In order to ditch the bin completely, we decided to delve into the composting world. We live in a tiny little apartment in the middle of North Hobart, so I didn’t think that composting would be something we could do. That was until I learnt about Bokashi composting. We have only just started our journey and she’s a long one, so this is part 1 of 3!
Why I choose composting
Composting is a science that has been around forever. It is the natural process of turning your food scraps back into beautiful, nutrient rich soil that are a blessing for plants and gardens. You literally get to see this magical process of nature breaking down your food scraps, it’s the ultimate way to re-use! It only takes a couple of weeks and doesn’t require a huge amount of care. Albeit there is more involved than just ‘popping it in the bin’, but for the benefit of the planet it is so worth it!
If you’re an apartment dweller like me, or don’t have access to a garden compost then I urge you to do your research into Bokashi composting. The Bokashi method is a Japanese style of composting that uses an anaerobic fermentation process to break down the food scraps. It differs from a traditional garden compost as it can include meats and dairy, and can live indoors!
The process begins with a Bokashi bin, which a small – medium sized container with an air tight lid. You then add you food scraps to the bin and layer it with the Bokashi bran (more about Bokashi bran in a minute). You allow the food scraps to ferment over a course of 4-6 weeks, and the process begins. Every few days you drain off the liquid through a tap, dilute with water to a ratio of about 1:1000 and you’ve made your own golden plant fertiliser! Plants love it!
If all that sounded like white noise then watch this video from Urban Composter!
What is EM1 + Bokashi bran
EM1 stands for effective micro organisms, it consists of naturally occurring micro-organisms such as lactic acid bacteria, yeast, photosynthetic bacteria and actinomycetes. Some brands refer to EM1 as compost accelerator. A Bokashi bran is basically just a bran-based material (like sawdust or wheat), that is soaked in EM1. You can make your own Bokashi bran if you’re so keen, but it needs ingredients like molasses and the EM itself.
If you’re super keen to make your own, literally just type it into google or youtube and you’ll find plenty of tutorials. I haven’t tried making my own bran so I can’t recommend a good one, but most recipes are the same. Otherwise you can just buy Bokashi bran online, or at your local hardware store.
The Urban Composter
After deciding that Bokashi composting was best suited for us I stumbled across Urban Composter, a Bokashi composter ‘kit’ that comes with a tapped bin and Bokashi bran in the form of a spray. They are an Aussie brand with a great range of composting equipment. We bought the ‘City Starter Kit’ for $65, and after a week she arrived! We have started filling the bin with our food scraps and spraying with the EM1 spray. The bin comes with a cute little tap to drain off the liquid, which my balcony plants are loving! The liquid fertiliser have helped perk my plants up heaps.
What to do once it’s all fermented
Spoiler alert, the fermentation process in a Bokashi bin doesn’t break the food down into useable soil. This is merely the beginning stages of the foods composting journey. After this process it should leave a white ‘spider web’ like layer across the top of the food pile with a ‘sweet’ smell to it. But the scraps have begun the breaking down process and are easily transferred for further composting. This post is already so damn long, so part 2 will be about what to do after the Bokashi fermentation process has finished. We are 2 weeks into the fermentation process already and can’t wait to keep it going until we reach soil!
For the Urban Composter video on Bokashi composting head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQHe7m6R7aQ
For Urban Composter products, head to https://www.urbancomposter.com.au/shop/
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