urban composting using the bokashi technique

Bokashi is a very old composting technique that uses the principles of fermentation to start the breakdown of organic materials and speed up the composting process. As the fermentation uses living microbes, Bokashi is a great option for people wanting to create living, healthy and rich soil for their garden. 

What is important to note about Bokashi is that it is not compost. Bokashi is a process of readiness whereby you prepare the food waste to be composted and that breakdown process is significantly fast tracked. For example, you would add Bokashi to an existing cold compost pile, a soil or earth factory or directly into a planting or vegetable bed where it will turn into finished compost. 

Urban composting – how bokashi makes composting for attainable

Bokashi as a comprehensive composting technique requires very little space. You do not need big compost piles that require balanced addition of materials, watering, heat management and so much more. All you need to make bokashi workl is a 20L bucket with a tap and some Bokashi Bran. The video above explains the process of adding layers of food waste, topped with the brand and then repeating the process until the bucket is full. Once the bucket is full it needs to be left to ferment for a total of 2 weeks. Once your Bokashi bucket has had the time to properly ferment it is time to drain off the bokashi tea, also referred to as compost tea. This is incredibly concentrated fertiliser that plants in the garden absolutely love. Bokashi tea should be mixed at a ratio of 1 part bokashi tea concentrate to 10 parts water. 

Once you have drained off the tea it is time to decide what you want to do with the fermented food waste. There are a few options to choose from, depending on time, raw materials and space. These range from dedicted compost piles in the garden, like the DIY pallet compost bin that I made, through to digging the fermented contents directly into the vegetable or planting bed. If you choose this method, then make sure you add the Bokashi at least 30cm under the soil as to not burn or damage any new plant roots. Then, another highly efficient composting method in small space is using a soil or earth factory to create compost. With this method you never need more than a 30cm X 30cm surface area and because the contents is always enclosed there are never any smells or risks of rodents. 

 

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