bokashi vs compost

The Unbelievably Easy Way to Compost Your Household Waste

There’s a lot of talk about composting these days, and for good reason! Composting is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden.

But what if you don’t have the space or time to compost? Or what if you’re not interested in dealing with the mess? Bokashi composting may be the solution for you! In this blog post, we’ll discuss the difference between bokashi vs. compost, as well as the pros and cons!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission on products purchased through these links at no cost extra cost to you.

WHAT IS BOKASHI?

Bokashi is a type of composting that uses anaerobic fermentation to break down organic matter. Bokashi bins use bran and molasses as a food source for the fermenting bacteria, which turns the organic material into a type of pre-compost. This process can take up to two weeks, after which the fermented material can be buried in the garden or added to an outdoor compost pile.

HOW BOKASHI COMPOSTING WORKS VS TRADITIONAL COMPOSTING

You may be wondering what the difference is between Bokashi composting vs. traditional composting.

Traditional Composting

Traditional composting is typically done outdoors, and involves layering kitchen scraps, leaves, sticks, cardboard, etc., in order to create a compost heap.

There are many different ways to build a traditional compost pile, and the process can take several months. The end result of traditional composting is rich, dark humus that can be used as fertilizer for your yard or garden.

Traditional composting is an aerobic process, which means that the microbes that break down the organic material need lots of oxygen to survive. This means that the compost heap needs to be turned regularly, in order to provide plenty of oxygen for the microbes.

Bokashi Composting

Bokashi composting is a simple process that can be done in a small space, and even indoors. It involves putting your kitchen scraps in a special bokashi bin with a special bran made just for this purpose.

Bokashi composting is an anaerobic process that uses Effective Microorganisms. These microorganisms need an environment without oxygen. The Bokashi system uses a special mix of microorganisms specifically designed for breaking down food waste. Because Bokashi bins must be kept air-tight for the EM to do their work, there is no risk of odors or attracting pests.

The fermentation process is very quick, taking only about two weeks once you have a full bin.

THE BENEFITS OF BOKASHI VS. COMPOST

Bokashi composting is a great way to reduce your waste output and produce high-quality soil amendment. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of Bokashi composting:

  • Quick and easy to set up – all you need is a bucket or bin! You can purchase a Bokashi bin or create a DIY version.
  • Accepts meat, dairy, and bones: Unlike traditional composting, Bokashi composting can handle meat, dairy, and bones without any problems.
  • Low odor: One of the biggest benefits of bokashi composting is that it produces little to no odor. This makes it a great option for urban dwellers or anyone who doesn’t want the smell of rotting food in their backyard.
  • Little space required: Bokashi composting can be done in any small space, even indoors, making it perfect for urban dwellers.
  • Easily adaptable to any climate: Since Bokashi composting can be done indoors, it works well in any climate, hot or cold.
  • No risk of pests: Another benefit of bokashi composting is that it doesn’t attract pests like other forms of composting do. It’s also a great choice if you have pets or small children who like to explore the backyard.
  • Minimal maintenance: Unlike traditional composting methods, you don’t need to turn your bokashi bin regularly. This makes it a hands-off process and perfect for people who lead busy lives.
  • Accelerates decomposition: Bokashi composting helps to accelerate the decomposition process, which means you can start using your compost sooner.

CONS OF BOKASHI COMPOSTING

There are many benefits to bokashi composting, but there are also a few drawbacks worth mentioning. Let’s take a look at the cons of bokashi composting:

  • You’ll need to have a container that can be airtight so the anaerobic fermentation process can take place (otherwise you’ll get some pretty stinky garbage).
  • Bokashi requires a special bran mix containing the EM needed to break down the organic material anaerobically (without oxygen). You’ll need to purchase Bokashi mix regularly, or learn to make your own.
  • Importantly, this process does not produce finished compost! At the end of two weeks, you’ll still be able to identify the banana peel and apple core that you added. The difference is the fermentation process that has occurred. See below for what to do with finished Bokashi.

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH BOKASHI COMPOSTING

Getting started with Bokashi composting is easy, especially vs. traditional composting! You do not need a lot of space, and you can start with a small amount of material.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bokashi bin: There are many different types and sizes available on the market. You can find them easily online or at your local garden center, or you can create a DIY version with a 5-gallon bucket. You’ll need two: one to fill while the other is fermenting.
  • Bokashi bran: The bran mix is what contains the EM (effective microorganisms) needed to start the composting process. You can purchase it online or at your local garden center.
  • Food waste: The best thing about Bokashi composting is that you can compost all kinds of food waste, including meat, dairy, and bones.

That’s it! Once you have everything, you’re ready to start composting.

Since Bokashi is an anaerobic composting method, you’ll want to avoid opening the bin more often than once a day to keep as much oxygen out as possible.

You’ll want to save up a day or so worth of kitchen scrap. When you’re ready to open your Bokashi bucket, go ahead and dump everything in at once. Use a spatula or plate to compress the material you’ve just added to squeeze out as much oxygen as possible.

Then, sprinkle a bit of the Bokashi bran on top. After this step, close the lid tight, and you’re done!

Repeat this process as often as you have scraps. You don’t need to add water! As the scraps break down, they will release liquids. You may need to drain your bin every 2-3 days to remove this liquid “compost tea” and use it on your plants.

That’s all there is to it! Bokashi composting is a simple, easy way to reduce your waste and (eventually) get some nutrient-rich soil for your garden.

Bokashi Compost Starter Kit

WHAT TO DO WITH FINISHED BOKASHI

As mentioned earlier, the Bokashi method is a fermenting process. It does NOT produce finished compost. Don’t expect to open your bin up after two weeks and see beautiful, rich soil!

Once your Bokashi mix is finished fermenting, there are a few different things you can do with it:

  • Bury it: If you have a garden, bury the Bokashi mix in your soil. This will help to add beneficial bacteria and nutrients to your soil.
  • Compost it: If you don’t have a garden or if you want to compost indoors, put the Bokashi mix in an outdoor composter. Some composters feel comfortable adding Bokashi to a worm bin, but do so with caution.
  • Donate it: If you don’t want to do anything with your Bokashi mix, there are plenty of people who would be happy to take it off your hands. You can donate it on an app like Sharewaste, which connects people who have compostable materials with those who need them.

BOKASHI VS. COMPOST: WHICH IS BETTER?

Bokashi composting is a great way to get started in composting if you have limited space, or if you’re a bit intimidated by traditional composting methods.

The benefits of bokashi composting are numerous, and the process is simple enough that anyone can do it with a little bit of instruction! So what are you waiting for? Get started with your own Bokashi composter today!

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