Is Bokashi The Best Composting System?

Composting is an essential first step in providing perpetual fertility to your soil. All food scraps can be turned into plant food, which can be turned into more food for the family. Composting your food waste creates a circular system of growth, moving away from overly extractive relationships which have led to the generalized degradation of soil health on a planetary scale. Creating your own compost allows you to continually add nutrients and beneficial bacteria & fungi to your soil and reduce the need to import that fertility (which store bought compost is broadly speaking less biodiverse than backyard compost). 

I recommend a bokashi composting system. Bokashi is essentially fermenting your food scraps to inoculate them with beneficial microorganisms that form symbiotic relationships with plants, boosting their immune system and making nutrients more bioavailable. With bokashi you can compost meat, fish, chicken, and dairy as the fermentation process accelerates the breakdown of these types of organic matter. Bokashi buckets prevent food from becoming putrid and rather it can smell like funky sauerkraut to even a pleasant earthy-sweet smell (more likely if you only ferment vegetable scraps). The smell is contained within the bucket and wont smell at all until it’s opened (and then the smell dissipates quickly). Bokashi buckets are airtight and thus don’t easily harbor fruit flies. The fermented food scraps can be buried directly in your garden beds, fed (in moderation) to worms for vermicomposting, or aggregated in a pile/ buried underground and saved for later. The fermented food scraps can also be added to compost teas.

The product I recommend is simply a 5 gallon bucket that comes with fermented rice bran. You add a handful of fermented rice bran to cover food scraps in layers until the bucket is full. After a short 2 weeks the food scraps will be fermented and ready to use in the garden directly as mulch or buried next to plants/trees, or the contents can be added to your compost tumbler/pile and saved for later. I recommend purchasing two kits so that while one bucket is full you can continue to build healthy soil by filling a second bucket. If you want something fancier than a 5 gallon bucket you can invest in a beautiful fermentation vessel of your choice.

Clear Steps:

Ferment as much food scraps as you can, including meat and dairy, in a bokashi bucket. Let sit for 2 weeks in the bucket then you can bury the food scraps directly in planting areas deep enough to be fully covered by soil. Bury bokashi near plants trench composting style (with respect and care for the root zones of nearby plants) or even better prepare future planting areas by burying the bokashi where you will plant in the future. Bokashi can also be added to traditional compost piles and broken down further before applied to plants as a top dressing and/or soil amendment.