What is a bokashi? And should I be using one?
Bokashi is one of the composting options available for purchase. So how does it work?
It is a two step composting process. The first step is to fill the bokashi bin. Every time you add some food waste, you sprinkle on some micro organisms (which look like large sand grains) and close the lid. In this air tight environment the food waste begins to ferment. As it does so, liquid pools at the base of the bin. You can drain the liquid, dilute it, and water your plants like worm tea. When the bin is full and has fermented, the contents are buried. This is stage two of the composting method. Because the contents has fermented, the decomposition is considerably faster.
Here are some pros and cons.
You can compost everything. EVERYTHING! Unlike worms, who are basically vegan, bokashis can be used to accelerate the decomposition of meat (and bones) and dairy as well as fruit and vegetable scraps. Therefore you can redirect ALL your food waste from landfill and back into nature. It's free fertiliser!
It can live under your kitchen skin for easy access and filling.
One bucket will suit a couple, or two buckets for a family of four. That's a really small amount of space compared to a traditional compost heap or a tumble bin.
If you don't get the fermentation process happening correctly, the produce with putrefy and smell.
After filling the bokashi bin and allowing it to ferment, you still need to bury the waste. So you will need the space to do this.
Did you know you can even compost pet poo? But never do it near plants that produce food that you eat. Find a discrete corner of your yard.
So should you be using one?
If you aren't using any composting methods at the moment, or aren't currently composting your meat and dairy then this is a great way to get started!! And if you have a vegetable garden then your crops are going to love you for feeding them with the bokashi juice. Just watch them grow!
There are a couple of good Facebook groups for Bokashi lovers who can help you troubleshoot if you're running into fermenting issues. The biggest one in my experience is getting the balance right to ensure your food waste is fermenting and not rotting. My motto is, if it smells, add more grains!