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Making your own Bokashi from scratch

Bokashi has become a hugely successful way of composting in recent times. The Bokashi kits themselves seem to now be available at ever superstores and garden centres and this is with good reason, Bokashi is an excellent way of getting rid in of your kitchen scrap.

The bonus of Bokashi is that you can ‘do it’ in a bucket in the cupboard under your sink.

Bokashi (ぼかし) is the Japanese word meaning ‘Shading off’. It derives from the practice carried out by of Japanese farmers who historically covering their food waste with rich, soil that contains high levels microorganisms.

Buying the bokashi can be expensive and this expense is so unnecessary as bokashi is so easy to make from scratch.

You first need to make the mother culture instead buying the EMs that are available commercially. This is incredibly easy to do.

The specific Effective Microorganism that is prevalent in Bokashi is the Lactobacillus bacteria and it is very easy to culture... Here’s how.

  1. Take a cup of rice and put it into 750ml of water. Stir vigorously. Drain off. Its the cloudy liquid that we are needing.

  2. Pour the liquid into a suitable sized container so that it is half full and discard the rice (or rather use for supper)

  3. Cover the container with a cheesecloth, you need the free movement of air.

  4. Place the covered jar into a cool dark place and leave for 5-7 days.

  5. After the given time, when you inspect it, it should be a rather sour smelling liquid.

  6. Strain off any debris.

  7. Add this liquid to milk at a 10:1 ratio. 10 parts milk to 1 part liquid.

  8. Cover with cheese cloth and leave to ferment for 14 days.

  9. After given time, on inspection, you should have a solid mass floating in a yellowish liquid. It is the liquid that you want. Send the solids to the compost heap.

  10. Strain off the solids and you are left with the purified Lactobacillus concentrate.

  11. Mix 1 part Lactobacillus concentrate, 1 part molasses with 6 parts water.

  12. Soak sheets of newspaper in your mix, then drain off.

  13. Put the damp newspaper in a sealable bags ensuring you purge out all the air.

  14. Leave for 2 weeks then remove from bags. Separate the sheets and allow them to dry.

  15. These sheets can now be ripped up and added to your compost as your bokashi inoculant

It's that easy!

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