Bokashi composting is a process that ferments organic waste, including meat and dairy in an air-tight compost bin.
Whether you’re new to gardening or it's been a hobby of yours for a while: you’re probably aware of how beneficial composting is for your garden. Composting is a great practice that helps reduce waste, improve soil health, and provides you with natural fertilizer for your plants every season.
Traditional composting is the method of breaking down organic scraps you find in your yard or kitchen. You can recycle food scraps over time and allow them to decompose in an outdoor pile or container. This process is lengthy and requires some patients on your end. However, there is another solution. Bokashi composting turns all of your kitchen scraps into usable material for your soil in a fraction of the time. It also results in higher yields and more productive plants.
Let’s take a closer look at this unique composting method:
What is Bokashi Composting?
Bokashi is a Japanese word that means fermented organic matter. It was developed in the early 1980s by Dr. Teruo Higa, a professional at the University of Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.
The Bokashi composting method involves recycling food scraps and mixing them with EM® Bokashi bran in an airtight composting bucket. EM® Bokashi bran is a mixture of effective microorganisms, water, sugar, and wheat bran.
This process is unique and different from traditional composting methods because it is anaerobic not aerobic. The anaerobic process along with EM® Bokashi Bran prevents rotting from happening during composting. The bacteria found in the bran also produce lactic acid during the process, which lowers the pH and inhibits the growth of some pathogenic microorganisms.
How does Bokashi composting work?
EM® Bokashi bran accelerates the fermentation process and helps to make a natural fertilizer called Bokashi liquid.
Traditional composting requires oxygen, which is an aerobic process that aids the decomposition process. However, for Bokashi composting to be effective, you'll need an air-tight bucket or container. Bokashi composting requires an anaerobic process instead of an aerobic process. This means the composting requires you to isolate the oxygen from your composting material for fermentation to occur.
You'll also want to make sure you have a drain at the bottom of your compost bucket so you can drain the liquid created by fermentation. The liquid created is a superfood for your plants and can act as a fertilizer tea that you can dilute at a 1:20 ratio with water and use to feed your plants.
7 Benefits of Bokashi Composting
No unpleasant odor
When done correctly, Bokashi composting is an odor-free composting technique. Instead of rotting, the microorganisms in the EM® Bokashi bran ferment the organic waste and prevent unpleasant odors.
Less food waste
Dairy, meat, eggshells, bones, and other animal products aren't recommended with traditional forms of composting. This is because dairy and meat products are high in fat and protein, making them harder to decompose. However, you can use these animal products in the Bokashi Composting bin. This means this composting method allows you to compost more food in your kitchen, which leads to less food waste.
Higher nutritious plant food
The bran and Effective Microorganisms work together to promote the growth of quality plants in a thriving environment. By adding EM® Bokashi to your garden or compost, your soil will receive plant-friendly microbes that help create a beneficial soil ecosystem. The microbes also break down organic material easier and turn it into nutrients for your plants.
Composting and decomposition of bio-waste with traditional methods takes around three to six months. However, the Bokashi composting method speeds up the process. After two weeks you can bury the fermented waste straight into the garden soil and within two to three months it will have completely decomposed.
With traditional composting, the decomposition of bio-waste creates ammonia and carbon dioxide, which can be toxic in large quantities to both nature and humans. The Bokashi composting method prevents the formation of ammonia and instead produces amino acids that the plants quickly absorb.
It also creates significantly less CO2, which means it can retain more nutrients and provide higher-quality organic compost for your garden, lawn, or plants. The compost also contains polysaccharides, a starch that helps regulate many physiological processes, including cell growth rate, flowering, and rooting.
Improve water retention
Water retention begins with healthy living soil. When your soil is healthy and thriving, providing your plants with all of the nutrients they need, it will also be able to retain water better. This means it will cut down on water costs for your garden.
Eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers
Chemical fertilizer depletes the soil of microorganisms overtime. Over time, these fertilizers can do more harm than good to your garden. Once the chemical fertilizers wash out of your soil, there won’t be any beneficial matter left.
However, EM-1 and EM® Bokashi helps to build a thriving ecosystem for your plants and provide long-term benefits to the soil. When you have a nutrient-rich soil food web, you can rest assured knowing your plants will have a sustainable environment every season.
How TeraGanix EM Bokashi can help:
Our premium quality, organic rice bran, EM® Bokashi is enriched with all of the effective microorganisms your garden needs to flourish. You can easily add a handful to your soil or use it to help kickstart healthy organic matter breakdown in your kitchen compost bin.
To get started with the Bokashi Composting method, you will need an airtight compost bin like our Bokashi Organko Compost Bucket. Sprinkle in a layer of EM® Bokashi and then add more over every layer of fresh food waste you add into the bin. Doing this regularly will help speed up the fermentation process. After about two weeks, the organic material will be ready to add to the garden soil. The nutrient value of the compost created using the Bokashi method is among the highest of any other composting method.
As a home gardener, your plant’s health is your top priority. Throughout the different seasons, it’s your responsibility to care for and nurture your plants, from seedlings to long-lived plants. Moving away from chemical fertilizers and traditional composting methods and switching to Bokashi composting can provide long-lasting benefits to your home garden. You'll be able to harvest nutritious fruits and vegetables and develop a nutrient-rich soil ecosystem you can benefit from for years to come.