How To Use Bokashi

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:

YouTube video

Link mentioned at end of video: How To Make Bokashi

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

  • If you have big pieces of food scraps, chop them up into smaller pieces before throwing them into your bin. Smaller pieces create less air space in the bin and more contact with the bokashi.
  • In order to decrease the amount of air let into the bin that would happen if it were opened many times a day, some people collect the food scraps in a second bin and add them all to the bokashi bin only once per day. I’m not sure how much of a difference it makes, but I do it.
  • Whenever I throw scraps into the bin, I throw about 1/4 as much bokashi. You don’t have to measure it. If it seems like 4 cups of food scraps, for example, throw about 1 cup of bokashi. Then, push it all down with a potato masher, your hand, plate, whatever you have. This is to get the air out.

Here’s how to maintain the bokashi bin:

  • Keep the lid on tight. I actually put a plastic bag on top of the bokashi food scraps to make it a little more anaerobic, and then I put the lid on tight.
  • Drain any liquid. Unless you’ve put a 2-inch layer of bokashi on the bottom of the bin to absorb the liquid that drains out, you’ll want to collect that liquid every 1-2 days, mix it with 100 parts water, and use it to water your plants (or you can always put it down the drain). If the bin isn’t working properly (e.g. not enough bokashi), or if you don’t drain it every 2 days, the liquid will smell bad and should be thrown out.
  • When the bin is full, put the lid on tight and let the contents ferment for 2 weeks. The dry carbon of the substrate helps balance out the wet food scraps and the microbes start to ferment them. Continue to drain the liquid, if necessary.
I’ve just added more food scraps
And now I’m sprinkling them with bokashi
And covering that with a plastic bag before putting the lid on

You want to have 2 bins so there’s always 1 to use while the other is fermenting.

After about 2 weeks – or more is entirely fine, there’s no rush – you need to do something with the food scraps.

Usually, that means burying them in a compost pile or directly in a trench in the garden.