This is what the “soil” in my new backyard looks like…
But I have been preparing for this compacted dirt and rock and menacing layers of caliche. In my garage a plastic bucket is quietly participating in the fermentation of the organic waste found in my kitchen.
Where did I find this inspiration for fermentation? I took a composting class at the Springs Preserve. We chatted about basic composting methods (the heap of organic waste plus soil in the backyard), vermiculture (let the earthworms dig in) and the mysterious method of Bokashi (no one had ever tried fermenting their food scraps).
The Bokashi method sounded like the solution for my need of an uncomplicated, not so smelly way of beginning my composting before moving out of my apartment to my house.
Without doing much research, I followed the instructions posted at Time to Recycle and began the 2-bucket Bokashi system. Here is a quick summary of how to put this system together. You need at least two buckets, a lid for one bucket, a plate, a handle for the plate and a Bokashi mix. Drill holes in the bottom of one bucket, and put it inside the second bucket.
Sprinkle the bottom of the bucket with Bokashi mix, then alternate layers of food waste and Bokashi mix.
The plate needs the handle attached to it so that you can take it out of the bucket. Use the plate to press down on the contents of the bucket to squeeze out the air, and leave it in the bucket to reduce contact with air.
Once the bucket is filled, keep the lid on and don’t open for at least two weeks.
You can save time by ordering items online and picking them up at the store. I ordered four 5-gallon food grade buckets and two Gamma lids from Lowe’s. These lids are a bit more expensive, but they conveniently screw on and off the bucket.
You can buy stick-on bathroom hooks and attach them to the backs of your plates. I haven’t had any hooks fall off yet.
My large plate did not fit into the bottom of the bucket. I used a small plate with a handle to smash down the waste.
I have been collecting organic scraps in a plastic container that I store in my fridge. Once a week I add it to my Bokashi bucket and mix in more Bokashi mix.
That’s all I have so far. One Bokashi system is in the garage fermenting and the other one is being filled week by week.