Bokashi oh glorious Bokashi

Have you heard of the Bokashi compost buckets? They are awesome! In fact, when I go on holidays I miss my Bokashi bucket. I know, how weird. I can almost see you frowning at your screen now, wondering “why would she miss a friggin’ compost bucket? Crazy greenie.” Well, it’s not the bucket as such that I miss, it’s what it does: converting all my food scraps into compost for the garden. I cringe every time we go away and get super-human portions at a restaurant and simply can’t eat it all and as the waiter takes the plate away I feel sad about how much perfectly good food goes to waste at every restaurant and household, every day of every year.

Let me back trace a bit. I remember being in high school in Germany and we had a Philosophy teacher who, whilst being a bit strange (like most teachers are in the eyes of a 13 year old teenager), said one thing that really stuck:

With every action you take, ask yourself if it was okay if everyone did the same.

  • Throwing a soft drink can out of the car window – not a big deal, right? If everyone did it: big mess.
  • Ripping a branch off a tree – what does one branch matter? If everyone did it: we wouldn’t have any trees left.
  • Flushing tampons down the toilet – surely one tampon doesn’t block the septic system. If everyone did it: flooded bathroom with lots of unpleasant stuff floating around.
  • Driving 500m to the shops instead of walking – it doesn’t burn much fuel for that short distance and surely that bit of CO2 is not going to make any difference whatsoever. If everyone did it: traffic jam and global warming.

The Bokashi bucket however is something that, if everyone did it, the world would be a better place. It is THAT good.

Alright, so what is it?

Basically, it’s a closed container. You simply chuck in all your food scraps, put some microbes on it, close the lid and let the microbes do their thing. When the bucket is full, you dig the contents into the garden where it’ll break down completely. That’s it in a nutshell.

Here is what makes it so awesome: when I say “chuck in all your food scraps” I mean it. Fruit & veggies? Of course. Leftover cooked meals? Yupp. Meat? Yes. Coffee ground & tea bags? Yupp. … Bones? Yeah. Fish?! Sure. … Dairy? Go for it. Mmmhhhh…. Stuff that’s gone off in the back of the fridge? Should be right.

Some things take longer to break down than others (bones, tea bags and egg shells seem to take longer) and you shouldn’t fill a whole bucket with just meat, or just leftover oily pasta dishes. But absolutely chuck in the steak off-cuts (well, I can’t make it past the dog and the chickens with steak off-cuts but if you didn’t have omnivores with voracious appetites lunging at you in the backyard you could definitely put it in the Bokashi bucket) or add the container full of pasta carbonara that you kept in the fridge for lunch and it kind of got forgotten, maybe, oops..

This is the big advantage over conventional compost systems that can’t do citrus, meat, dairy or bones, or even better: you can use it in addition to conventional compost systems which works very well!

I’m proud to say that pretty much no organic material from our places adds to landfill. No rotting leftover meat, no mouldy grass clippings, no sloppy rubbish bags full of food waste. It all returns to earth one way or the other.

I have dug in Bokashi compost at pretty much every patch of dirt in our backyard (except for underneath the lawn of course… But that gets a spray of liquid Bokashi fertilizer every now and again – a lovely by-product of the composting process. Oh bugger, Pete did you not know that? Yeah that funky smell when you come home after work on a Saturday. Yupp, on your precious lawn. It’s good stuff!)

If I ever die (well I will eventually) and was to get reincarnated I might want to come back as the next person moving into our house in Meekatharra, because that backyard is going to be one fertile patch of land!

My weird-but-wise Philosophy teacher would approve of Bokashi composting. If every household and every restaurant in the whole wide world did this:

  • No more food scraps in landfill
    • less methane production -> lesser greenhouse gas effect
    • less smelly landfill sites -> more pleasant to be around and attracts less vermin
  • Building healthy soil
    • fertile land everywhere -> easier to grow plants in backyard (both ornamental and food plants) -> less transport cost for food import
    • less need for possibly harmful chemical fertilizers
  • Probably more benefits that I can’t think of now. I’m hungry.

So, you’re keen? This sounds like something you could incorporate into your life? I will cover a more detailed “how to bokashi” (not sure if it is a verb. It is now.) in another post. Until then have a search of the internet, there’s heaps of information out there. I’ve collected a few links that might come in handy for you:

Oh, writing this got me all excited to go back home tomorrow after our lovely holiday. I’ll give the dog a big cuddle, I’ll talk with the chickens, and I might even wave a friendly hello to my beloved Bokashi bucket.

2 Responses to “Bokashi oh glorious Bokashi

  • oh Svenja, reading your posts is like have a cup of tea with you, or a glass of wine. I can hear your nerdy excitement in your posts. they are a very well-written expression of yourself.
    anyone who knows me and then reads your posts could see how we make great friends. I may not be as much of a greenie as you, but the way you talk about subjects others consider uncouth, such as tampons and poo, would make anyone realise what we have in common; a love of the vulgar! that’s why i’m a nurse, you are a greenie and we are both big ‘ol gross, nerdy goofs ;p
    oh, and we are both intelligent, philosophising, wonderful young women. lol

    • Outback Greenie
      2 years ago

      Haha so true! I miss cups of tea or glasses of wine with you.. Love you heaps 🙂 x

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