June 2, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Bokashi is an indoor composter without bad odors or fruit flies

Bokashi is an uncommon technique in the province or even in Canada. Its fermentation process derives from the decomposition of ordinary compost, yet offers a solution for anyone who wants to make their own compost while living in an apartment.

Line des Rosiers has experimented with many composting techniques, from backyard bins to indoor vermicomposting, but Bokashi is the one that allows for easy turning of organic waste year-round.

Bokashi is easy and perfect when living in an apartmentSupports gardening enthusiasts.

This is especially handy in Alberta when it’s too cold outside to compost. »

A quote Line des Rosiers, horticulturist

In fact, this technique does not require a garden or even a balcony, but a container and some materials that can be installed directly on the kitchen counter.

Bokashi, how does it work?

Bokashi allows the fermentation of organic waste thanks to microorganisms, useful, mixed with molasses and wheat bran. So this activator, called Bokashi, was perfected in the 1980s by a Japanese Dr. Teruo Higa.

Just put in a handful of bokashi, then about two inches of waste before putting in a new handful [bokashi]Squeeze well and seal the container hermeticallyLine des Rosiers explains.

Unlike compost, which often requires aeration, bokashi is anaerobic, meaning it doesn’t need oxygen to function. Allowing air into the tank will slow down fermentation.Horticulture Enthusiast insists.

Line des Rosiers manufactures its Bokashi Activator, but it can also be purchased over the counter.

Photo: Line des Rosiers

It is also important to empty regularly Bokashi teaThe liquid produced by fermentation to maintain healthy microbial activity.

Once the tank is completely filled, it takes only two weeks to complete the waste fermentation process. The compost is then buried under a thick layer of soil so that, after a few weeks, it releases all its nutrients and is ready for use.

Pros and cons

If there are other types of indoor compost, such as vermicompost, bokashi has the advantage of not emitting bad odors, thus avoiding the inconvenience of fruit flies, which prefer to decompose waste. Vinegar smells like picklesLine des Rosiers jokes.

In addition, unlike many composts, dairy products, citrus fruits or even small bones can be placed in Bokashi. However, it is necessary to avoid coated foods or oils and it is preferable to cut the waste into pieces to allow faster fermentation.

Peel vegetables on a work surface.

Unlike other fertilizers, bokashiil does not need to maintain a balance between nitrogen and carbon levels.

Photo: iStock

Compost obtained by bokashi is very rich in nutrients, although it cannot be mixed directly with the soil because the high concentration of amino acids produced by fermentation can damage the young roots.

This technique is even faster than conventional compost, which can take months to decompose and requires much less attention.

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