Bokashi is used to ferment food scraps, not just fruits and vegetables, but also meat, dairy, and anything else you have from the kitchen.

Whether you’ve purchased a bin or made your own, the process is the same. Here’s a video:

Link mentioned at end of video: How To Make Bokashi

Here’s how to add food scraps to the bokashi bin:

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Let’s hop right in to making our own bokashi with a video:

Link mentioned at end of video: How To Use Bokashi

Bokashi Ingredients

First, you need a substrate, like animal bedding, sawdust, rice or wheat bran.

Then, per 1-gallon of substrate:

  • 1/2 Tbsp EM or AEM (I use SCD Probiotics SCD Probiotics)
  • 1/2 Tbsp unsulfured Blackstrap Molasses or 1/4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 cups water (some people use as many as 3 cups water, but 1.5 is better)
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I’d like to get into the uses of effective microorganisms.

(If you don’t know what EM is, you can start here.)

We already know that microorganisms perform many critical tasks in the world – in our bodies, in the soil, on plants, in waterways, and practically everywhere else.

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While calcium and phosphorus are often considered the most important minerals among organic and biological gardeners and farmers, we know it’s not that simple.

Granite quarryA granite quarry in Madrid province, Spain.

All nutrients need to be there in sufficient quantities and proper ratios for optimal health.

Still, there are only a handful we focus on as being the foundational nutrients, with the rest supplied mostly through things like compost, sea minerals and rock dust.

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Calcium and phosphorus are two of the most important nutrients for plants.

Blossom end rotOne of the most common “disease” symptoms in tomatoes – blossom end rot – is really a sign of calcium deficiency.

Conventional gardening and farming largely ignore these, especially calcium, in favor of short-term remedies.

Organic gardeners often ignore them, too, in favor of organic matter such as compost.

We need organic matter, but we need the minerals, too.

These foundational minerals build the optimum environment which soil biology needs in order to flourish.

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Microbes and plants need nutrients.

We can supply most of these nutrients through good mulches and well-made compost, but not only do we need the nutrients, we need them in specific amounts in relation to each other.

NPKThe old paradigm.

That’s where a small amount of specific fertilizers come in, to move towards these ratios. Organic matter generally can’t do it alone, so this is a vital step.

There are several definitions of the word fertilizer. In many countries, in order to be considered a fertilizer, a product must have a certain amount of total nitrogen, available phosphate and soluble potash, often written as NPK.

Notice that it’s available phosphate and soluble potash, not total.

This has an unfortunate consequence for organic fertilizers.

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Dr. Teruo Higa started studying microorganisms in the 1960s and 1970s, mostly at Ryukyus University in Okinawa, Japan.

By the early 1980s, he was perfecting his liquid culture of specific “facultative anaerobic microbes” that provide amazing benefits when combined together in specific proportions.

KefirKefir is also made with fermenting microbes.

Facultative anaerobic means microbes that can live both in air with oxygen and also in low oxygen conditions.

They’re also called fermenting microbes and some of them are responsible for making your bread, beer, wine and yogurt.

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Do you have too much compost?

I know I don’t. It’s always in short supply. Most of us don’t have too much organic matter in our soil either. In fact, most of us don’t have nearly enough.

Healthy soilMicrobes are the most important element of healthy soil.

The same goes for microorganisms. We generally need more of them.

That cause of their deficiency may be that we don’t have enough organic matter for them to eat, we have big monocultures in our landscape, we’ve used pesticides or chemical fertilizers, we’ve used drip irrigation or otherwise withheld water from the landscape, we’ve been tilling our soil, or even because of the generally toxic environment we live in with pollution, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals around.

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Perhaps you don’t have the room or inclination to make a full-sized outdoor compost pile.

Fortunately, even a small amount of compost can be highly beneficial.

This article outlines two methods of composting your food scraps that can be done right in your house.

Bran bokashiBokashi made from bran sprinkled on food scraps.

Bokashi

Bokashi is a fermented material, often rice bran or wheat bran although it can be made with many other kinds of waste materials such as sawdust, grain mash from breweries, and other grain scraps.

Bokashi is fermented by mixing it with the liquid microbial inoculant called Effective Microorganisms (EM). It’s done today because it makes some of the most incredibly beneficial organic matter possible for the garden, but traditionally, it was also a method of making use of waste products.

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