In the quest for sustainable living, composting stands out as a powerful practise to reduce waste and nourish our surroundings. Bokashi composting, in particular, takes this eco-friendly endeavour to the next level, offering a solution for urban dwellers and those with limited space. One of the key strengths of Bokashi composting lies in its versatility, allowing you to compost a diverse range of kitchen scraps and organic materials. In this guide, we explore what food waste to compost in your Bokash compost bin, transforming wasted footd that would otherwise be discarded into nutrient-rich gold for your garden.
Bokashi Composting: A Brief Overview
At its core, Bokashi composting is a revolutionary technique that harnesses the power of fermentation to transform food waste and organic matter into a nutrient-dense soil conditioner. The term “Bokashi” is derived from the Japanese word for “fermented organic matter,” encapsulating the essence of this process. Unlike backyard composting, a Bokashi compost bin operates in an anaerobic environment, facilitated by a sealed container or Bokashi bin.
This controlled setting encourages the rapid and efficient breakdown of food scraps through the activity of beneficial micro organisms, resulting in a nutrient-rich end product ready to feed and nourish your garden soil or indoor plants. You will be able to produce compost or soil improver for your plants much faster than in your normal backyard compost bin. See Our blog post, Bokashi Composting : A Complete Guide which is a comprehensive guide on how to get started with bokashi composting at home
Bokashi for Indoor Gardening: A Green Revolution
Bokashi composting offers an incredible advantage for urban dwellers with limited outdoor space: its adaptability to indoor gardening. With compact bins and odor-free operation, Bokashi turns otherwise wasted food and food scraps into a powerful soil amendment and the perfect companion for apartment living.See the article written by Hartley Botanical What`s a good way to compost small scale
Its simplicity allows anyone, regardless of gardening experience, to seamlessly integrate composting into their indoor green haven. Imagine cultivating a thriving herb garden on your windowsill or nurturing potted plants in your living room, all fueled by the nutrient-rich compost from your Bokashi bin. It’s a game-changer for urban gardeners seeking a sustainable solution. Also read our blog post, The Ultimate Guide To indoor Gardening
The Importance of Non-Chemical Fertilisers and Composting
As custodians of our environment, it is vital to acknowledge the importance of non-chemical fertilisers and composting in our gardens. Conventional fertilisers often contain synthetic chemicals that can harm soil health, water quality, and the overall ecosystem. Enter the Bokashi compost method, a completely organic and chemical-free solution that offers a sustainable alternative, enhancing soil fertility while preserving the environment. By adopting Bokashi composting and crafting your own compost at home, you play an active role in fostering sustainability.
The Elixir of Bokashi: Unveiling the Magic of Bokashi Tea
In the alchemy of Bokashi composting, an additional treasure emerges: Bokashi tea. This nutrient-rich liquid, also known as “black gold,” is a byproduct of the fermentation process happening within your Bokashi bin. To harness this elixir, simply collect the liquid that accumulates at the bottom of your bin. Dilute it with water (approximately 1:100 ratio) and voila—you have a potent, organic liquid fertiliser ready to revitalise your plants and regular soil. Apply Bokashi tea to your garden soil or potted plants to infuse them with essential nutrients, promoting robust growth and overall plant health.
Embracing Bokashi Diversity: Food Waste to Compost
Now, let’s delve into the wide range of food waste that can serve a purpose in your Bokashi bin, ultimately aiding in the creation of nutrient-rich compost for your beloved garden.
1. Fruit and Vegetable Scraps:
The foundation of Bokashi composting is fruit and vegetable scraps, which includes peels, cores, seeds, and stems. Every component of your daily fruit and vegetable consumption plays a role in enriching your Bokashi bin.
2. Coffee Grounds and Tea Bags:
Revel in the opportunity to repurpose coffee grounds, tea leaves, and used tea bags. The organic matter in coffee grounds and the paper in tea bags seamlessly integrate into the Bokashi fermentation process.
