Kitchen composter: Bokashi method: How to make organic fertilizer from food scraps

The term "Bokashi" comes from Japan and means something like "gradation".

Kitchen composter: Bokashi method: How to make organic fertilizer from food scraps

The term "Bokashi" comes from Japan and means something like "gradation". Because unlike ordinary compost, with this method all organic waste (including fish, meat and dairy products) is gradually decomposed - through fermentation. This is a long, odor-intensive decay process for which you need an airtight kitchen composter: the Bokashi bucket. By adding effective microorganisms, a mixture of lactic acid and photosynthesis bacteria as well as yeast, you get nutrient-rich fertilizer for garden and balcony plants. Below we will introduce you to four different kitchen composters. We will also tell you how to produce the fertilizer and then use it sensibly.

1. Biolan

This starter kit contains everything you need to make organic fertilizer: a Bokashi bucket (10L capacity), a perforated midsole, a sealing plate and a kilogram of bran. There is a small tap in the kitchen composter so that the contents can be drained later. To ensure that no odors or liquids can escape, the bucket is also equipped with a lid seal and a safety tab.

2. FairFox

The complete set from FairFox includes two Bokashi buckets made of recycled plastic (19 liter capacity) for fermenting organic waste. Here too, the effective microorganisms (2 kilograms) are included so that you can compost your leftover food quickly, easily and odorlessly. The package also contains two sieves, two dosing caps (for the seeping juice) and instructions.

3. Jewel

In collaboration with a university of microbiology, the Juwel company developed the space-saving Bokashi kitchen composter "Sensei" with a built-in activated carbon filter: It is said to be able to ferment the food leftovers of a family of four (without emptying) within four weeks. The finished organic liquid can then be used for fertilization via the drain tap. The necessary Bokashi granules are included.

4. Raccoon

At Waschbär, a shop for fair organic products, there are two kitchen composters (capacity up to 19 liters) for all food leftovers, whether raw or cooked. The effective microorganisms (1 kilogram) are included and ensure that your waste is fermented and thus converted into fertilizer. You simply fill the second bucket when the first one is full and the contents in it need to rest or "work".

If you have purchased a kitchen composter, you will usually find instructions on how to make fertilizer. If this is not the case, you can follow the steps below:

Before adding your leftover food to the container, place the strainer in the bokashi bucket first.

All organic waste (fruit, vegetables, eggshells, bread) can then be put in. Make sure that the soil is filled at least three to four centimeters high.

Mix the microbial solution according to the instructions for use and spray it on the organic waste.

Take a ladle and press the leftover food together as compactly as possible so that no air gets through.

Seal the bokashi bucket airtight.

Now open and fill the bucket again only when you have enough leftover food for another “shift”.

Make sure to regularly let the seepage juice out of the outlet every 48 hours - this is already suitable as fertilizer (see next paragraph below).

After the bokashi bucket has allowed the contents to ferment at room temperature for at least two weeks, the fertilizer is ready for use.

Note: White mold is an indication of fermentation and is not a bad sign. However, green or black mold should not appear during the process. In this case, too few microorganisms were used, there was still too much oxygen in the container or the outside temperature was too high. You can easily clean the container with commercially available citric acid.

ApplicationIf you regularly drain the leachate from your kitchen composter, it should be used quickly as it can become moldy. You can use it as lawn fertilizer, plant manure or compost accelerator. However, it is important to know that you should dilute the juice with water beforehand: ideally in a ratio of 1:100, for young plants even 1:200.

Simply mix the finished Bokashi fertilizer (approx. 20 centimeters deep) with loose potting soil. Depending on the manufacturer, the contents of a bucket should be enough for around 100 liters of soil. Then let the mixture rest for a week before adding the fertilized soil to your plants. The low and therefore acidic pH value would otherwise be particularly harmful for young roots.

StorageNormally, the Bokashi fertilizer can be used immediately after completion. However, fertilizing your balcony and garden plants makes little sense in the cold winter months. You should therefore store the compost juice temporarily - ideally in an airtight container. You should also always store the liquid fertilizer in a cool and dry place.

Those: Utopia

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