients they need to thrive, without resorting to chemical or peat-based fertilisers. 

Bokashi Tea

One of the by-products of the process is Bokashi tea. Just open the tap to pour off and then dilute at a ratio of 1:100 or about 2 teaspoons of juice per litre of water to make a nutritious liquid fertiliser for your plants. It also makes a great drain cleaner, the active microorganisms help break down any debris lurking in your pipes.

 

Bokashi composting set. Two bins, Bokashi compost in a brown bag, a scoop and a trowelBokashi composting set. Two bins, Bokashi compost in a brown bag, a scoop and a trowel

A Step-by-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting 

STEP 1: Fill & Sprinkle 

Fill your Bokashi bin with all your kitchen scraps. You can recycle pretty much anything and everything from vegetable peelings to cooked and raw meat and even fish bones because Bokashi bran ferments your waste instead of rotting it. 

Larger pieces can be chopped up to speed up the process.

Each time you put kitchen scraps in the bin add a scoop or two of Bokashi Bran. The effective microorganisms will get to work straight away, breaking down all your kitchen waste.

The amount of Bokashi bran you need will depend on how wet your scraps are. As a rough guide use one scoop of bran per each 2cm layer. 

As the process gets to work your scraps will start to turn brown and there will be a vinegary, pickling smell as the contents of your bin start to ferment. 

A Bokashi bin full of apple peel with a hand holding a scoop of Bokashi BranA Bokashi bin full of apple peel with a hand holding a scoop of Bokashi Bran

STEP 2: Press Down

Use the trowel, a plate or a thick piece of card to press down the waste.

Compressing helps to squeeze out excess liquid and maximises space in your kitchen compost bin too.

This helps to make sure the fermentation process works well.

Make sure you put the airtight lid back on each time, to seal the contents and then just let the Bokashi Bran do its job! 

 

STEP 3: Drain the Tea & Wait

Bokashi fermentation produces liquid as part of the process. The amount will vary depending on the type of kitchen waste but typically it's worth draining the tap every few days. 

You can dilute the tea at a ratio of 1:100 to fertilise your house and garden plants, or pour it down the drain to help keep your pipes and drainage system clean.

Once your bin is full leave it to sit for another two weeks to allow the Bokashi microorganisms to work.

Because it takes about four weeks to complete the Bokashi cycle, it's handy to have two buckets. Whilst your first load is fermenting you can start filling your second bucket.

A Bokashi bin with a tap open that is pouring Bokashi tea into a scoopA Bokashi bin with a tap open that is pouring Bokashi tea into a scoop

STEP 4: Use your compost

After two weeks check your bin. There should be a vinegary, pickley smell, the food waste should have softened and there may be some white mold in places. These are positive signs that your Bokashi compost is ready for the next stage.

Once your Bokashi is ready you can dig the fermented food waste straight into the garden or add it to your compost pile.

It's good practice to wait another two weeks before planting to allow the pre-compost to release nutrients into the soil.

The combination of Bokashi microbes and rich, organic waste will really help your garden thrive.

Bokashi composting set. Two bins, Bokashi compost in a brown bag, a scoop and a trowelBokashi composting set. Two bins, Bokashi compost in a brown bag, a scoop and a trowel

Bokashi Composting FAQs

What can you put in your Bokashi Bin?

Pretty much anything!

Raw meat, Fresh meat, Cooked food, Fish, Eggshells, Bones, Dairy and Coffee grounds can all be Bokashied and because waste is fermented it will not give off rotting odours. 

How long does the Bokashi process take?

The whole process takes about four weeks.

Two weeks of collecting waste and layering it with Bokashi Bran and another two weeks to allow fermentation to take place.

It can be safely left for longer, just make sure you drain the tea so the contents don't get too wet.

Is Bokashi composting difficult?

No.

It's much easier than traditional composting methods because there's no need to monitor temperature, worry about the dry/wet mix of your waste or turn the heap!

Why are there two Bokashi buckets?

The process takes four weeks in total so using two composting buckets means that you can fill one and ferment one so that you've always got somewhere to put your kitchen scraps.

What is Bokashi tea?

Bokashi tea is the liquid produced from your kitchen waste as it breaks down. It contains organic nutrients as well as active microorganisms from the Bokashi mix, making it  ideal for fertilising plants. Dilute at a ratio of 1:100 to make a nutritious liquid plant food.

 

Does Bokashi smell?

The Bokashi buckets have an airtight lid which seals in any food smells and because waste is fermented it won't give off any rotting odours.

Once underway there will be a pickling smell to show the Bokashi process is working. 


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