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Homemade Super Soil
This is the result of the Soil Factory shown above after only six weeks indoors. The soil has no odors or bugs, but rather, it is just teeming with beneficial bacteria and a array of nutrients and micro-nutrients. Not to mention vitamins and enzymes.
The Bokashi Method
Bokashi -Japanese for "fermented organic matter". A method practiced throughout the world for hundreds of years.
In 1985 Professor Teruo Higa, at University of Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan, discovered that a group of microorganisms (lactobacilli, yeasts and phototropic microbes) worked in an anaerobic process to kill pathogens and expedite the breakdown of organic waste into organic high nutrient soil . Dr Higa accomplished this by inoculating a medium, such as wheat or rice bran with the EM (Effective microorganisms).
How does Bokashi work?
The EM suspends the breakdown of all food waste, including meat and fish, cheese, fruits and vegetables and even small bones by a process akin to 'pickling'. After 7-10 days fermenting in an airtight container the second part of the process takes place.
The fermented waste is then buried in soil and covered with at least 4-6" of dirt. The soil microbes and worms then take over and complete the breakdown of organic material into nutrient rich soil in a very short time. The second part takes approx 2-4 weeks depending on the soil temperature and the type of waste being composted.
The Step-by-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting
1. First, put the screen in the bottom of the bucket. Ensure spigot is in closed position.
2. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of Bokashi evenly on the screen.
3. Check that all food scraps are no larger than approximately 1". (Organic waste composts more efficiently if cut in smaller pieces.)
4. Add the scraps to the bucket to a maximum of 2-3" at a time.
5. Use the scoop provided or sprinkle a handful of Bokashi evenly over the scraps making sure to cover everything. Use more Bokashi if composting meat, cheese, fish, or small bones.
6. Using the compressor provided, gently tamp down the scraps pushing out any pockets of air. This is important to do because the fermentation process is anaerobic (without Oxygen).
7. Cover the bucket with the airtight lid provided. Double-check that the lid is on tight by pushing down around the complete perimeter of the lid.
HINT: We recommend covering the scraps with a plate to keep oxygen levels down. This will assist and hasten the composting process.
Where to Store the Bucket
Drawing off the “Juice”
Utilizing the Benefits of the Juice and making Bokashi “Tea”
To make Bokashi tea for plants:
HINT: We recommend using de-chlorinated water. To de-chlorinate water, simply leave a container with water uncovered for 24 hours to vent off chlorine.
The bucket is full
HINT: We recommend having two buckets. While one bucket is fermenting, you can be filling the other.
3 Options to “finish” the compost
Three options to finish the compost:
Dig the compost into your garden soil by first digging a hole or trench, mixing a little soil, then covering it with at least 4 inches of soil. After 2-4 weeks, the compost is 90% broken down and can be used for planting.
Spread the compost thinly over an existing outdoor compost pile and cover it with a shovel or two of soil to keep the micro-organisms alive and thriving. After 2-3 weeks, the compost is completely broken down.
Create a “Soil Factory” in a large container or garbage bin. Start with a layer of soil and then a layer of compost material. Continue with another layer of soil followed by more compost. Repeat until bucket is empty. The last layer should be soil. Store in a warm place and allow 4-6 weeks for decomposition. No lid is required.
Rinse out the bucket and you are ready to start again!