How to Make Bokashi: Bokashi Composting

Posted by Eric Lancaster on

Bokashi composting has numerous positive impacts over conventional or traditional composting. Rather than using heat oxidation, the anaerobic fermentation process that Bokashi composting utilizes requires no oxygen and takes less time to break down food matter! In addition to that, Bokashi composting has the ability to break down many types of animal based food in addition to plant based food which can be broken down by conventional composting. Finally (and to those limited on space, most importantly), Bokashi composting can be done entirely indoors! With its many great benefits for gardeners and composters alike, there still remains some questions: how is Bokashi made? Fortunately, the experts at Teraganix are here to help.

How Bokashi is Made: Ingredients:

First, you'll want to collect the wheat bran or rice bran for the Bokashi mix. This can be purchased at a multitude of different gran or feed stores and co-ops. You can often get any bag of 10 pounds or larger to make Bokashi. Next, you'll want to obtain your molasses for your Bokashi mix: you can find this in most grocers mixed in with the baking materials. We recommend obtaining a quart of molasses for making Bokashi. You'll specifically want to obtain blackstrap, feed or cane molasses for Bokashi creation.

Other Bokashi Making Materials:

Before you start making Bokashi, you'll want to obtain a few more materials. Make sure to have the aforementioned ingredients, of course. Next, you'll want to have a large black plastic garbage bag, similar to a larger kitchen garbage bag in size or a contractor size garbage bag. You can also use containers that do not leak air like a storage bin. In addition to that, you'll want something to mix your Bokashi in. This can be a large bucket or a piece of outdoor equipment for larger batches!

Making Bokashi: Bokashi Mix Steps

First, mix in a full gallon of water with the molasses and dissolve the molasses. At this point, you can mix in the EM•1 ®.

Next, take your molasses, water and EM•1 ® mixture and mix it into the bran. Make sure to combine your ingredients well!

In this step, you'll test the consistency of your bran. Attempt to mold some of the bran into a ball - if it holds shape and leaks no moisture, you've got the consistency right! This is when you'll want to put the bran into the black garbage bag or airtight container. If the bran cannot be molded, make sure to add more water and mix accordingly.

This step is conditional: if you're using a black garbage bag, make sure to tie the bag tightly and squeeze out any air left in the bag. If you choose to use the container, make sure that the Bokashi mixture is pressed down firmly and cover the container tightly to guarantee that no air escapes.

After that, place your combined Bokashi mixture somewhere warm and conveniently located. You'll want to find a location that's good to leave your mixture for a minimum of two weeks - going longer than two weeks is no problem!

After two weeks, check your new Bokashi mixture. Open the mixture and observe: if you see some white mold in or on the Bokashi, that's a positive thing! If you notice a black or green mold, something went wrong. Black or green mold is indicative of too much moisture or a container which allowed air to enter, unfortunately.

If your result includes the white mold, you've successfully made Bokashi! You can use the Bokashi mix which you've created for up to two weeks without drying. If you're looking to store the Bokashi mix you've made long term, make sure to dry it appropriately.

Remember: Keep the new Bokashi mix airtight during storage, whether it's dry or wet!

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