Congratulations on your decision to make the Hudson Valley greener and to potentially improve the health of your crops, lawn and/or houseplants (not to mention your septic tank). By practicing bokashi, you’ll quickly notice a decrease in household trash, which also significantly reduces arguments on whose turn it is to take the trash out.
In addition to the reduction in trash and potential lawn improvement, you’re doing much to reduce your carbon footprint. Bottom line, bokashi makes sense on so many levels.
To get the most of your bokashi experience, it’s best to understand the basics. Below are instructions on how to properly fill your bokashi bin.
Filling the Bokashi Bin
- Sprinkle a layer of bokashi mix on the strainer or bottom if your bucket doesn’t have a strainer. A handful is sufficient.
- Place a two to three-inch layer of organic scraps. Organic scraps may include food or garden scraps. Unlike compost piles, you may include meat, bones and fat in your bokashi scraps. Garden scraps can include weeds, leaves and grass clippings.
- Sprinkle bokashi mix over the scraps and use a potato masher or other utensil to push the scraps down to remove the air.
- Place a vacuum plate over the food and push it down (since our bokashi bucket is just about the circumference of a dinner plate, we place a dinner plate atop of the bokashi scraps). Apply gentle pressure on the plate to remove excess air from the organic scraps.
- Affix the airtight lid on the bokashi bucket.
- Every day or so, depending on the type of scraps in your bucket, drain off the bokashi tea from the spigot. If you use lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, you might have to drain the tea daily. If you don’t get much tea, try draining it every other day. Each bucket has its own personality.
- Repeat the process until the bokashi bucket is full.
- Create an interim food scrap holding container. The holding container serves to accumulate scraps until they are ready to be placed into the bokashi bucket. Since adding scraps to a bokashi bin is more involved than throwing trash into a trashcan, aim to add your scraps to the bokashi bin only once or twice a day.
- Store your bokashi bucket in a convenient place. Under the sink is a perfect place to store it until its full.
- Infrequent tea drainage might cause your bokashi to stink. Establish a regular schedule for draining bokashi tea.
- Avoid adding liquids such as spaghetti sauce or soup to the bokashi bucket.