Bokashi will allow you to compost any organic waste indoors using nothing more than a sealed bucket!
It is a process of fermentation that preserves all of the nutrients, minerals and trace elements contained in organic waste.
Once it is incorporated into your soil it quickly breaks down rapidly providing an excellent fertilizer for your organic vegetables.
Two weeks in a bucket and the bokashi is done
Unlike traditional composting that uses aerobic bacteria to breakdown organic matter, this method uses anaerobic bacteria.
There is no heat, methane or carbon dioxide produced during fermentation.This makes it much higher in carbon than traditional composting methods.
You do not need to turn it or add water and you never have to be concerned with carbon to nitrogen ratios!
Simply add your kitchen scraps, press them down firmly and sprinkle a covering of Bokashi Bran over the top and put the cover back on.
It does not get any easier than that!
As long as you are careful to keep your bucket’s contents as compacted as possible and covered in an airtight container at all times, you can compost every bit of organic waste that your household generates.
I mean every bit of it, from orange peels, small bones, cheese, fish scraps, hair and even nail clippings.
Starting your own Bokashi bucket will naturally process all of your households organic waste into a form that is easily broken down in your soil. It is the ultimate in recycling!
The secret behind Bokashi Bran is that it is inoculated with billions of friendly anaerobic bacteria in each square centimeter.
These are the same types of bacteria that are used in making pickles, bread, cheese, wine and even your favorite yogurt. They are totally safe!
Inside your bucket this bacteria ferments your organic waste instead of composting . Bokashi Bran is made by inoculating wheat or rice bran with EM-1 (the EM stands for “Effective Microorganisms”)
This is a proprietary formulation of several strains of yeast, photosythetic bacteria and lactic acid bacteria. EM-1 is pathogen free and does not contain any form of GMO's.
Once it is introduced into your soil these microorganisms go to work helping your plants grow healthy while assisting in overpowering disease pathogens.
"Effective Microorganisms" is a term that was coined by Dr. Tuero Higa, who first discovered and pioneered the field of combining several species of bacteria and yeast in a single liquid culture.
That all happened while he was a professor at the College of Agriculture in Okinawa, Japan back in the late 1960’s. There are no other formulations that contain Dr. Higa's discovery. (EM-1 is patent protected)
While relatively unknown here in the United States, Effective Microorganisms have been in use for a half of a century on nearly every continent and over a 150 countries around the globe!
When it came time to buy some to try for myself I went to Teraganix they are the only laboratory licensed to produce and distribute EM-1 in the United States and they have been doing so since 1992. And who better to get it from the the folks who invented it?
Your waste is not going to decompose, it will retain relatively the same bulk as it had when it went into the bucket.
It will not turn black or rot. Nothing is broken down and therefore nothing gets wasted. The entire contents will become inoculated with Effective Microorganisms.
Then it is ready to bury it in your garden where it then will break down very rapidly. When your bucket is full, press it down to remove excess air and then apply another slight layer of bran. Then set it aside for two weeks. That's all here is to it!
When you remove the cover, you will probably notice white fungus growing on the top, this is a good sign! It is a visual indicator that it is fermented properly.
After two weeks you will see white fungus growing.
I do not fill my buckets all the way to the top because it is just too heavy to lift them. I dig a hole in one of my raised beds, empty a bucket, then cover it back up with about four inches of soil.
I have observed that after about two weeks, other than a bit of orange peel or a large piece that wasn't cut up, there is little that I can see that hasn't been decomposed. It is usually teaming with worms!
Finished Bokashi is also excellent for container gardening. Add a few inches into the bottom of a container and then cover the remaining space with soil and plant as usual. It will feed your plants all season long without the need for fertilizer.
Depending on how much you plan on using you can either purchase pre-made Bokashi Bran or you can save some money buy making your own! It is a very simple process and is actually quite an enjoyable project to involve the kids with as it is Non-Toxic!
Bokashi Bran Recipe: (Large Batch)
A small bottle of EM-1 from Teraganix (under $16)
A 50 pound bag of either rice bran or wheat bran. You can find it at most any cattle feed store. I use the wheat bran because it is about half the cost of rice bran ( under $15 including tax)
3 gallons of distilled water (under $1 each)
1 bottle of molasses (under $5 at most grocery stores)
Place a tarp (8’x10’) on a flat surface such as your drive way or garage floor. In a large 5 gallon bucket, empty the 3 gallons of distilled water. (Use distilled as the chlorine in drinking water may very well kill off all the microorganisms before you even get started and you don‘t want any other contaminants like fluoride either) mix 1/3 cup of your EM-1 (Effective Microorganisms) and 1/3 cup of molasses. You can stir it up sufficiently in about 20 seconds with your clean washed hands. Slowly pour the mixture over the wheat bran that you have spread out fairly evenly on the tarp. Now the fun part! Simply mix it up well using nothing but your hands. When it is all mixed you should be able to take a handful and squeeze it without anything dripping down your arm, if not mix it up little more. You are done when it is moist enough to hold its shape after you squeeze it yet somewhat crumbly.
Now that it is all mixed up start loading it into black plastic garbage bags being careful not to fill them in to heavy to lift safely or tear. For added security, I double up the bags. Important, squeeze ALL the air out of the bag before you twist it up and tie it off! Remember we are growing anaerobic bacteria in there, excess air will only slow the process. Once you have it all bagged up, put it in an undisturbed location and allow the microorganisms to inoculate all the wheat bran. I ended up with about 6 good sized bags.
Bokashi bran drying in the sun
After two weeks, lay out your tarp again and empty all your bags. Spread it out evenly and allow it to dry out in the full sun. Stir occasionally, three or four times over the course of the day.
Once it has dried sufficiently, put it back in a coupe large lawn & leaf bag and store it. I use a 35 gallon plastic barrel. The barrel has a removable top and a locking band that holds it in place. Remember to squeeze out all the air before you seal up your bag before you tie it off.
You now have enough Bokashi to keep a couple buckets going at all times throughout the year. You can also add Bokashi bran in with potting soil or directly into your garden to help replenish microbes in the soil.
Bokashi Bran Recipe: Small Batch
2 ½ pounds of bulk wheat or rice bran from you favorite organic store
1 ½ teas spoons of EM-1
3 tablespoons of molasses.
3 cups of distilled water
Mix all ingredients together as detailed above. Store it in a couple large zip-lock baggie and then roll it up and put it in another bag.
Place in a warm, dark location for
at least two weeks. Then empty the bag and spread it out to dry well before re-storing. Small batches are perfect for those with
limited space or simply want to test a small batch before attempting a larger
When you visit the Teraganix website you will be amazed at the many applications that Effective Microorganisms are being used. From aquaponics to cleaning up oil spills. What started off as an 'accident' has become one of the greatest advancements in organic gardening and sustainable agriculture in the last century.