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Julia's Compost Shop

Bokashi

Bokashi is a method of making compost rich with nutrients. You can produce odour free humus in a very short time by using your food waste.  It is a two stage process. The first stage is 'fermentation', which occurs in the Bokashi Bin, The waste will not decompose at this stage, but will be innoculated with a myriad of organisms which will ensure the decompoition process is activated more quickly at stage two.  Stage two begins when you empty your Bokashi Bin and the contents are either added to soil or, if your soil is difficult to work in the winter, you can add it to a compost bin. 

This method of composting originated in Japan. Compost is produced in just 4 – 6 weeks with a starter culture and food waste. It's easy!

All products are made in New Zealand.

Here's how the Bokashi system works:

A Bokashi system consists of two buckets nested into each other.

To start your first batch of compost, you need a Bokashi Bin. The outside bucket has a tight fitting lid, while the inside bucket has holes in the bottom allowing liquid to drain into the outside bucket. The type of food waste used determines how regularly the bucket needs draining during the fermentation phase. Fruit and vegetables tend to produce more liquid.

Compost-Zing is added to kitchen waste to start the fermentation process.

Compost-Zing is one of our unique products that recycles household kitchen waste into an organic soil conditioner. Plant by-products are inoculated and fermented to make a complex culture of natural beneficial organisms and producing effective micro-organisms - an essential part of Compost-Zing. These effective micro-organisms assist in balancing the ecology of the soil when you add your fermented kitchen waste.

For best results, the Bokashi bin should be placed in a warm environment, but out of direct sunlight.  It is an ideal system to process any organic matter that should not be given to worms, so it is an excellent companion composting system.

What can be put into your Bokashi bin:

All solid food waste including cooked and uncooked meat and fish, coffee grinds, tea bags, wilted flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables, left over prepared foods, cheese and eggs.

Avoid putting the following into your Bokashi bin:

Any liquids such as oils, milk, orange juice, as well as paper or plastic wrap, bones or shells.

Success

Fermentation takes 7 to 10 days in summer and 10 to 14 days in winter. If you open the container, the fermented food will look like it has been preserved. The food does not break down or decompose while it is in the bucket.

Well fermented food should smell like pickles or cider vinegar.

Sometimes, especially during a longer fermentation process, a white cotton-like fungi growth appears on the surface. This indicates that there has been a good fermentation.

Using the liquid:

In the garden

Use this nutrient-rich liquid full of beneficial microbes in your garden or for fertilising your house plants. It should be diluted 1 teaspoon to 5 litres of water and applied to the soil. To fertilise trees and shrubs dilute 2 teaspoons to 5 litres of water, and ensure you do not apply directly to any foliage.


Disposing of the food waste after fermentation:

In the garden

Dig a hole about 25 cm deep, add the fermented food waste and mix with some soil. Then cover with the remaining soil. Bacteria in the soil and waste will start to break down the food and after about 3-4 weeks all the food will have decomposed.

A second option is to add the fermented food waste to a bottomless bucket with a good lid that is buried up to its neck in the soil. Mix a little soil to each batch of compost that you place into the buried bucket.

Be sure plant roots do not come directly into contact with the compost as it may burn the roots.

Around trees

Dig deep holes approximately 25cm deep at 60cms intervals around the tree drip line. Bury the fermented food waste in the holes, mix with some soil then cover with the remaining soil. Bacteria in the soil and waste will start to break down the food and after about 3-4 weeks all the food will have decomposed into rich humus.

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A welcome pack introducing you to the system plus a FREE instruction guide will be sent to you with your new Bokashi bin.

The ideal is to have 2 Bokashi bins to use alternatively. While one bucket is busy with the fermentation process you can start filling the second one.