This article will introduce the bokashi. Bokashi food waste recycling system is a (beneficial) anaerobic fermentation process without oxygen. Microorganisms present on the bokashi sprinkle multiply when they come into contact with organic waste, and only this ferments into organic nutrients for the soil and liquid fertilizer – fermentation liquid. Bokashi is a Japanese term for fermented organic matter.
Is Bokashi Composting or Fermentation?
Bokashi is technically a fermentation. But since this context is used to convert organic waste into compost or nutrients for plants, it also uses the term bokashi composting for easier understanding.
How Does Bokashi Food Waste Recycling System Work?
First, about the advantages of the bokashi food waste recycling system. We can ferment all kitchen waste, including meat, dairy products, and orange peels, in a unique, airtight container that we have in the kitchen, which is very convenient. The container should only have a drainage bottom so that water does not accumulate at the bottom, which would cause rotting.
Brown sprinkles enriched with effective microorganisms – bokashi sprinkles – are regularly added to kitchen waste. We load the container in layers – organic waste, litter, organic waste, litter… for the best possible contact between waste and litter until the container is full. We always prefer to add a little more sprinkles than not enough. It’s a golden rule not to skimp on sprinkles. After each filling, the kitchen waste is squeezed well to expel the air. During the actual use and filling of the container, the fermentation liquid is already used and collected in the lower part of the container.
Seal the full container and store it for about 14 days at room temperature, for example, in a garage, boiler room, etc. During this time, the beneficial microorganisms in the container are still fully active. The fermentation liquid is still accumulating at the bottom of the container, so we cast it regularly and use it regularly. All this time, the organic material ferments, and we get, as we like to say, a pre-prepared organic nutrient, which is not yet compost!
What Happens in a Closed Container?
Bokashi litter is dry organic matter “infested” with beneficial microorganisms that thrive in anaerobic, low-pH environments. When the sprinkle with microorganisms comes into contact with organic waste, the microorganisms multiply and change the organic matter (from more complex to simpler forms).
Proper fermentation of kitchen waste does not bring stench. But if only this appears, it is a clear sign that something is wrong, that the process has fallen into anaerobic decay. Often the cause of this presence is too wet content, which causes the kitchen waste to rot rather than ferment. Or not enough bokashi sprinkles were added.
What Do We Do With the Fermented Content?
It can be composted to the end in a compost heap, added to the garden as a bottom layer of mulch, or dug into the ground. Since we don’t dig up the soil, we prefer to compost the contents to the end or add them as mulch.
In this way, beneficial microorganisms are added to the compost pile. We must not forget that we have mainly anaerobic microorganisms, so we open the compost pile, prepare a pit and sprinkle the processed contents into a small amount inside the compost pile or at least cover the top with straw. Beneficial microorganisms will multiply throughout the composter and additionally help process all the organic matter. Kitchen waste is thus composted quickly and speeds up the composting of other garden waste (grass clippings, larger waste from the garden, straw, leaves…).
Summary of Bokashi Food Waste Recycling System
Bokashi is one of the most convenient composting systems, as we do it right under the kitchen counter. That being said, the bokashi microorganisms that are added to initiate fermentation are more important than the container.
Composting or, more correctly, fermenting waste in this way is a wonderful start to working with microorganisms. Microscopically small gardener’s assistants are present in all aspects of working with the garden and, more broadly, with Nature. A deeper understanding of their operation definitely brings great success.