Bokashi Composting Discovery

Written by Vera Del Vecchio - Bokashi - The Easiest and Fastest Composting Ever!

Is Composting getting to you? Tired of dealing with the annoying flies, stink and fighting away animals (Raccoons!) Then working with the chore of turning the compost pile, then letting it sit for months or years to get any results that look like soil.

raccoon in compost

Would that be you? I know that was me. I got to the point that I was not in the least motivated to even try to compost! There must be an easier way....

It has been 2 years now of working with bokashi. My overall garbage without the bokashi green waste and the paper, plastic, etc has been reduced to a tiny bag of garbage in a few days. About 50+% of household garbage is green kitchen waste.

My experience and anyone that tries the bokashi composting experiences abundance of growth in the garden. There are No more concerns about flies, stinky smells, and animal attraction to the waste. Best of all it is the fastest way to compost that I have ever witnessed. You can even compost meat, bones, and fish! In only 2-4 weeks and you get rich organic soil full of healthy probiotic microbes that bring the soil back to life. The result produces stronger, more nutritious, bigger, longer growing seasons and disease resistant plants.

Bokashi Composting works with a probiotic fermenting process in an anaerobic (no air) container. The traditional composting methods break down green waste by decaying, rotting waste, that results in infestation of vermin, foul smells and animal attraction.

Healthy Earth has a special Bokashi Bucket that is specially made to allow an anaerobic (no air) container with a tight easy to remove lid and a grid tray at the bottom so that waste does not become too soggy. It also includes a 2 month supply of Bokashi Mix. Bokashi is a compost starter that simply contains EM Probiotic (effective microorganisms), the good microbes, EM Ceramics, fermented with wheat bran, and water. There is also a spigot to drain the liquid from the bucket that can be used as a valuable plant fertilizer feed (mix 1 to 10+ parts water) or toilet deodorizer. It is ideal to use 2 Bokashi Buckets - one to use and one to leave to ferment, then switch.

There are other containers that can be used:

You may use a regular bucket with a air tight lid. Many lids are hard to replace without a hammer. Healthy Earth does have buckets of various sizes with an easy to remove lid and durable spot for the do it your self enthusiast with reasonable prices. Also available for more industrial use is plastic drums or garbage containers that can be converted. Some schools, restaurants, and business have been using a durable garbage bag with a twist tie to seal when opening and closing. Not perfect, but can do the job.

How to Bokashi Compost

  1. Cut up food scraps into one inch pieces - bigger pieces and bones may take a little longer to break down. Note: You can compost fruit, vegetables, meat, chicken, or fish.
  2. Sprinkle about a small handful of bokashi mix on the drain tray at the bottom of the bucket.
  3. Add food waste and every 2 inches of food waste, sprinkle bokashi mix to cover all food waste (about a small handful).
  4. Compress the food scraps with a compressor, plate or potato masher to get any air out, then, cover the bucket with the lid for an air-tight bucket.
  5. Use the liquid drained from the bucket spigot to water your plants as a fertilizer, or deodorize your drains or toilets. Mix 10+ parts water to 1 part drained liquid before using as a plant fertilizer.
  6. When bucket is full, leave it out of sunlight to ferment for one week (can leave for longer). This allows the bokashi to pickle and ferment food scraps in the bucket. It is ideal to have a second Bokashi Bucket to use, then switch.
  7. Bury contents of bucket in the garden, away from other plants. Mix contents with some soil before adding 6 inches of soil to cover contents. In 2 weeks, the soil is ready for planting. Rinse bucket with water only or use EM Probiotic to clean bucket before reusing.

Note: The fermented food still looks like food scraps. After 2 weeks, the buried contents will be approximately 90% broken down depending on what you composted - bigger chunks and bones may take longer. There may be some white mould - that is good - when there is black mould that is not good - you will tell by the smell. There is no foul smell except a pickle smell. It is good to start with 2 buckets - one to bokashi compost daily, and another to leave to ferment. Drain liquid every 3-4 days accordingly. Too much liquid can lead to contents going bad. If you happen to have a bad batch, you may be able to rectify it by burying the contents and adding extra bokashi mix with the contents before covering contents with soil.

EM bokashi takes extreme temperatures. When it is freezing, the effective microorganisms go dormant, and wake up when the temperature rises. (Note: animals are not attracted to bokashi fermenting compost and it will not have foul smells or flies!) Choices:

  1. You can leave the contents in buckets for months or an extended period - no problem!

  2. You can dump contents into a pile in garden, or add to above ground compost, and cover it with a tarp. When the weather is warmer, leave it covered for 4-6 weeks and you will get organic rich fertilizer!

