Bokashi is Japanese for “shading off” or “gradation” and is derived from the Japanese farmer’s practice of covering food waste with rich, local soil that contained the microorganisms that led to the waste being fermented for a few weeks, and then buried in the garden.
Bokashi is a composting system that uses fungal and bacterial micro-organisms to cover food waste or wilted plants in a sealed double-container. The micro-organisms, sometimes called Bokashi ‘Zing’ are purchased separately or can be home-made.
Most practitioners obtain the microorganisms from a product called Effective Microorganisms (EM1) mixed with a carbon base such as sawdust and a food for microbes (typically molasses).
A sprinkling of this mixture is layered with kitchen wastes in a sealed container and after being allowed to ferment for a few weeks, is removed and buried. The process gives off juices that are periodically removed from the outer container and applied to the garden when watered down with ten parts water to one part juice.
Other household composting systems
Bin composting is a simple way to add nutrient and mineral-rich humus to the soils that fuel plant growth and the microbes that restore vitality to depleted soils. It’s also free, easy to make and good for the environment are the added benefits.
Worm farming isn’t a very complicated undertaking, but the worms do benefit from a little care and attention if you are to gain the greatest benefit from them.