A bit more


Bokashi Bran is made with wheat bran, molasses, and EM.  Bokashi is also how people refer to this type of composting.

EM is the abbreviation of Effective Microorganisms, originated by Dr. Teruo Higa. It's a specially developed species of microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, photosynthetic bacteria and actinomycetes. All of these are mutually compatible and coexist in liquid culture. When applied to soil as an inoculant, these microorganisms function cooperatively to exert beneficial effects on soil quality, enhancing plant growth and protection.

Bokashi bucket composting: In bucket composting you ferment/pickle your food waste in a bucket before you add it to the compost bin. The fermentation process takes about 2 weeks in an airtight bucket, then you can add it to the bin. With bucket composting you can compost ALL food waste - meat, oils, dairy.

In Bokashi bucket composting, the food wastes supply nutrients that feed the microbes in the Bokashi. As the food wastes ferment, the microbes produce a variety of beneficial substances. Some of these substances include enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, trace minerals, some plant hormones, and organic acids. The pickling process controls pathogens and damages seeds in the container.

Worms, insects, and other beneficial microbes finish the process of digestion after the contents are added to the soil. The result over a couple of weeks is increased microbe populations and bio-available nutrients supplied to plants growing in the area.

There are 2 types of decomposition: putrefaction and fermentation. Putrid odor comes from the putrefaction process; not from the fermentation process. In the Bokashi compost process, fermentation is taking place. This is like making wine or sauerkraut. When yeast is added to grapes or cabbage, they ferment, decompose. Yeast, lactobacillus and other beneficial bacteria in Bokashi ferment the kitchen garbage;  therefore, Bokashi compost smells sour like pickles, instead.

I don’t suggest buckets with spigots. Spigots break, and the liquid is very stinky. When you start a new bucket, put 2” of an absorbent in the bottom. I’ve used natural wood sawdust and peat moss. I prefer peat moss, it seems to be more absorbent. The liquid created while fermenting does stink. If you don’t have enough absorbent your bucket will reek after the final 2 week ferment.

The fermentation process in a Bokashi bucket creates a very high acidic environment, which will kill both pathogens and weed seeds. In a traditional hot composting system, it's the heat which kills the weed seeds, but there is less heat in a Bokashi bucket. It's important to create an anaerobic environment in which the Bokashi can work as a fermenter in your bin.

If you are adding Bokashi to your existing compost heap and using it simply as a compost accelerant, and not creating an anaerobic system, then it would be best not to add weeds, meat, dairy or bones to your bin. Put them in the garbage.