A bokashi composter is a great addition to your composting arsenal. The Bokashi Method harnesses the ancient art of fermentation to help you create a “pickled” product that has a wide variety of farm and gardening applications. The creation of a humus-rich product is only one of these applications.
Before I get into the details of bokashi, please understand that this page will be very dynamic in nature. That is, it will be constantly evolving as I learn more about The Bokashi Method. I will also be posting an ongoing video log of the activity inside my bokashi composter itself. So if you’re interested in this sort of thing, check back frequently for updates…
Bokashi is a Japanese term meaning fermented organic matter. The method of breaking down wastes using fermentation grew out of a desire to increase the speed at which these materials broke down. Although bokashi composting has been practiced in Eastern cultures for centuries, the personal-sized bokashi units have only recently become popular in the West.
Originally, Bokashi was made by layering food and agricultural wastes with microbe-rich soils. These layers were interlaced, creating a massive pile, and then this pile was allowed to ferment for several weeks. As chemical agriculture started to take hold in the early part of the 20th century, this method of composting fell out of favor. This was mainly due to the massive killing off of the soil microbes which were an integral part in The Bokashi Method.
Thankfully, a microbial inoculant product called Effective Microorganisms (EM-1) has since been developed and is now used in place of the soil layers in the above description. EM-1 is a liquid product of three groups of naturally occurring soil-based microbes: Yeast, Photosynthetic Bacteria, and Lactic Acid Bacteria. It has been said that EM-1 contains between 80-120 different microbial species.
Using a bokashi compost unit is easy to do and is free of offensive odors when done properly.
Steps (taken directly from my bokashi unit)
After a minimum of 2 weeks, here are some suggested uses for the contents:
Below are a few benefits to using a bokashi kitchen composter. The list of benefits is ever-growing, however, I’ve limited it to five below.
The image below was taken 1 week after I added the first ingredients to my bokashi composter. Notice the white fungal masses growing on the purple beet pulp. I have opened the container 3-4 times in the last week to add scraps. Also, I have a feeling the fungi would be even more pronounced if I kept the ambient temperature in my house higher; however, I’m a frugal duck and like to limit my energy consumption whenever I can.
Update – March 28, 2012
The video below will conclude my video series on Bokashi composting for this page. I promise to post more about Bokashi and Effective Microorganisms (EM) in the near future, however, it will be on different pages. I hope you have enjoyed this video series and learning about the wonderful microbial benefits of composting bokashi-style!
If you haven’t yet experienced the miracles of a bokashi composter, do yourself, your worms, your soils, your plants, your livestock, and even your drains a huge favor and order one today.
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