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Bokashi Composting Explained

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With bokashi you can turn your food scraps, including meat, fish and dairy, into rich compost. Add your kitchen waste and a handful of bokashi bran to the airtight container and allow the micro-organisms to work their magic. After two weeks the contents can be safely transferred to your compost bin or dug into the garden.

One of the best things about having a bokashi bin in the kitchen is how easy it is just to scrape in whatever’s left on your plate after a meal – bacon rind, broccoli stumps, that last defeating forkful of spag bol – it all goes in.

What is the Bokashi Kitchen Composting System?

Instead of composting only selected kitchen waste, the Bokashi Kitchen Composter System allows you to transform ALL your solid food waste – including cooked foods, meat, fish and cheese – into special nutrient-rich compost. It’s a great way to reduce your domestic waste and do your garden some good at the same time. The bucket is small and neat enough to slot into a corner in your kitchen and with an airtight lid, there are no smells and no flies.

Recycle all your food waste

After each meal, just pop your food scraps into the airtight 15L container along with a handful of bokashi bran. Bokashi is a Japanese word meaning ‘Fermented Organic Matter’. It is a pleasant smelling, bran-based material made with a culture of effective micro-organisms, which help to ferment your waste and act as a compost activator.

Bokashi Juice: A Miracle By-Product

The ‘pickling’ process is anaerobic, so each time you add waste to the bin, you should compress it down to get rid of any air, and replace the lid making sure it is sealed tight. As the organic matter breaks down it produces a light brown liquid called bokashi juice, which is alive with beneficial micro-organisms and can be drained off and diluted as a plant feed, or poured down drains to prevent algae build up and odours. The process does not produce smells or attract flies, so the container can be safely kept inside the home.

What are the benefits?

  • No smells because friendly, safe bacteria is used
  • No flies because the bokashi bucket has an air-tight seal
  • Small and compact, so slots neatly into any kitchen
  • Meat, fish and dairy products can all be safely composted
  • Fermented organic material will improve the soil structure in your garden and decontaminate the soil from harmful pathogens and pollutants
  • Plants will bloom when planted with bokashi compost
  • Bokashi juice, the liquid fertiliser by-product will give your house plants a boost
  • Be part of the low-impact living solution by recycling and redirecting food waste away from landfill

Why we like bokashi

Bokashi bin under sink

In our house, we try our best to eat fresh, locally produced food, and when you eat a lot of fresh produce, you end up with a lot of kitchen scraps.

Much of this waste you can’t recycle with a traditional compost heap for fear of attracting vermin. Plate scrapings, egg shells, the lump of brie forgotten about in the back of the fridge, all went to landfill.

In January 2008, a friend told us about bokashi, the bran based material used to ferment and compost organic kitchen waste. It sounded just the ticket, and we invested in 2 buckets, so while one is busy fermenting we can be busy filling the other. It has to be one of the most effective ways to recycle food scraps; it slots neatly under the sink, there are no bad smells, and we use the juice to give the plants a boost and keep the drains free from algae.

2 Years of Bokashi Composting – what have we learnt?

2 years on, the Bokashi composting system has simply become part of our kitchen routine – eat, scrape your plates into the bucket and and add a handful of Bokashi bran, it’s as easy as that. We’ve learnt to add a touch more bran if there are any odours and we’ve learnt not to add anything with too much moisture. So, we tend to throw tea bags and juicy fruit scraps straight on the compost heap and keep our Bokashi bins for plate scrapings and other kitchen scraps. We empty full buckets of waste into the compost bin at the back of the garden, or bury it where it’s needed.

But, mainly we’ve learnt that it’s very hard to mess up with Bokashi. There’s no need to get hung up on exact amounts of compost versus bran. Just add your day’s organic kitchen waste, grab a handful of Bokashi bran, bish bash bosh, perfect compost. And, of course, every 3 days or so, drain the bin of any Bokashi juice, add to an empty 2 litre bottle, top up with water and give your plants a nutritious feed.

With fortnightly roadside food-waste collections being introduced across the UK, you can benefit from Bokashi even if you don’t have a garden to dispose of the compost. Bokashi composting is a great way to keep the odours away and produce feed for your house plants, even if you intend to transfer the waste to the roadside bin every 2 weeks.

We’re always keen to hear your Bokashi success stories, or indeed disasters, so please drop us a line.

You may also be interested in…

Bokashi overview
Bokashi Instructions
Bokashi and your garden
Bokashi FAQs

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One Response to Bokashi Composting Explained

  1. Rubbish collection london July 9, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Bokashi looks like something that is going to be the answer to the future needs of generating compost and disposing of kitchen waste. Having a kitchen garden in the backyard has almost become a necessity for organic veggies. I believe Bokashi is the answer to recycling organic kitchen waste.

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