Bokashi Kitchen Composter FAQs and Instructions
What is EM?
EM stands for Effective Micro-organisms. EM is a combination of various beneficial, naturally-occurring microorganisms from three main groups: phototrophic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria and yeast. These organisms are mostly found or used in foods, and they secrete beneficial substances such as vitamins, organic acids, chelated minerals and anti-oxidants when they are in contact with organic matter.
Is EM safe / natural?
EM is not synthetic, a chemical or genetically engineered. The organisms are completely safe to work with, and are useful in many applications in our homes. EM is particularly useful in converting organic waste into harmless and useful products. For turning organic waste into compost at home, the EM is applied in the form of Bokashi.
What is Bokashi?
Bokashi is made by mixing food grade EM, molasses, water bran / sawdust. Once well mixed and 30% moist, the mixture is left to ferment for 1-2 weeks. When ready it has a pleasant sweet-sour smell.
How should I store Bokashi?
Bokashi should be stored in a closed container in a cool dark place.
How does EM Bokashi work?
The effective microorganisms induce fermentation, a process that breaks down the organic matter without objectionable or 'bad / foul' odours.
How does EM / Bokashi benefit soil and plants?
EM changes the soil microflora and fauna in such a way as to encourage disease suppressing conditions. The anti-oxidizing effects of the microorganisms pass directly to the soil or indirectly to plants, maintaining their NPK and CN ratio. This process increases the humus content of the soil, making it able to support improved plant growth and food production.
1. Break / chop the food waste into small pieces to increase the surface area for the EM to work on.
2. Keep your kitchen scraps / food waste in a suitable container, prevent them from from getting wet.
3. Spread a thin layer of EM Bokashi on the bottom of the bucket to encourage even fermentation.
4. Place your kitchen scraps / food waste into the bucket regularly.
5. Each time you add to the bucket, spread a handful (20-30g) of EM Bokashi over it.
6. Mix the EM Bokashi in well with a spatula and then compact it down to release air.
7. Use an inside lid / plate / plastic bag to prevent the mixture from being exposed to air.
8. Close the lid tightly. EM works under anaerobic conditions so it must be airtight.
9. Drain the liquid fertilizer from the tap and use within a day or two.
10. When the container is 80% full, close the lid and keep in a dark place for 1-2 weeks.
11. When the garbage smells like pickles, it can be used as compost.