Chatting with a fellow bokashi composter on social media last week, they commented,
I didn’t even know I needed bokashi until I started!
This phrase really resonated with me and got me thinking. I realized I’d had the same experience with bokashi.
Before I started bokashi composting
I had been happily gardening for years with various degrees of success. But I enjoyed it, and my family enjoyed eating the produce. So …. all good. I had tried traditional composting in the past but I had never been particularly successful. My current backyard is fairly small and with neighbors close by I’d decided not to set up a composting bin. I felt like I could use the space better to grow more veggies and I didn’t want to risk attracting unwanted pests.
When my city started collecting and composting food waste I was completely on board. All my food waste went in the green bin and onto the curb every week. Every spring I went and filled my car with the city’s compost (produced, in part, from my food waste). I felt like I had closed the loop and was (indirectly) composting all of my food waste and adding it back to my garden. Happy gardener. Happy (want-to-be) zero-waster!
Then along came bokashi composting
But then I was introduced to bokashi composting as a way to compost all of my food waste at home. I was skeptical at first but tried the system and….. Wow!! My soil suddenly erupted with worms and life. I hadn’t realized how devoid of life my soil had previously been.
My children often dig to find and collect worms for their mud pies. In the past, this could take some time to find just a handful worms. But after just a couple of moths of using bokashi we were digging up 10’s of worms in just one shovelful of soil. And my plants were so much healthier than in previous years. Bigger, stronger and more able to cope with extreme conditions such as hot, dry summers and aphids.
How bokashi composting changed the way I garden
Before starting bokashi composting, my focus in the garden had been on growing healthy plants. With little attention given to the soil in which they were growing. I topped up the vegetable garden with an annual supply of compost (from the city) and thought that was enough. I genuinely hadn’t appreciated how important healthy soil is. Bokashi composting has made my garden healthier and stronger and, in turn, made gardening easier, more productive and more satisfying.
I really didn’t know that I needed bokashi composting until I started!! I am now a complete convert and couldn’t imagine going back.