The fist time I came across this idea was when I tuned into the Epic Gardening channel on YouTube.
As usual, the presenter, Kevin Espiritu did a sterling job in talking about the different types of composting techniques while saving the best for last.
But before throwing in the sting-in-the-tail, what is composting?
Composting is just an accelerated decomposition of organic matter.
“Accelerated?” you say…
In nature, when a leaf falls from a tree, it is converted into humus (or what we may refer to as compost).
Though its easy to romanticize over this process, the time element makes it repulsive to many of us simply because it may take a year or more.
But this process could be fastforwarded by making a compost pile where these leaves could sit for a few months.
It could be accelerated further by not only putting in leaves in the pile, but also ‘green’ waste which rots easily such as kitchen scraps ‘seasoned’ with some aeration and water.
This is what takes place in a usual ‘hot’ compost pile…
An approximately 3x3x3 ft pile of organic dirt composed of dry browns (such as dry leaves), wet greens (such as kitchen scraps), some air and water.
It’s called ‘hot’ because of the temeparatures generated at the center of the heap by bacterial action.
In fact, it could be accelerated further by addition of ‘innoculants’ (bacteria from the cow dung) but for the time being we shall just stick to what we have.
While a hot compost pile might take anywhere between 3 months (being very optimistic) to a year to mature, a composting method originally discovered in Japan has the capacity to shorten this time duration to less than 2 months.
Bokashi is a Japanese phrase losely translated to mean ‘the fermentation of organic matter’.
And this is the departure point from the normal composting as we know it…
Whereas normal composting is an aerobic process (uses oxygen in the air), Bokashi composting is anaerobic (is oxygen free).
In short, a special bacterial innoculant (just a complicated way of calling a group of bateria) composed of lactobacilli spp (found in milk), is added to the kitchen scraps which are placed in a bucket in a layer formation.
Infact, you could make this innoculant at home using rice, milk, newspapers and sugar.
After the bucket is sealed tight, the fermentation of the kitchen scraps is allowed to take place over a period about 2 weeks (with constant draining of the nutrient rich liquid which could be diluted and used as fertilizer).
When two weeks are passed, bacterial action upon the food scraps will result in a build up of a mould/ fungus indicating the time for the next step.
BURYING THE HALF-DECOMPOSED KITCHEN WASTE
The half decomposed kitchen waste can then be burried in soil and allowed to sit there for a period of another two weeks.
During this time, it converts into pure compost which blends dramatically with the soil itself.
This might sound too good to be true but please check out the video below for more insight.
Bokashi composting has many adavantages…
It uses small containers (so composting could be done even in an apartment)…
It is fast (1 month)…
Converts kitchen scraps into a valuable commodity (compost)…
Whereas other conventional composting methods are still worth the while, Bokashi is for sure the way to go for urban farmers or those who lack the space to make their own compost conventionally.
Besides, its not only a way to convert kitchen waste into food but to do it FAST!