Bokashi is a method of composting that uses microbes to essentially ferment and pickle your scraps, these microbes also speedup the composting process


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Good Bokashi

Good Bokashi

Bokashi microbial activity minimizes smells

Bokashi allows you to compost meats and fish

Bokashi allows items to compost faster

Bokashi helps get important microbes active in your garden

What does Bokashi smell like?

Before adding food scraps Bokashi mix smells like a combination of a winery and clean horse barn.

During the input and fermentation period Bokashi shouldn’t produce strong odors

Once the fermentation process is complete Bokashi should smell like cider vinegar or pickles

What is in Bokashi?

Bokashi mix is wheat bran that has been inoculated with a mixture of effective friendly microorganisms and cultured with molasses.

What is a Bokashi container?

A Bokashi container is a bucket with a spigot.

Having a container with a spigot is important because liquid produced in the Bokashi process needs to be drained off every few days, to ensure no smell or goopy Bokashi mess

What’s the white stuff on the Bokashi?

The white stuff is fungi.  The fungi is beneficial and commonly is a sign that you’ve had a good fermentation

How does Bokashi work?

Bokashi is a faster, less pungent container based composting method that requires attention every two days and uses a microbe carbon mix in place of browns.  The process is completed in a traditional compost bin or soil if you have enough room.  A Bokashi system creates the ideal conditions for airtight (anaerobic composting) eliminating the odors and ick associated with putrefaction

How do I use Bokashi?

The Bokashi method

Get 2 Bokashi composting containers (once full of Bokashi mix and food scraps a Bokashi container needs to must sit for two weeks to ferment) and a bag of Bokashi mix

Cover the bottom of you container with a layer of Bokashi mix- about ¼ cup

Add a layer about 1.5 inch deep food scraps.

On top of the scraps add about ¼ cup Bokashi mix, this should be about a handful

Use a plastic bag or plate to push down the mix

Make sure lid is on tight because you don’t want air or light bothering your microbes

Repeat layering process until the bucket is full

Add ½ of Bokashi mix to the top of the mix

Drain off the Bokashi liquid every few days, this liquid can be diluted and used as fertilizer, see below for details

Let the mixture ferment for 2 weeks

While fermenting repeat the process with your second Bokashi bin

Rinse out Bokashi bin after process is complete

Is it ready?

Once the fermenting process is complete your waste will have a consistency appearance similar to pickles and will smell like vinegar

Bokashi looks different from other compost that has decayed

Many of the physical properties of your food remain however it is very close to turning into useful compost

What do I do with fermented Bokashi ?

Ideally Bokashi should go into a traditional compost bin.  It will finish composting as quickly as a week.

If you have a large yard or lot, bury Bokashi in a hole about 8 inches deep, away from young plants, this will turn into traditional compost in about 2 weeks

Fermented Bokashi compost is great to put in community composting systems or programs

Fermented Bokashi great for curbside municipal compost collection

What goes in Bokashi?

Put in

Bokashi Mix

Most Kitchen waste including, fruit and vegetable scraps, prepared foods, raw meat, cooked meat, eggs bread, coffee grinds, tea bags, flowers and other organic material

Don’t put in

Liquids like milk and fruit juice, paper, animal waste plastics, bones, rubber, metal,   other non biodegradable items

How to complete the Bokashi process?


The smell of rot, and/or black or blue fungi can be caused by a number of factors

These include: not adding enough Bokashi mix

Leaving the container lid off or loose, the lid should be on tightly after adding scraps

Not draining the liquid from the bucket

Leaving your Bokashi bucket in the sun or a really hot spot


Solution To fix any of these problems it’s best to start a fresh Bokashi bucket ensuring a touch more attention for the next round.

To dispose of your problematic Bokashi dig a hole and place a cup Bokashi mix in the bottom, add the problematic Bokashi, mix with soil, and add another cup of Bokashi mix cover and give it two weeks. This same processed can be applied to adding problematic Bokashi to traditional compost