Happy Monday! This coming Sunday is Earth Day so this week will feature earth friendly posts. Today I'm sharing my latest eco venture—Bokashi composting.
why bokashi composting?
No smell. Does not attract insects. Low maintenance. Quick and convenient. Small scale. Bokashi creates a liquid that is steroids for house & yard plants (called bokashi tea). You can ferment ANYTHING, including meat and dairy, dead leaves, paper, etc. Did I mention no smell???
Bokashi mix is also great for eliminating the stink in kitty litter boxes AND you could make an outdoor bin for dog doo doo if you'd like a better way to discard dog waste (do not use this as compost for edible plants).
what is bokashi?
Originating in Japan, bokashi is perfect for urban dwellers with little space because it can be kept indoors. The bokashi mix contains effective microorganisms (EM) that ferment the food, as opposed to letting food decompose. If you are interested in learning more about the biology in layman terms, this is a good read. I purchased my bokashi mixture from this local store for $12. It is also available online or you can make your own bokashi if you are really hard core.
step by step of using bokashi
Here is what composting looks like for me. Once the bucket is made (directions below), you throw in a few handfuls of bokashi and then start a layer of food.
Every time food is added another handful of bokashi is thrown on top, then I use plastic bag to keep it airtight before adding the bucket lid.
I only add scraps every 2-3 days, so in the mean time I collect food in a plastic container that is stored in the freezer.
Once the entire bucket is full (which has only taken me about one month!) it is sealed for two weeks. Note: Because there is this two week gap, we are probably going to make a second bucket. After this point the pickled food will need work (or maybe you can hand off to a gardner you know). Bokashi bucket contents need to be buried underground for 2-4 weeks in order to become actual compost. Once I complete this step I'll update the post about my experience.
diy bokashi bucket
TOOLS // Electric drill.
SUPPLIES // Two 5-gallon buckets (or large tupperware or kitty litter buckets), screen cut to fit bucket, bucket lid, and bokashi mix.
Optional: Spigot, O-rings, and a connecting side.
Take one bucket and drill holes in the bottom for drainage.
The spigot goes on the bucket without holes and was slightly complicated. And I'm not sure it's necessary. Once we drilled a hole for the spigot and screwed it into the connecting side, we still had to use calking to seal it for leaks. Do over, I'd skip this. We have yet to accumulate enough "bokashi tea" to use the spigot. Instead, you could lift up the inside bucket every 3-4 days and dump out the tea that has accumulated.
Once finished you have: outside bucket with or w/o spigot, inside holy bucket containing the screen, and then a lid. Rough cost estimate: Buckets $3 ea, used screen free, lid $3, spigot + rings + connector $7, bokashi mix $12, totaling $28. You can also purchase pre-made bucket sets for around $60.
bokashi wrap up
All this may sound really complicated but I promise it is not bad at all. This post is long because I wanted to give a general overview of this composting method. So far I really like using bokashi and it's been really convenient. Feel free to ask any questions about getting started, I am no professional but feel somewhat knowledgeable!
Happy heart the earth week!