Monday, August 26, 2013

Our [First] Experience with Bokashi Composting

A couple of months ago, my husband and I embarked on our newest journey into crunchiness. I went to our local Treehouse store and purchased a Bokashi Bin for less than $60 with Bokashi Bran. We placed it on our kitchen counter, and at the time, I was juicing more regularly, which provided plenty of food scraps to help us get started. I had been interested in it for a while, but never gave it much thought before. I actually didn't think it would make much of a difference, but after noticing our trash had to be taken out less often, I really began to take it more seriously.

The process itself wasn't really tough. You literally can toss in almost anything, although all of our scraps were vegan. Every few days you drain off this nutrient juice which really can be a little rank, if I'm honest! You can either dilute this with water and feed your plants at home or you can pour it straight down the sink. It's full of microbes which will keep the drains clean. Sometimes I pour it down the bathroom sink, and other times down the kitchen sink. As I am writing this, I just realized that it had been a while since we drained ours. We just drained off nearly an entire pitcher of it!

I also keep the chunks of food scraps cut to only 1" long each. Cutting these pieces smaller accelerates the process and allows you to fit more food into the bin. Once you've filled it up (it took us about a month or so), then you can turn it into potting soil. We bought a container to store the finished compost, poured two inches of soil on the bottom, dumped the contents of the Bokashi Bin in next, then covered it in 8 inches or so of more potting soil. After watching the video below, I realized that I should probably mixed it up, but it stunk so bad, I just couldn't do it. I dumped the soil on top and walked away to catch my breath. Hey, at least I composted to begin with!

After two weeks in the storage container, I opened it up to see the picture above. I thought it looked pretty good and began mixing it up a little bit to find the layer of composted food scraps. We mixed it up even more and covered it. We'll check it again in a week or two, and then I think we'll be good to repot the soil into our plants on the patio. I'm excited to use this soil, as I think it will be great for my plants. Check out the video below where he describes the second half of the process. Overall, I highly recommend trying out a Bokashi Bin!

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.

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