What is Bokashi, where does it come from & how does Bokashi Composting work?

What is Bokashi, where does it come from & how does Bokashi Composting work?

What is Bokashi, where does it come from & how does Bokashi Composting work? 

This is a 3 part question with a 3 part answer, so let's start at the end and work back...

How does Bokashi composting work?
Put simply Bokashi composting is the process of taking food waste and fermenting it by putting it in an airtight bin with some activated Bokashi bran which is filled with microbes that induce a fermentation/pickling process to break down your foodstuffs to a compost like organic matter. The main difference between this type of composting and organic/traditional composting is that in normal composting you can only use uncooked organic waste like veggies/fruit offcuts, you can not add meat or cooked goods to a traditional compost heap as it will attract vermin and smell of decay.

The Bokashi method will quite easily digest most of your kitchen waste, cooked and uncooked! It will also process things like dairy, meat and small bones. So this process will eliminate you having to scrape your plates off into your council bin which will smell terrible by the end of the week. Bokashi is the solution to recycle all of this material in a hassle-free, natural way that can be used in your garden to enrich your soil for planting. 

Where does Bokashi come from?
Bokashi was first used by Korean farmers to break down organic materials for use as a natural fertilizer on their farms. They would gather all their food waste and farm foliage to create a compost heap and cover it with finely chopped wood chips/sawdust that had been soaked in fermented rice water which was now full of activated microbes. Once the compost heap was covered in this Bokashi material, the bacteria and microbes would get to work rapidly breaking everything down into usable nutrient-rich material for fertilising fields and crops.

With the worldwide trend towards recycling and lightening our footprint, first by the hardcore "tree huggers" in the early 2000's and then made popular by the "hipster movement" and now more recently with most majors cities and metros making recycling mandatory and charging residents according to the waste, we are seeing a mainstream uptake of Bokashi composting by most modern homesteads. 

What is Bokashi?
Bokashi is activated bran. Quite often the bran is made up of sawdust, rice husks or even wheat husks. This material is doused in a solution containing an active fermentation agent or culture, similar to that used in the production of yoghurt. This is then dried and packaged for use in your Bokhasi bin. Commercially available Bokashi bins have an airtight lid and spigot at the bottom to drain off the Bokashi Tea. (More on Bokashi Tea in a second...) It is very important that you make use of a commercial Bokashi bin to ensure it is airtight, if air gets into the bin it alters the fermentation process and breakdown of the food which will cause the bin to smell rancid.

What is Bokashi Tea? (Yes, I know... This is a sneaky extra question I've just thrown in but it's super interesting...) 
Bokashi tea is the byproduct of the fermentation process. As the food and organic material breaks down, the liquids are fermented and released which drains to the bottom of the bin. This liquid now known as Bokashi Tea needs to be drained off to prevent the Bokashi material from stewing in the liquid. This liquid / Bokashi Tea can be diluted with water to be used as plant fertiliser and in its concentrated form can be used to remove slime and fat build-up from drains and septic tanks. So, as you can see, there is simply no downside to the Bokashi process, you reduce your waste, create nutrient-rich organic material for your plants and garden and you get really useful drain cleaning fluid and liquid plant fertiliser. 

Check out our full range of Bakashi products and other cool recycling ideas on our GARDENING.co.za website, see this link: https://www.gardening.co.za/collections/eco-composting
Remember we offer nationwide door-to-door courier service, so order online and we will get these awesome recycling solutions sent to you as soon as we can.