Bokashi composting: how to get started

One of the beauties of bokashi composting is it’s simplicity and this is true from the start.

What equipment do you need?

Bokashi composting starter kit

All you need to get started with bokashi composting is a bokashi kitchen composter (often called a bokashi bucket), some bokashi bran and a supply of food scraps.

– Bokashi bucket:

The bokashi bucket needs to be airtight with a tight fitting lid and a spigot to allow easy draining of the bokashi tea. The environment inside a bokashi buckets is anaerobic without excess moisture. These are the ideal conditions for the bokashi microbes to thrive and to easily ferment your kitchen waste.

Note that most people use two bokashi buckets. This allows you to continuously collect and ferment your food scraps.

– Bokashi bran: 

The bokashi bran is teeming with essential microbes ready to ferment your food waste. Just 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons of bokashi bran contains all the microbes you typically need for a days worth of food waste.

– Food waste:

The final ingredient for your bokashi composting is the food waste itself. Everything can go into your bokashi composter; meat, dairy, cooked food, fruit and vegetable scraps… everything. Simply collect it in a bowl on your kitchen side and add to your bokashi bucket every day or so.

Setting up your bokashi bucket

Bokashi indoor kitchen composter

Each of our bokashi kitchen composters include a bucket, a drainer plate, a spigot and a lid. When setting up your bokashi bucket for the first time make sure that the spigot is turned to the ‘closed position’ and place the drainer plate level in the bottom of the bucket. That’s it! You are now ready to start adding your food waste.

After you’ve added your food waste and bokashi bran, make sure that you close the lid firmly to make an airtight seal.

Our 4-step Bokashi Composting Guide (included free in every bokashi starter kit) will tell you everything you need to know to easily bokashi compost your food waste.

Best place to store your bokashi bucket

There really is no ‘best place’. It completely depends on what works for you and your household. Lots of people keep their bokashi bucket in the convenience of their kitchen, close to where most food waste is produced. Next to your recycling bins or under the kitchen sink are great options. However, you can keep it wherever works for you. Just remember to keep it out of direct sunlight and around room temperature.

What to expect when you start bokashi composting

Vegetable growing with bokashi

Bokashi is really easy and forgiving. But don’t worry if the first couple of buckets are less than perfect. Maybe this is your first time composting food waste. It can seem odd to collect and store your food waste in your kitchen after having spent years throwing it away.

After just a couple of buckets you will find the rhythm that works for you. You’ll start to see your garden benefit and you will no longer see your food scraps as ‘waste’. Instead you will understand them to be a valuable resource from your kitchen.

And microbes? The select microbes in bokashi composting are extremely beneficial for soil structure and plant root development.  Once you see the results yourself, the bokashi microorganisms will likely become your new gardening best friends.

Happy bokashi’ing!

Order now! Find all your bokashi composting supplies in our online shop.

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11 thoughts on “Bokashi composting: how to get started

    1. Hi Gina,
      Bokashi composting is a very versatile method and lends itself to many situations. As you are unsure what you will do with the compost, I am assuming that you are interested in bokashi composting as a way to sustainably handle your food waste (please correct me if my assumption is wrong).
      As you may be aware, bokashi composting is a two stage process. The first stage (fermentation) takes place in your bokashi kitchen composter and the second stage requires the bokashi pre-compost to be mixed with garden soil to be broken down into usable compost. This article may be helpful with suggestions on what to do with your bokashi pre-compost if you live in an apartment or condo .
      The suitability of bokashi composting for your lifestyle will depend on how much food waste you produce and whether you can find somewhere locally that would benefit from your bokashi pre-compost.
      Feel free to ask any other questions here. Bokashi composting makes a fantastic use of our food waste. Less waste, more great soil and more opportunities to encourage people to get outside and grow their own flowers and food 🙂
      Happy composting
      Nicki and the Bokashi Living team

        1. Hi Peter,

          Thanks for the question. Unfortunately, I do not know what you mean by the ‘new Pure Bakashi Bin’? Please could you provide a link to this product and/or clarify your question.

          Thanks and looking forward to being able to help you out.
          Nicki and the Bokashi Living team

    1. Hi Harvie,

      Absolutely! Meat, bones, cooked food… everything can go in your bokashi composter. Bones will take a bit longer to break down, but they will do eventually. You may just dig them up in the garden a few times before they completely break down.

      This blog post looks a little more about whether you want to include bones in your bokashi composter.

      Happy composting 🙂

  1. Hi,
    i have just started to pile up kitchen scrap into Bokashi bin and add the Bokashi bran on every layer. It will be really helpful if you show some pictures of how the out come of Bokashi pickling.

    1. Hi Rashmi,

      Great to hear that you have started with your bokashi composting. After the two week fermentation the food scraps may look a bit dull in color with some white mold on the surface. Something like this:
      Bokashi pre-compost ready to be buried

      Bokashi composting is still fairly new to many people here in North America and it can take a couple of cycles to get into the swing of it. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have 🙂
      Happy composting
      Nicki and the Bokashi Living team

    1. Hi Ellie,

      Thanks for your question. Yes rabbit droppings, straw and wood shavings can be added to the bucket. However, it won’t add a lot of value to the bokashi compost. We would recommend saving space in your bokashi bucket for high value waste, such as food waste. If you are wanting to make the highest quality compost for your garden we would suggest not adding rabbit bedding. However, if you have the space in your bokashi bucket and you are trying to save it from going into the landfill then, sure, put it in.

      If you have a regular compost pile, it may be easiest to simply add the rabbit bedding and droppings to your compost pile. Or you could use it as mulch around your garden and let it break down that way.

      I will sometimes mix my guinea pigs bedding directly into the soil when I am adding my bokashi pre-compost. Just make sure to mix it in well as the bedding materials can absorb a lot of water and mean that the bokashi pre-compost takes a bit longer to break down.

      Hope that helps,
      Nicki and the Bokashi Living team

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