Exploring the Basics of Composting with Bokashi

Every aspiring and seasoned gardener will already know that composting is an amazing practice for their garden, their local ecosystem, and the planet in general.

However, few people know that there are so many ways to create your own compost easily, and you can do it at home too, much like your favorite NZ betting!

Check out our guide below for more information on getting started with the famous bokashi compositing method.


More About Composting

As its most basic level, composting is simply a process through which organic materials decompose in a controlled way, producing a substance that can be used to return nutrients back to the soil. Traditional compost calls for a mix of ‘green’ materials (like leaves and lawn clippings that are nitrogen rich), ‘brown’ materials (like twigs and dead plant matter which are rich in carbon), as well as water and good old-fashioned air.

However, as simple as this recipe might be, there are many different ways to practice composting yourself. On-site composting allows you to decompose all organic refuse and scraps on a single site, while vermicomposting harnesses the power of red worms to break down plant matter faster.

There is also windrow composting, which involves massive volumes of materials that are broken down using long rows of regularly aerated organic material.

Essentials of the Bokashi Method

Bokashi is another highly popular composting method that is actually remarkably different from its peers. It does take a few special items of equipment and some carefully chosen materials, but this method can produce nutritious compost within 10 days or less if done correctly! The nutrient value of the compost produced through bokashi is also the highest of any method around, making it well worth your while to invest in the few items needed to achieve it.

The word ‘bokashi’ means ‘fermented organic matter’ in Japanese, and the method was developed in the 1980s by the University of Ryukyus’ Dr Teuro Huga. To practice bokashi, you would layer kitchen scraps like fruits, vegetables, and even dairy and meat scraps with a special bokashi innoculant in a specialized bucket.

Typically, the innoculant contains a mixture of wheat germ, wheat bran or sawdust mixed with molasses and effective microbes. The bran and molasses serve to feed these microbes, which are exactly the same as the ones you would find in soil. Complete kits can be found at local garden and health stores and natural living shops.

Making Good Compost in Just 10 Days

Your bokashi bucket will come fitted with an airtight lid and a spigot towards the bottom to drain off any liquid that collects therein. The liquid needs to be drained off regularly to prevent any unpleasant odours from forming – but the good news is that it makes an excellent ‘bokashi tea’ that can be used as a houseplant fertilizer.

All you need to do to get started is layer your bucket with biomatter, add some bokashi bran, and leave it to sit somewhere away from direct sunlight. The mixture inside will quickly start to ferment, and in just 10 days, your compost can be dug straight into your garden or added to a larger compost pile to continue to decompose.

In essence, this process is one of basic fermentation, but it achieves results that are just as good for the environment and for your plants!