Bokashi composting is an anaerobic process that uses an inoculated bran full of micro organisms to ferment and compost all kitchen waste, including meat and dairy, in as little as four weeks, into a safe soil improver and nutrient-rich tea for your plants.
Bokashi is easily made in the kitchen in a air-tight bin. It anaerobically ferments the waste using specialist bacteria. The Bokashi waste can be put straight away on the garden, without requiring further time to mature, so making this a far quicker process than traditional composting. As a result, virtually all the waste nutrients enter the soil food web, without adding to greenhouse gases. The pre-compost or waste naturally encourages earth or compost worm activity which combined with the organic material improves soil condition.
Place a small amount (a couple of spoonfuls) of bokashi bran into the bottom of the bucket.
Add your first layer of food scraps. Cutting them into smaller bits, say an inch or so long, will help speed things along and keep air pockets from forming. We use a food processor to quickly chop all our peelings, tea bags and egg shells but you can add almost all food waste including cheese, meat, fish, salad with bits of dressing, even small bones. You can add food with white mould but leave food with any green or black mould out.
Sprinkle a small amount, a tablespoon or so, onto the top of the layer. Press it down with a potato masher or something to eliminate air pockets. It's impossible to use too much bran in your system, but you can use too little. If you use too little your nose will let you know. Instead of the sour sauerkraut smell of healthy bokashi the bucket will quickly smell bad when you take the lid off.
Put a plate or some other barrier on top of the scraps to keep air out and put the lid back on the bucket. We cut a lid from a plastic paint bucket to size and added a zip tie handle.
Every other day or so drain off any excess liquid, known as Bokashi tea, that has accumulated. You can dilute it 100 to 1 and use the diluted liquid to water your plants or add to your aerating compost tea brew. Some people recommend putting it down the drains to get rid of bacteria that produces smells.
Repeat. Remove your inner lid, add scraps, sprinkle with bokashi, press, apply plate and seal until your bucket is full. Let the full bucket sit sealed and undisturbed for 1-2 weeks or more. Keep removing excess liquid as it sits, if you have a drainage system in your pail.
In traditional compost the material shrinks to half its size. Not so with bokashi composting. This is a positive benefit as it means more carbon is retained, no greenhouse gases are produced and nutrients for your soil and plants are preserved. In fact, just as pickled vegetables retain their size and shape, so will your food waste.
Once the bin has been left for a couple of weeks the compost is ready to use.