Bokashi Composting Book Review

This Bokashi Composting book review covers the book by Adam Footer: Bokashi Composting.  It was published in 2014.  Bokashi composting is a different approach to composting using anaerobic microbes.  These are microbes that live without oxygen.  I would like to share some thoughts about this book.

Bokashi Composting Works by Fermenting

Bokashi composting was started in SE Asia and Japan. Not many people in the United States have heard of it.  It is a form of composting that uses a specific set of microbes that work anaerobically.  These microbes ferment the kitchen scraps which actually means the scraps get pickled.  The pickled product of Bokashi composting is then buried in the soil. It breaks down much faster than regular kitchen scraps according to Adam Footer.

Microorganisms Used in Bokashi

The set of microbes is called EM1 or  essential microorganisms.  These are defined as a group of symbiotic microbes.  Symbiotic means that they live together in an interdependent relationship.  They are used with  kitchen scraps and manure to ferment them.  They can also be used as a starter culture to make bokashi bran.  The microbes are a blend of lactic acid, bacteria, yeast and phototropic bacteria that work together as a group.  They have the ability to dominate or out-compete other microbes reducing odor and disease.

They were discovered and developed by Dr. Teruo Niga in Japan in the 70’s and 80’s.  Dr. Higa was working to get away from farming with synthetic chemicals.  He was looking for a more natural way to nourish plants.  EM1 is used in over 120 countries worldwide.  Farmers across Asia had practiced various forms of fermenting organic waste for generations using local microorganisms from the air, soil or leaf mold.  The process is similar to using local wild microorganisms from the air to make a sourdough starter.

The Bokashi composting process is said to take about 6 weeks:

  1. 2 weeks of collecting food scraps in a 5 gallon bucket layering with EM1 bokashi bran between each addition.
  2. 2 weeks of letting it sit to process and ferment
  3. 2 weeks of being buried in the soil

Then voila you have great compost for your soil.  I am experimenting to see if this is true.  The Compostumbler advertising says you can get compost in 14 days.  I have never accomplished this but with the exact right conditions it might be possible.

Bokashi Composting Book Review Shows the Table of Contents

Demonstrating how Adam Footer covers all aspects of this type of composting:

  1. History
  2. the Science Behind the process
  3. Shows how to make Bokashi Bran
  4. Covers the Fermentation bucket with instructions to make one yourself
  5. How to Use Bokashi Bran to Compost Kitchen Waste
  6. How to Use the Fermented End product
  7. About the Liquid By-product

So as you can see this book covers everything you could ever want to know about implementing Bokashi Composting.  I highly recommend reading it if you are interested in doing Bokashi Composting.  Here is a great blog on Bokashi composting with lots of comments.

Bokashi Composting Book Review

Here is a picture of my Bokashi bucket after 4 weeks.  There is parsley and onion skins on the top looking quite normal except for the brown Bokashi bran sprinkled on top.  There is no rotting odor which is amazing after 4 weeks!   In my next post I will continue with a Bokashi composting book review as he compares Bokashi composting with traditional composting.  I think he is heavily weighted towards Bokashi making some statements I wouldn’t agree with.

More posts on Bokashi:
Bokashi Composting Advantages
Disadvantages of Bokashi Composting
Burying Bokashi Compost