How to start using Bokashi

Pickling Waste

Bokashi is a Japanese term that means “fermented organic matter”. In the UK we use a bran base that has been fermented with a liquid containing dozens of different beneficial bacteria and microbes, mixed then dried for storage. You can buy Bokashi or google for “podchef bokashi” and his video will show you how to make your own! However you get your Bokashi, it will effectively “pickle” your kitchen waste. All you need then are two tightly sealed buckets with taps, and away you go…

1. Sprinkle a layer of Bokashi into the bottom of the first bucket, then add the first of your food scraps.

2. Keep adding your food waste. For every 30mm or so depth of scraps you need to add a further handful of Bokashi.

3. Always ensure the lid is sealed tight. Bokashi is an anaerobic process.

4. Regularly drain off any excess liquid through the tap. You can dilute it for a brilliant pro-biotic plant feed, or even use it as a drain cleaner!

5. Once your first bucket is full, start filling your second bucket while the first ferments.

Using Bokashi…

When your first bucket is full, leave it for 10-14 days (you don’t need to be too fussy) You can now be filling the other bucket while this one ferments. Once the contents of your bucket start to smell like pickles, the process is complete. For the faint-hearted amongst you it doesn't look pleasant, but it will, in fact break down in your soil or compost in 7-10 days and add a huge boost of beneficial microbes to your soil. The easiest way to add it to your soil is to dig a trench and add it that way.

What can be pickled?

The answer is almost anything, including: fruit and vegetables, prepared foods and leftover ready meals, even cooked and uncooked meat and fish, cheese, eggs, coffee grounds and tea bags.

Bokashi is being used all over the UK to save transporting waste, and enabling people to compost indoors without hassle. It’s time to “pickle on…” me thinks!