“Bokashi” means fermented organic matter in Japanese. This method of composting does just that. Bokashi composting uses microorganisms to help break down food waste anaerobically (without oxygen). This process transforms food waste into especially awesome compost for your garden or indoor plants.
- A Bokashi Bin with a spigot valve
- Bokashi Bran (an accelerant to feed microorganisms that aid in the decomposition of organic waste)
- A CompoKeeper (for collecting food waste in the kitchen)
- Access to a yard or worm bin
- Start with your empty Bokashi Bin and sprinkle a handful of Bokashi Bran across the bottom.
- Add your kitchen scraps and household compostable items.
- Sprinkle another handful of Bokashi Bran over the scraps.
- Compress the scraps with a small plate to eliminate air pockets.
- Seal the lid onto the bin and set the bin aside until you have more scraps to add.
- When you’re ready to add more, remove the lid and repeat steps 2-5. (Avoid stirring up the previous day’s waste.)
- Once the bin is full, make sure the lid is on with an airtight seal and set the bin aside for about 10 days.
- Drain the liquid every other day to ensure proper pH levels. Dilute the liquid with water (1:1000) and apply to your plants. If you don’t have plants, poor the liquid down the drain.
- After 10 days you’ll have fermented food scraps. (Note: It’s not compost yet!)
- Open the bin and either:
- Bury the fermented food scraps for another 2-4 weeks, or
- Transfer the solid contents into a worm bin for another 2-4 weeks.
- You’ll know when the composting processes is complete when the compost mix is a rich, black crumbly soil that smells earthy, not sour.
Trash to Treasure:
- Check out our list of what you can and can’t compost.
- The great thing about Bokashi composting is that you can even compost mean, bones, fish, dairy and even pet litter (in moderation).
Tips & Tricks:
- Find a location for the Bokashi Bin where faint odors won’t bother you, preferably out of the sunlight.
- Because your Bokashi Bin will need to sit undisturbed for 10 days, pair Bokashi composting with a CompoKeeper. The CompoKeeper’s 6-gallon bin will collect your compostables until you’re ready to bokashi them.
- Chop and shred your scraps into smaller pieces to speed up the process.
- Using the mixture too soon can be harmful to plants due to high acidity. Be sure to complete PART 2 of the steps.
- It stinks? Bokashi should have a “sweet and sour” smell vs. a foul, rotten one. If your bin smells like it’s rotting, add another handful of Bokashi Bran. If the problem persists, it may be necessary to dump the bin and start over.