Bokashi Composting: Methods of Using Bokashi Compost

bokashi composting

Wendie and I as well as our kids are in full preparation mode for spring planting. Besides seedlings and drawing up our intricately detailed maps for garden, this year involves the girls having their own bokashi composting process.

Rather than divide our efforts with smaller bins that would simply feed into our larger composter out back, we decided they would experiment with direct composting as well, and to that end, keeping their own small bokashi compost systems.

Augmenting With Bokashi Compost

bokashi composting
Bokashi composting is similar to the traditional compost bin bio-digestor method with a just few critical variations. In this way, the decomposition of organic material is centered around a fermentation process, where feeder material is added to a closed container and allowed to stew about in anaerobic bliss.

With the addition of the bokashi inoculate EM-1 and a fermenting grain such as rice, oats, or bran, the system pickles food waste in half the time as an aerobic process and produces an easily harvested compost tea that can be used on houseplants as well. Any organic material can be used, including meats, as the closed fermentation deals with any obnoxious odor.

Single Bucket System Bokashi Composting

bokashi compostingOur 12-year-old opted to start her bokashi compost using the single bucket method. After a trip to our local hardware store she has a manageable 5-gallon food grade bucket with a tight fitting lid sitting by the back door.

After every meal, she empties any plate scraps, minus bones, into the bucket and adds a sprinkle of the bokashi mix. After the bucket is filled, we'll haul it out to the garden to spread the love.

Double Bucket for Tea

bokashi compostingOur 10-year-old decided to run a double-bucket bokashi composting bin in order to use the tea it will produce. To make one of these, we used two matching food-grade buckets, one slipped inside the other. For the top-nesting composter, I drilled a series of holes along the bottom edge to allow fluids to leak through to a lower collector bin.

This second bucket is fitted with a spigot found at our local home brew shop, and every once in a while she'll open the tap and collect the condensed tea to use on plants around the house. To apply, she adds 1 part tea to 10 parts water, and feeds normally. Already, the ficus looks like it's been injected with steroids.

Garden Application of Bokashi Compost

bokashi compostingThe bokashi compost material is added directly to the garden, much like sheet composting. The difference is the bokashi has begun breaking down in the fermentation process and will be completed within 2 weeks. Last week, I dug an 8" deep trench in a fallow portion of the garden to bury my pickled gold.

This depth introduces the nutrients deep where roots will search them out, as well as masking any odors than would otherwise attract animals looking for a good snack. Once it's time for planting, we will simply position our selected vegetables or flowers over the bokashi composting mix and watch it take off.

We love sharing our homesteading adventure with you all, and enjoy it immensely when you join the conversation. Are you expecting huge results in your homestead garden this year? Have you tried bokashi composting before? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to subscribe! 


Lisa Lombardo said…
Hi WT...this is an interesting process to read about. It's great that your daughters are experimenting with this composting method! I haven't tried Bokashi composting, but I'm intrigued. :)

Saw you post over on the Simple Homestead hop this week!
Jennifer said…
Found your link through Homestead Blog Hop 233, it's been a while since I did Bokashi. Will givit it a go this winter in Australia.
WT Abernathy said…
Hi Lisa! Bokashi is a fun and relatively simple process that provides a big punch for the garden- the tea is fantastic for houseplants, as well:)
Thank you for stopping by!
WT Abernathy said…
Hi Jennifer, thanks for stopping by! A good pal of mine runs an organic mail-order seed company out your way, and I've always wanted to visit during the winter-