Bokashi Bran

"Bokashi" is a Japanese term meaning "fermented organic matter". In Bokashi composting, an "EM-1® Inoculant" is sprinkled over food waste in an airtight container. EM-1® inoculant is an inert carrier, such as rice hulls, wheat bran or saw dust, infused with effective micro-organisms or EM-1®.

The EM-1® are natural lactic acid bacteria, yeast, and phototrophic bacteria that act as a microbe community within the kitchen scraps, fermenting and accelerating breakdown of the organic matter.

Once the fermentation is complete, the compost can be buried, placed in a modified compost pile or put into the bio-digester to complete its decomposition. The end product is rich, dark compost, ready for the garden.

Bokashi Bucket

Experts typically recommend that you use a bucket with a spigot on it, so that you can drain the liquid that accumulates in the bottom as the waste materials decompose. This liquid can be used as a plant fertilizer (diluted) or poured down your drain to eliminate odors. You can purchase complete bokashi kits. These commercially made buckets have a false-bottom floor that keeps the waste materials separate from the leachate. Or, you can use a regular plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid. You can add a layer shredded of cardboard or several layers of newspaper in the bottom to help prevent excess moisture from pooling. You can also stack two buckets together. Just drill/poke holes in the bottom of the bucket in the top position so the leachate will drain into the bottom bucket.

Waste Materials

You can add any type of food waste to a bokashi bucket. If you are an active composter you know that there are some materials not recommended for a compost pile or worm bin - namely meats, oily foods and dairy. You can add these to your bokashi bucket. My first attempt included the turkey carcass from our Thanksgiving meal. I put it in the bokashi bucket, then the compost pile. It broke down completely within about 6 weeks.