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Meet Bruce the Bokashi. Bruce is 1 Million Women ambassador, Laura Well's brand spanking new Bokashi composting bucket. A Bokashi bucket, in Laura's words "is awesome, you can compost everything from meat to citrus fruits, bones to egg shells. You will be stopping wasteful products going to landfill creating greenhouse gases and making sweet ass nutrients for your plants".
Image: Laura Wells on Instagram
What is Bokashi?
'Bokashi' is Japanese for "fermented organic matter". To create Bokashi food waste is layered with an inoculant (such as sawdust and Effective Microorganisms) for around ten days. Then, once the waste has fermented it can be added to a backyard compost pile or dug into the garden to finish decomposing.
Bokashi buckets are an easy way to compost the normally 'un-compostable' items like meat and dairy . Bokashi buckets require very little space; can be done indoors and only take a couple of weeks. Bokashi buckets can be used in conjunction with a worm farm as the contents when added to compost help speed up the decomposition process.
What's more is you can chuck almost anything (food waste wise) in your Bokashi bucket. You can buy pre-made Bokashi buckets, but making your own is a cheap option and great way to use up old buckets.
How to make Laura's Bokashi bucket
What you'll need:
- 2 x recycled large buckets. Laura scored hers from a local pizza shop.
- Inner tubing of a bike tyre. Laura asked at for an old one from her local bike shop!
- 1 lid
- A drill
- A spigot – this is an optional addition
- Bokashi bran - available to buy online, from some hardware shops or you can make your own.
1. On the bottom of one bucket, drill between 20 to 30 holes with a 1/8 to 1/4 inch drill bit.
2. Cut the bike tyre tubing in half. Secure the tubing around the top of the bucket without holes in the base. This will be used as the seal to be placed in-between your two buckets.
3. Nest the bucket with holes into the bucket without holes.
4 .Cover the bucket with a tight fitting lid. For the contents to ferment properly, the buckets need to be airtight. If for some reason your lid isn't sealing, place an old t-shirt over the bucket and then snap the lid on top.
Read more: 12 Ways To Recycle T-shirts
5. If you like, you can add the spigot to the base bucket. This will make pouring the fermented liquid onto your garden or compost easier and a little less messy.
6. You're ready to create your first batch of Bokashi
Creating Bokashi with your bucket!
When your bucket is ready to go, you'll need to give your Bokashi a little head start on the fermenting process. To do this, place a layer of vegie scraps in the inner bucket and then add a generous layer of the Bokashi bran. This bran will stop the food smelling, so you can really use as much as you want. Use too little however and you'll know about it!
Oxygen is the enemy of the Bokashi bucket and the fermentation process, so compress the added food scraps using the unused lid from the second bucket or an old plate. Leave this plate or lid on top of the food scraps to create a barrier between the air that will be sealed in the bucket, and then replace the lid.
Continue to add food scraps until your bucket is nearly full, and then leave for around ten days to ferment. Every few days you will need to drain any liquid that seeps into the base bucket through the drilled holes, which is where inserting the spigot comes in handy. You can pour the liquid down the drain, or dilute with water and add to your garden.
Once your Bokashi has fermented, you can add to your existing outdoor comport or worm farm. Alternatively you can dig a shallow trench directly into your garden beds! In a fortnight, the fermented matter will have fully decomposed and you will have nutrient rich soil. If you live in an apartment no problem! You can add the Bokashi to a larger planter.