Bokashi living highly recommends the average household have two bins. This way when you have one bin full & processing, you can have another bin that you are filling. In our house with the two of us it takes about 10-14 day to fill one bin.
We also go through about 1/4 to a half a bag of bran per bin, just for reference on bran. This is the most important part of your bokashi composting system!
FROM BOKASHI LIVING DIRECTLY
Before you start bokashi composting, it’s useful to understand why bokashi is so beneficial for your plants and gardens. What follows is a quick explanation of healthy soil structure, how it affects your plant roots, and where bokashi fits into it all.
Armed with this knowledge, our hope is that you will be motivated to bokashi compost on an ongoing basis, and in doing so, create better soil in your garden: soil that is healthy, live, organic, and ideal for plant health and vitality.
What is healthy soil structure?
In a nutshell, healthy soil is soil that is full of life, and plenty of
organic matter for that life to feed on. This life consists of macrobes
(this is the visible life, think worms and bugs and such), and
microbes (this is the invisible life, consisting of bacterias, yeasts and
fungi). These living organisms form the soil web, each contributing in
its own special way to the success of them all. But, as with most life
on earth, it’s the smallest creatures at the bottom of the food chain
that are the key ones. And in the soil’s case, these key creatures are
the microbes. Healthy soil begins with microbes, and if it has
plenty of them, the rest of the life will happily come and join them.
How do plants feed themselves?
This process might surprise you. Soil biologists have recently discovered what is perhaps the most amazing symbiotic relationship in nature. And that is the relationship between plant roots and microbes.
Until recently, plant roots were considered to be a one way highway – where water and nutrients are simply directed upwards through the plant roots. But this is not at all the case. Modern soil biologists have determined that plant roots are actually a highly refined two way system where, incredibly, plants send almost 40% of their energy down into their roots. This energy is released, all around the root zone, in the form of sugary carbohydrates. These carbohydrates, known as exudates, are sent with the specific purpose of attracting microbes to the plants roots. A healthy plant, in healthy soil, will have microbes thriving all around its root zone. And it is these microbes, through their digesting of the minerals and nutrients from the soil, that actually feed the plants.
This is the symbiotic relationship: plants feed the microbes, and in turn the microbes feed the plants. This is nature’s natural process, a process that’s been refined and perfected over millennia. As a result, if the soil is lacking in microbes, then the plants will necessarily suffer too.
The problem with today’s soils
Lately, we’ve gotten off track from this natural process. Industrial farming techniques have made it into the home garden, in the form of store bought chemical and synthetic fertilizers. These products are attractively labeled, and heavily promoted by the companies behind them. And yes, they do feed plants. But, because they are sulfate (salt) based, they actually serve to kill off the soil microbes, destroying the healthy soil structure that our plants need and prefer. (The runoff from the global over-use of these fertilizers is creating its own set of problems too.)
Simply put, using these chemical fertilizers in the garden effectively creates dead soil, resulting in plants that become dependent on more and more of these fertilizers simply to survive. This is a dangerous and unnecessary cycle. And, if you grow vegetables to eat, also increasingly considered an unhealthy one.
What is bokashi composting?
Bokashi composting is simply a process of using your valuable food waste to generate garden friendly microbes, yeast, and fungi (all of which are contained in a dormant state within the Bokashi bran). These microbes come alive and multiply when they are added to your food waste, and, when dug into your garden, immediately benefit the soil structure and plants living in it.
As a home owner, Bokashi is your ideal tool for creating microbe rich compost. And adding quality compost to our soils is perhaps the only task we really need to focus on as gardeners. If we do that, then the microbes in our soil will thrive, resulting in plants that develop stronger root structures, and have better growth, nutrition and resistance to pests and disease.
The key to the Bokashi process is fermentation. In using the Bokashi bin, you are in effect rapidly fermenting your food waste, and in doing so converting it to a microbe rich format that becomes extremely accessible to your soil ecology and plant roots. In just two weeks after burying your fermented food waste in your garden, it will be assimilated into the surrounding soil web, where it will benefit everything from microbes to macrobes, and in turn the plants themselves. The more you do this, the better and more natural your garden will become.
Bokashi bran is also highly beneficial when used directly as a soil amender. This is especially effective with new plants and seedlings. The bokashi microbes come alive as soon as they come in contact with the newly developing plant roots, and the young plants will develop significantly stronger plant root structures as a result.
How to bokashi compost
Simply follow our four step guide to bokashi composting, and in just 4 to 6 weeks your food waste will be transformed from your kitchen, into your soil web.
Remember, we depend on plants, plants depend on soil, and healthy soil depends on microbes.
We wish you joy and success in your garden!
The Bokashi Living team