  3. You can layer contents into a garbage can, flower box or any large container. You may do this indoors or outdoors. Start with placing soil at bottom of container, layering waste contents, and topping contents with soil. When weather is warmer, leave it covered, or uncovered for 4-6 weeks and you will get organic rich soil!

Soil, Mulch or Plant Waste: Apply bokashi on at a rate of 1 lb. per 100 sq. ft.

One of my fears was that a garbage can full of kitchen waste would attract the raccoons that roam our neighborhood. The urban raccoon is quite adept at opening lids. I was again pleasantly surprised. I saw no telltale footprints in the snow around the garbage can. One evening, raccoons tore apart my regular garbage to extract a wrapper from a package of meat while leaving my bakashi compost untouched.

It is now March and the compost has thawed. The level in the can has dropped by about a foot, so I imagine that the decomposition phase is well under way. Although I have been told it is ready for use in a few weeks, I will probably leave the compost to do its work until May when I start my herb garden. I will stir up the layers of soil and compost and fill my planters with the mix. I have high hopes for my rosemary and basil.

Before starting the bokashi composing, I participated in the municipal green bin collection for organics. With the requirement for special compostable bags, the odour, the flies, and the challenge of discouraging raccoons, I have found the bokashi composting the more pleasant experience.

How to Bokashi Compost on a Bigger Scale than the Kitchen?

Here are some choices:

  1. Use a bin, garbage can, etc... - preferably with an air tight lid and attach a spigot spout close to the base of the container to drain liquid fertilizer. This is the ideal way to ensure success! We do sell the spigot spout for $4 - they are hard to find, and they are a nice sturdy spout and valve.
  2. Use any garbage can, bin, or container - then insert a strong garbage bag. To form a base at the bottom of the bag - start with something absorbent; sawdust, bread, grain, newspaper (not aways suggested because it contains metals); then layer food scraps with bokashi mix as usual; after each layertie with twist tie to try to keep air out. When full, let ferment for at least 1 week or more; then bury in soil and cover with soil as usual. Restaurants and industry have found this useful.
  3. Use similar to a regular compost pile, only works much better. Pile food scrapes in layers with bokashi mix as usual; then cover with plastic or tarp to keep air out; and weigh down with rocks or anything to keep it secure every time adding food scrapes and bokashi mix. Eventually whole pile willferment and turn into compost after you leave it alone for a few weeks.
  4. Dig a hole or trench in the ground - large enough for what you need for your food scrapes; cover with plastic or tarp every time you add food scrapes and bockashi; when full, leave to ferment for one week; then cover with at least 6" of soil; then it should be nutrient rich soil in 3-6 weeks forlarger amounts.

PS; you may also spray EM Probiotic Liquid on your compost pile for added help in composting. Hope this helps. Happy Healthy Earth Bokashi Composting!

Can I use a rotating compost?

The activator for the compost - Healthy Earth Bokashi Mix - 500g = $6 - may last 1-2 months. Also for large piles of food scrapes or yard waste, the EM Protiotic liquid - 1L = $39. Use only 1 capful for 1L water to spray compost pile that can also use with Bockashi Mix.

This EM bockashi method works best without air, so a well sealed lid and container and a spigot spout to drain excess valuable fertilizer liquid is best. This allows healthy microbes to eat up toxins allowing it to ferment rather than decay, rot, infest and stink. You will get no flies, foul smells (except a sweet/sour pickle smell) and you will get nutrient rich organic soil in 2-4 weeks. Your plants will grow incredibly in the soil.

We have looked into the rotating compost (don't want to put it down) but we found it very big and bulky, still have smells and flies, is expensive, and it takes months to compost into soil. You may try to add bokashi mix or spray EM Probiotic. It may help, but it is ideal in an anaerobic or little air.

We have found that the Healthy Earth Bokashi composting works with mother nature to break down fast and easy for great soil. It is really Composting Made Easy. No smells, no flies, no animal attraction, no watering, no toxic methane gasses. Simple, easy to handle, fun, and best of all - it's Mother Natures's solution to composting!

I want to use the Bokashi mix on my outdoor compost. Will my dear worms survive the process?

Yes you may use Bokashi Mix on your outdoor compost, but it is best to put a plastic tarp or cover over your compost pile weighed down with stones or bricks. Your dear worms will happily eat it up and multiply like crazy! EM Probiotic may also be sprayed onto the pile for added activation of fermentation. The Bokashi Mix and the EM Probiotic will act as a starter to break down your compost pile much faster, 3-8 weeks depending on the contents of your pile. And best of all. because it uses fermenting instead of a rotting and decaying process, therefore, you will NOT get foul smells, ?ies, vermin and does not attract animals to your compost pile!

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