What is bokashie? This is a question I've been asked many times in the past. Simply put it is a method that changes the chemical structure of organic waste materials and 

converts them into a product that can quickly be composted and used as a great soil conditioner.  This recycling method originated in Japan and the word actually means "fermented organic matter!"

It is often referred to as a composting process which is actually not entirely correct.

But there are similarities between both recycling practices.

Both processes help us to prevent organic materials from rotting on landfill sites and return their nutrients back to the soil.

But while composting is an aerobic process that heats up the kitchen and garden scraps in large piles to up to 80 degrees C / 176 degrees F, bokashie ferments the organic waste anaerobically at much lower temperatures in specially designed buckets.

This way it is environmentally friendly and reduces the production of harmful greenhouse gases.

Advantages of fermenting kitchen scraps with bokashi bran

  • It requires very little space and is ideal for apartment dwellers, restaurants, hotels and schools
  • It is a very quick Process and the finished product is ready in less than 2 weeks
  • It is practically odorless
  • the buckets are easy to use and maintain
  • It can be used to compliment Worm bins and traditional composting
  • It recycles all your kitchen waste, even meat, dairy products and fish.
  • It produces a great liquid fertilizer that can as well be used to clean septic tanks and unblock clogged dreains.

So how does it actually work? That's the beauty it is really as easy as child's play.

You just need your...

 - fermenting bucket (20 liter / 5.2 gallons) with an inside drainage screen for the excess liquids and a tap, as well as 

-some bran that has been enhanced with EM's (effective microorganisms).

Both products are available at many Eco shops and worm composting bin suppliers.If you do some research you can even make them yourself to save some costs.

When you are ready to proceed...

  • Place a 5 to 7cm layer of  organic  waste in your bokashie bucket on top of the screen
  • Sprinkle 1 to 2 handfuls of “em bran” on top of the waste
  • Close lid tight to ensure best conditions for the anaerobic fermentation inside your bucket
  • Repeat step’s 1 to 3 until your “bucket” is full. Cover the last layer of organic waste with app. 4 handfuls of "bran”, compress the contents of the bucket, close the lid and let the content ferment in a warm place (at room temperature) for app. 14 days.
  • Drain the juice that collects at the bottom of your bucket regularly. Wash the juice down your toilet or sink to assist in cleaning the waterways or dilute it with 100 parts of water and use as soil conditioner for your garden or house plants 
  • When you open your bucket after 14 days, the contents will be fermented and should look and smell like sweet and sour pickles.  You might see as well a fine white fungus on the surface of your processed waste. This is a good sign and a clear indication that the process was successful.
  • Now empty the bucket into your garden or onto your compost heap
  • Wash the “bucket” after each use with clean water and start the process again.
  • If you have a second bucket, you can start filling it while the contents of your first bucket is fermenting. This way none of your kitchen scraps will have to go to waste. The fermented material if buried in the garden will  convert swiftly into rich organic soil conditioner and will not decompose anaerobically like garden and kitchen waste

 that gets dumped on landfill sites. The fully processed contents of your bucket can as well be added to a worm bin or a compost heap.

Note: Even dog poop can be recycled with this method without problems!


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