What I love about learning new things is that there are always new things to learn. Just a couple of days ago I came across the practice of Bokashi. From what I’ve read (and can’t wait to get started), Bokashi is a wonderful compliment to composting.
Since I’m about to start my own container garden, I’m pondering soil, compost and fertilizer. I tried composting many years ago with not so wonderful results . Composting takes a family integration period. The integration process didn’t go too well.
Not Giving Up
The two biggest issues with composting was
- Collecting the ever growing pile of kitchen scraps which had to be emptied often before the smell became overwhelming.
- The location of the compost bin and all of the crawling critters.
When I came across Bokashi, it sounded like the resolution to my two biggest problems.
Bokashi and Composting
In my opinion, bokashi is a precursor to composting. It is a natural technology, which in essence, ferments organic waste. Bokashi was first created and used in Japan.
What I like about bokashi is that it makes the collection of kitchen waste an odor-free breeze. You collect the daily organic scraps (including meat and bones) in a container then layer the scraps in the container and push it down to get rid of as much air as possible. Next sprinkle a handful or two of bokashi composting starter over the layer and close the container. You continue this process until the container is full.
The bokashi composting starter mix begins the fermenting process. So in approximately 2 weeks (from what I’ve read), your table scraps are composted enough for you to either toss them into a real compost pile, or bury them in the ground. After two weeks of being buried in the ground, it is fully composted and ready to use.
Fertilizing with Bokashi “Tea”
During the container fermenting process, the organic matter releases a liquid that his referred to as “tea.” This tea, mixed with water makes a wonderful organic fertilizer. The tea straight up is great for pouring down the drain and helping septic tanks to breakdown the sludge that usually accumulates at the bottom of the tank. The hungry micro organisms help to keep septic tanks running smoothly.
Still Learning about Bokashi
I’m still in the process of learning about this fascinating process. You can buy Bokashi starter kits for about $50 or you can make your own container and bokashi mix (BTW, the Compost Guy is a great composting resource).
I’ve decided to create my own container using a 5-gallon bucket and lid from Home Depot (which
should cost about $5 or so cost less than $8 for two buckets and two lids). I’ll buy a plastic spigot and insert it near the bottom of the container to drain off my “tea.”
My first go-round I’ll purchase the Bokashi starter mix, but will quickly find a workable recipe for making my own. Apparently its much more economical to make your own mix.
Enough for now. It’s time for me to get to Home Depot to buy two 5-gallon containers and lids. From what I’ve read, you want to have two containers. Once you fill a container, you want it to sit for a few days before burying it or tossing it into the compost. The longer it ferments, the better.
(Check out my first homemade Bokashi container)