AS EASY AS
COUNTING UP TO #3 !
Equip yourself with a StarterKit, composed of two BokashiCompost airtight buckets and a bag of Bokashi Starter, you can find all of it here.
The Starter is made of wheat bran impregnated with Effective Microorganisms (or EM®) aka “good bacteria”. They will allow the fermentation of your kitchen scraps to kick-off in an hygienic way, within the bucket and limiting any odour.
EM are made of a selection of 3 families of bacteria, optimized by Prof. Teruo Higa: lactic acid bacteria, yeast and phototrophic bacteria. Their action will transform, in anaerobic conditions, your food waste in a sort of ‘pickles’ or pre-compost.
Start by spreading a handful (10-20g) of Starter at the bottom of the bucket. Then add a layer of kitchen waste 2 to 4 cm thick.
Tamp well with the spatula and spread another handful of Starter on top.
Continue alternating foodwaste and Starter, until you have nished your food leftovers of the day.
Every 3-5 days:
Check if the bokashi juice starts to flow by rotating the tap, after having positioned under it the plastic cup that comes with your kit. If the liquid starts to flow, drain it completely.
Keep your bucket at an ideal temperature of 20°C…in your kitchen.
There is some fexibility for the process to work between 15°C and 35°C, but the bokashi doesn’t like temperature variations. Under de 5°C the micro-organisms start to ‘hibernate’ and the fermentation process stops. To store your Starter in the better conditions, pour the quantity needed for a week or so in a jar or container and refill it from the big bag when needed. Keep the big bag airtight closed in a fresh dark place.
If you respect these steps, you won’t have any flies or any other unwanted host, nor unpleasant smells: fermentation has a slight sweet-sour smell and its low pH prevents any pathogen proliferation.
A white mould is the sign that the fermentation process unfolds normally, but doesn’t always appear.
Other mould colors: it seldom happens, but if you observe green, blue or black moulds, or a foul smell, it’s the sign that something went wrong. You can try to correct it by draining well and adding extra Starter. Otherwise, throw away, wash thoroughly the bucket and start over again.
Once the bucket is full, finish with a layer of Starter and let sit the bucket for a minimum of two weeks at about 20°C. (Ideally without opening the lid, even if you are curious)
In the meantime, you can start filling the second bucket.
Drain regularly the bokashi ‘juice’ from the tap.
The juice is a fertilizer! it smells close to cider vinegar. Dilute-it, 10ml juice for one liter water (1:100) before watering your plants, the same day. Never use it without diluting it, it’s way too concentrated and would harm your plants!
Once you drained it from the bucket, it keeps only a few days. Use it immediately and if it’s not possible, you can pour it in your kitchen’s sink drains to deodorize them. Your septic tank will appreciate.
After fermenting two weeks, your food waste will look almost the same.
In reality, it lost a good share of its water and its carbohydrates will have turned into beneficial micronutrients (it’s the same thing that happens in your belly thanks to the lactic ferments) for the soil’s life.
You’re now ready to transform your bokashi pre-compost into living soil.
There are different options, depending of what you have at hand: garden, couryard or a balcony.
You have access to a garden, vegetable garden, raised bed frames:
-> DIG DOWN !
Dig a pit or a trench of approximately 30 cm depth and at the same distance, therefore 30cm, from any plant’s roots.
You can as well dig a circle around a stem or a line along a hedge. With a shovel or gloves, spread the contents of the bucket over the pit. Mix the fermented bokashi with some soil and then cover with the dug up soil. Press well and leave for a fortnight before planting and/or sowing in the same place.
You have provided valuable nutrients to your soil and they will thank you with beautiful blooming, richer yield both in quantity/quality. Your plants will as well have a better plant resistance to diseases.
You also support life in the soil that you nurture.
The pre-compost will take about a month to completely turn into soil … thanks to the worm’s work and all the micro-life you brought to the soil.
Some ingredients, such as eggshells and citrus peels, will take a little longer to degrade. They are poping-up? Just push them back into the ground.
You have a courtyard, balcony or little outside space
-> CREATE FERTILE SOIL !
Get yourself one or two very large pots with holes at the bottom for rain to be drained and the same volume of soil or old potting mix. Their capacity should be at least twice the volume of your bokashi bucket (that holds 16 l).
Layer 1/3 of the ground at the bottom of the pot. Mix another 1/3 of ground with your pre-com- post and transfer it in the pot. Top up the pot with the last 1/3 of ground and tamp well. Cover with a lid or a tarp to avoid birds or other animals to help themselves for the first days.
In one month you’ll have a rich, earthy soil in which you’ll be able to direct- ly plant or that you can use to repot your plants.
You have a garden compost
-> ENRICH IT !
You can also empty the bucket on top of (or better, dig it in it) your compost heap and cover it with some browns or dirt. Your pre-compost will continue to decompose there. The advantage? You don’t have to go to the compost heap every day to throw away your food scraps because in the Bokashi bucket they don’t go ‘bad’ and besides, you add life to your compost heap.
You really don't have space or time? Give it away.
-> GIVE IT !
Give: to your neighbour who has a garden, to the city park around the corner, to those who have a vegetable garden… It’s a nice opportunity to meet new people and who knows, you might go back home with a few fruits & veggies in exchange.