If you’re looking into managing your household waste more sustainably and more environmentally friendly, Gio has you covered. Watch his guide on how to do Bokashi composting.
Here, he answers questions like “what is bokashi composting?”, how do you get started and “is it supposed to smell like that?”
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What can you put in the bucket?
A: Anything compostable including paper, tissue, meat, bones, seafood, citrus. A few things however will be very difficult for this biological system to process: excess oil; compostable bags made of cassava or sugarcane typically need high heat to degrade which the bucket will never achieve; glossy magazine pages with oil-based finish. Moldy food may challenge the good bacteria in your bucket. You may opt to add more bran to conquer it but if it loses, you will have to dump everything, disinfect and start anew.
Q: How much organic matter should you put in the bucket before sprinking bran? How much bran should you sprinkle?
A: The recipe is generally 1-2 inches of matter for a handful of bran. Like every recipe, it needs to be tweaked based on observation and practice. The moisture content of your materials, the temperature and humidity conditions of your environment would affect how effectively the microorganisms can colonize the materials. Generally it is better to err on the side of too much than too little but there is the consideration of the cost. The typical usage is 1kilo of bran to 15kg of compost/ 1 bucket.
Q: Is it supposed to smell this way?
A: if you are familiar with fermentation such as kombucha, kefir or kimchi, you are likely to know what a healthy fermentation smell is and it may not bother you. Generally a good smell is described as sweet-sour. For those not accustomed to fermentation, it may take some getting used to. It is not supposed to smell rancid or putrid.
Q: What if I don’t have a garden to bury the compost that has been fermenting for 2 weeks?
A: People have finished the compost in different ways without land. One way would be to put in a secondary container with holes for airflow and drainage and cover with soil. This mimics what a garden would be like for other microorganisms, and soil organisms to do their work. Do not be surprised to see little bugs and worms do their thing. If you are lucky, the birds will come flying in too to share in the buffet. The soil you use to cover the compost is meant to offer a healthy diversity of organisms and to keep rodents from picking through it. After two months, practically everything will have decomposed into a dark, rich humus that will feed your plants.
Another way would be to feed the compost to vermi or worms such as african nightcrawlers. These shy creatures will digest the microbes in your decomposing matter happily and produce a prized soil building product: vermicast. Vermi eat as much as their body weight daily and reproduce quickly too so this hastens the soil-building process. However, it is also a natural system that needs to be in balance to operate healthily. This includes adequate moisture, drainage so they don’t drown, the shade and aerobic conditions.
Do you need your own bokashi composting kit at home? You can get one from our website.