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Bokashi Composting—From Scraps to Fertilizer

By Fredrica Syren:

Composting is a great way to reduce your waste load and at the same time create something earth craves…pure nutrients.  On our homestead we have four ways we compost: a worm compost, a garden compost, chickens and bokashi compost. Last week I hosted a composting for beginners class and after the class most of the participants leaned towards a bokashi compost and I understand because it’s our favorite way of composting too.bokashi

Bokashi composting is basically a system that ferments organic matter. The result of this fermentation process is an end product different from worm compost. The first thing that really piqued my interest in Bokashi composting is that you can use all kinds of kitchen scraps, including dairy, meat and spicy food, which usually are a big no-no in worm composting since worms don’t digest that.

Things that can be added to the Bokashi compost arebokashi-composter

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Prepared foods
  • Cooked and uncooked meats and fish
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Coffee grinds
  • Tea bags
  • Wilted flowers and tissues

Another thing I really like about Bokashi is that it’s faster than traditional worm composting, as the process is completed in about five weeks rather than many months.

To get started, all you need are

▪ Kitchen scraps

▪ Bokashi mix (see below)

▪ Bokashi bucket system

Bokashi is very low maintenance. All you have to do is mix the kitchen scraps in the Bokashi bin with some inoculated bran, press all of it into the Bokashi bucket, cover with some more bran and then cover tightly with a lid. Now, the fermentation process does not start decomposition inside the bucket; instead, it reduces in volume, thanks to the drainage of the waste water content. This liquid, called Bokashi juice, is loaded with live microorganisms. You just simply pour it out onto you garden for a great fertilizer. The juice does have to be diluted before being added to the garden:

  • To fertilize an existing garden or pot, dilute 1 teaspoon of juice with 2-3 litres of water and apply directly to the soil.
  • To fertilize trees or shrubs, dilute 2 teaspoons with 2-3 liters of water.

Once the bucket is full and has fermented for about 10 days, begin the second stage of the process by burying the pickled waste inside the bucket in a hole in your garden and mix in some soil. Make sure it’s completely covered. Now all you have to do is forget about it while it decomposes: the soil has begun to be enriched on a microbial level. In about 2-4 weeks, you can harvest the finished product that can be used in your garden.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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