Compost your food waste

Feed your waste to your soil, not a landfill.

We all know that a healthy digestive system relies on healthy bacteria (and we all know what happens when we have bad bacteria in our system). But did you know that these miracle workers can also extract gold from rock, break down plastic and, very easily, turn our food waste into compost?

Bokashi food waste recycling is a method where food waste is fermented using beneficial bacteria and fungi. Fermented food waste can then be easily composted, fed to earthworms or trenched in soil.

The bokashi recycling method ensures that all food waste can be processed back into soil, including cooked and uncooked meat, small bones, dairy, seafood, citrus and other difficult-to-compost food waste.

Odour-free compost

When we throw away our food waste not only are we polluting our environment, but we are also wasting soil nutrients. Everything we eat comes from soil. Whether it’s a potato or an eggshell, the nutrients in that food came from soil; in order to lay an egg a chicken needs to eat grain that grew in soil.

When we think of food waste our immediate thought is: “It’s old, it smells and is soon to be full of flies.” Often that’s true: there’s nothing worse than a bin full of rubbish that wasn’t collected and now is sitting in the sun.

But with bokashi there are no smells and no flies. The Earth Bokashi food waste recycling system utilises indigenous South African microbes to ferment food so that it doesn’t rot or smell. Earth Probiotic’s Earth Bokashi utilises high carbon (woody) and nitrogen elements to ensure there is a beautiful compost balance within the Earth Bokashi bin itself. This then ensures rapid decomposition of the fermented food waste once it is added to soil.

Three steps to success

So how does the bokashi process work? While this is a very easy process, you do need to follow the three instructions: add food waste, add bokashi, close the lid (and there you go!).

Simply collect food waste in a separate container during the day. At the end of the day, this is added to the Earth Bokashi food-waste-recycling bin and sprinkled with a generous handful of Earth Bokashi. The bin is then closed.

This simple process  – add, sprinkle, close – is repeated until the bin is full. Once the bin is full it is set aside for two weeks to ensure that the Earth Bokashi microbes populate the most recently added fresh food.

Feed your plants

After two weeks, or longer if need be, the contents can be added to a compost heap where they will add valuable minerals to the compost and also work as a compost accelerator. If you don’t have enough space for a compost heap, Earth Probiotic sells a unique composting bag specifically designed to help people compost in small spaces.

The contents can also be dug into the soil where it will become a slow-release fertiliser. To feed a fruit tree, for example, dig a hole on (or trench around) a tree’s drip line, add the bin contents, mix with some of the excavated soil, and cover. That’s it. Now all the beneficial microbes in the soil and the bokashi mix will process the food waste and make all the nutrients available to the tree roots.

Good food for worms

Generally one should not feed cooked food, meat, citrus and other acidic food to earthworms.  However, after food waste is pre-digested using the Earth Bokashi system this mix can be fed to composting worms.

Simply add some of the contents to the corner of your worm bin. Initially the worms will move away but they will, after a few days, be all over the fermented bokashi food waste. What’s more, because it is fermented they are able to process it much faster than fresh food.

Perfect for raised gardens!

The contents can also be used as a nutrient base for a raised bed garden. When building a raised bed garden over soil, add cardboard sheets to the bottom of the bed to keep away weeds (given time, this will also become a nutrient source). Then you can add bokashi-fermented food waste mixed with soil on top of the cardboard. Similarly to feeding a tree or trenching in a garden, here the fermented food waste also becomes a slow-release nutrient source for your raised bed plants.

The right stuff for your soil

Earth Bokashi is a composting method that enables you to feed your soil with what your soil needs: beneficial indigenous microbes, trace minerals including calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and organic matter.

So, why feed a landfill when you can feed your soil?

The Gardener