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How to Make Your Own Bokashi Composting Kit

Currently, organic waste takes up about 20 to 40 percent of space in the average landfill. Landfill space is limited, and the organic waste is truly being wasted! Now there is a solution to convert the organic waste into a rich organic fertilizer: Bokashi. Bokashi is an anaerobic fermentation process that is commonly associated with composting. There are many benefits - for you and the environment - of integrating the bokashi system into your everyday food removal routine.

The Benefits of the Bokashi System

Bokashi uses a specific group of microorganisms that effectively break down all food waste, including meat and dairy. The fermentation occurs within a closed system so there is little to no risk of attracting insects or creating bad odors. It is also extremely fast; the compost is ready to be introduced into the soil in about 2 weeks. You can compost on a small or large scale to suit your exact needs, and the process is relatively simple and inexpensive.

The end result is a far superior product when compared to traditional composting. There are two notable differences between the bokashi method and traditional methods. Bokashi employs beneficial microbes, or living microscopic cellular organisms, whereas traditional composting often relies on heat and soil microbes. Bokashi breaks down all food scraps while traditional methods target plant-based food waste.

The result is a higher quality compost that offers more nutrients and beneficial microbes to your soil. The resulting compost can be used as slow-release fertilizer and is good for the environment.

Build your own Bokashi Compost Kit in 10 steps

While the bokashi system is still relatively unknown in North America, it is becoming more recognized and appreciated globally. You can buy a compost kit like the Bokashi Food Waste Recycling System, at specialized retailers. Or, if you prefer, you can follow these steps to create your own bokashi-based compost system:

  1. Purchase bokashi bran.
  2. Purchase buckets with lids from your local hardware store.
  3. Drill holes in the bottom of one bucket for the liquid to drain out.
  4. Place the first bucket inside the second bucket. The second bucket will collect the leachate, also known as bokashi tea.
  5. Sprinkle bokashi bran in the bottom of the first bucket.
  6. Add food scraps, breaking apart larger pieces and puncturing foods like grapes and tomatoes.
  7. Create about a two-inch layer of food waste before sprinkling more bokashi bran.
  8. Use a type of heavy plate to push down on the scraps, which eliminates air that will slow the decomposition process.
  9. Repeat this process until the bucket is completely full.
  10. Place the lid tightly on the bucket and leave in place for 2 weeks.

You can never add too much bokashi bran to your bucket, but you can add too little. If you do not add enough bran, you may start to notice unpleasant odors or see black fungus growing in the bucket. There should only be a light vinegar scent. If you notice smells or fungus, just add more bran. After two weeks, your compost should be ready to be buried in the garden!