I think we all have good reason to be put off by composting. Its difficult enough to get it together to compost and when you do its often hedged with caveats, “no bones, no cooked food, no dairy”. Well that’s me out, I think, my kitchen littered with bones and milk cartons (figuratively, ahem). Recently however, I stumbled across Bokashi bucket composting which can take pretty much any food waste and rapidly break it down into stuff that’s good for your soil. Bokashi is Japanese for “fermented organic matter” and the ‘science bit’ of Bokashi is the “effective microbes” or EM.(1)
You have a bucket and you simply load your food waste in sprinkle it with a bran ‘starter’ containing micro organisms and close the tight-fitting lid. When full, you leave it to break down for another two to four weeks, depending on the size of your bucket, and lo’ and behold you have yourself a great soil food which can be dug into soil or layered at the bottom of pots and containers, then left for two weeks to stabilize in the soil before growing in. You can even use the waste or excess liquid you have strained off to make a “tea” that can be sprayed on or used as a liquid feed. Bokashi compost and tea help feed the beneficial bacteria in the soil which make other nutrients in the soil more available to your plants and the chunky organic matter that is left over from the process will break down over time, providing a slow-release source of nutrients.(2)
Given that Bokashi buckets can be used to compost pretty much anything, (even pet poo!) they seem like a handy thing to have about the place. Recently farm-scale experiments have concluded that it can help the problems with groundwater pollution associated with other forms of compost making as the entire process takes place inside sealed containers.(3) The smell normally associated with
I’m going to bash a Bokashi together in the next day or two, just going to fetch the bran from Inkersley Road now. I’m hoping this will give me a good way to manage the waste food that normally goes in the landfill and maybe even get some nice compost out of it too.