Crushed eggshells, providing a valuable source of calcium, are a welcome addition to your Bokashi bin. These shells break down during fermentation, contributing essential minerals to the compost.
4. Dairy Products:
Small quantities of dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, and butter can be safely composted in your Bokashi bin. Ensure these are cut into smaller pieces for optimal fermentation.
5. Meat and Fish Scraps:
Bokashi composting possesses a remarkable capability to effectively process meat and fish scraps, even including bones. Simply chop them into manageable pieces and witness the transformative magic unfold as your Bokashi bin diligently performs its task.
6. Bread and Grains:
Stale bread, leftover pasta, and other grains become valuable contributors to your Bokashi bin. Keep the quantities moderate to maintain a balanced compost mixture.
7. Small Quantities of Cooked Food:
While not all cooked food waste is suitable, small amounts can find a home in your Bokashi bin. Steer clear of large quantities of heavily seasoned or oily dishes.
8. Fats and Oils:
Acceptable in small amounts, fats and oils contribute to the richness of Bokashi compost. Exercise moderation to prevent issues like excessive liquid accumulation.
Items to Use in Moderation:
While Bokashi composting is versatile, exercise prudence with certain items, including fats, oils, heavily seasoned dishes, and highly acidic foods like citrus peels, berries, tomatoes, and vineager.
Items to avoid:
Maintain the health of your Bokashi bin by refraining from adding large bones, excessive liquid, and highly acidic or salty foods.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is Bokashi composting?
Bokashi composting is a revolutionary technique that utilises fermentation to transform food waste and organic matter into a nutrient-dense soil conditioner. It operates in an anaerobic environment, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor composting.
What is the difference between Bokashi and normal composting?
Compost bins in your backyard are a great way to recycle kitchen and garden waste, such as grass clippings, leaves, and other compostable materials. The end result is nutrient-rich compost, although it does require more time to fully decompose. On the other hand, Bokashi composting utilises an anaerobic process that is specifically designed for food waste. It decomposes much faster and yields a high-quality soil amendment for your beloved plants.
Can I use shredded paper in my Bokashi bin?
Yes! Shredded paper is a great addition to Bokashi composting, as it helps to absorb excess moisture and provides extra aeration. It’s important to keep in mind that only shredded paper should be used; larger pieces can take longer to decompose and therefore slow down the process. Before adding your paper, make sure it hasn’t been treated with any chemicals that may not be suitable for your bin. Additionally, avoid glossy or coated papers, as they are difficult to break down naturally.
Can I use green materials like garden waste in my Bokashi bin?
Bokashi composting is designed for food scraps, kitchen waste and organic waste like fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, etc. It operates in an anaerobic environment, unlike traditional composting methods. Compostable waste, like grass clippings and leafy greens, is better suited for your outdoor compost pile Bokashi composting relies on fermentation facilitated by microorganisms, and green materials may disrupt the anaerobic environment. Use kitchen waste in your Bokashi bin and reserve green materials for your outdoor compost heap
Can I add pet waste to my Bokashi bin?
No, it’s not advisable to compost pet waste in a Bokashi bin. The fermentation process may not effectively break down certain components of pet waste, and the end product may not be safe for use in gardens.
Can I compost citrus peels and onion scraps in my Bokashi bin?
Yes, citrus peels and onion scraps can be added to your Bokashi bin. However, use them in moderation to maintain a balanced compost mixture.
Can I add my Bokashi soil amendment to my garden compost?
Yes, Bokashi soil amendment can be added to your garden compost heap The fermented material will bring beneficial microorganisms to the mix and help balance the aerobic bacteria in the heap. Adding some green materials, like grass clippings or leaves, may also be beneficial for maintaining a good compost environment.
How long does it take for Bokashi compost to be ready for use?
The Bokashi composting process typically takes around two weeks. After this period, the compost will have a sweet and sour smell, indicating its readiness.