Step by step guide to using your Bokaski Food Waste kit
· Vegetables/Fruit (drain excess liquid)
· Prepared foods, plate scrapings and old bread (no mouldy bread)
· Small bones (chop into small pieces if possible)
· Coffee and tea (cut the filter paper or bags into small pieces)
· Dry leaves, cut grass and wilted flowers
· Serviettes and tissues (cut into small pieces)
- Milk, oil and liquids
- Large bones
- Plastic, polystyrene and packaging
- Rotten or mouldy items/food
- Chemicals or medicine
- Begin by sprinkling some bokashi inoculants on the bottom of the bucket
- Save up your day’s kitchen scraps in a container (a used ice cream or
yoghurt container is ideal) and once a day, add it all to the Bokashi bucket
- Remember, do not include any mouldy or rotten food items. To ensure an effective fermentation process chop/break large pieces of food items into smaller fragments and drain any excess liquid prior to placing the waste in the bucket
- Place your fresh kitchen scraps or meal leftovers inside the bucket and coat them evenly with a layer of Bokashi inoculants
- Press down the inner lid or a potato masher to expel air and cover with the inside lid to reduce air contact
- Make sure to close the lid tightly every time you add waste into the bucket. Not doing so could result in rotting rather than fermenting of the food waste!
- Continue this process until the bucket is full. It may take you a week to a month to fill up a bucket depending on the number of people in your household and the amount of food waste you generate
- Use approximately 1 – 2 handfuls of Bokashi inoculants for every one inch layer of food waste. Use more inoculants during the summer months and when treating high protein foods such as meat, fish, small bones, cheese and eggs
- Add a generous coat of Bokashi inoculants to the final layer of food waste and seal the lid tightly. Remember, the microbes need an air-tight environment to do their job!!!!
- Store the bucket away from direct sunlight in a warm place for a period of 1 – 2 weeks so that the fermentation process can be completed, after which it can be buried in flower/veggie beds, added to compost heap or buried under trees
- Whilst filling the bucket and during the 1 – 2 week fermentation period, liquid may collect at the bottom of the bucket. Use the tap to periodically drain this liquid and use the same day
- Rinse/clean the bucket with warm water and vinegar only or use a detergent that is not anti-microbial
Signs of success:-
- There should be no foul odour – the smell should be that of the different food waste
(citrus, meaty, fishy et) and similar to that of pickles or cider vinegar
- ·A white mould may appear – this is OK and shows that a good fermentation
process has occurred
Signs of failure:-
- Strong rancid or rotten smell (like rotten eggs)
- Black or blue-green fungi, indicating that waste has putrefied
If fermentation isn’t working, check that:-
- Enough Bokashi innoculant has been added in the process
- Container has been kept airtight
- Liquid has been regularly drained from the bucket
- Container is not exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures
What to do with a failed batch:-
- Dig a hole about 35 cm deep and add waste
- Add a few handfuls of Bokashi inoculants to the waste and mix well with soil
- Optional: Pour a1:50 dilution of EM liquid over waste and mix in
- Cover with a 10 cm layer of soil
Using the Bucket Juice:-
The amount and colour of the liquid drained will depend on the type of foods you have put into the bucket. Fruit and vegetables tend to release more liquid than other foods. Do not be concerned if little or no liquid is produced. This liquid can be used for: –
- To feed garden or house plants. Use 2 teaspoons to 1 litre of water and apply directly to the soil. For trees and shrubs, use 4 teaspoons to 1 litre of water. As a foliar spray use 1 teaspoon to 1 litre of water.
- Pour the concentrated liquid directly into your drains, toilets or septic system to prevent odours.
- Please note this liquid is not equivalent to and should not be used in place of the original EM concentrate. The Garbage Juice cannot be stored and must be used within 24 hours after drainage or it could spoil.
What to do with the fermented food waste:-
In Gardens: As the fermented food waste is initially acidic take care not to burn roots of herbaceous plants (herbs, flowers and veggies). To prevent this the food waste can first be composted (by using the simple method below) in a hole/trench in the ground for 1 – 2 weeks and then used on delicate herbs, flowers and veggies.
- Dig a composting hole or trench approximately a spades depth
- Add the fermented food waste and mix with an equal amount of soil
- Adding a few handfuls of Bokashi inoculant to this will act as an accelerant and assist the compositing process
- Add any leaves or lawn cuttings if you have, if you don’t, no problem the process will still work
- Bacteria in the soil and waste will start to break down the food waste and after about 3 – 4 weeks most of the food waste will have decomposted
- You can then dig out and use this compost on your veggies, herbs or flowers
Alternatively you can just bury it (usually a spades depth) around the base of trees and shrubs or add it to your compost heap.
In the compost heap: Add to the bottom or middle of the compost heap. Process works better if you mix the food waste with some of the composting material before introducing it to the heap. Adding some of the Bokashi inoculant to this mix will further assist the compositing process and the quality of your compost.
Cleaning the bucket:-
- Wash the bucket with warm water and vinegar only or use a detergent that is
- Do not use anti-bacterial soap as this can kill of the beneficial microbes, making it harder for the fermenting process to start in the bucket.