Make the most of waste by the Auckland Council

Six benefits of Bokashi

Pickle your food scraps

Published: Thursday 13 October 2016

If you’re looking for an easy, non-stinky way to manage your food scraps then Bokashi may be the answer.

Developed in Japan, Bokashi can be translated as ‘fermented organic matter’. Food waste is added to an air tight bucket with an inoculent (which looks a little like sawdust) containing beneficial micro-organisms. This preserves the food waste like a pickle, and prevents odors; it also helps it to break down quickly once added to compost or soil.

Fish and meat, cooked foods, bread, pasta and rice, cheese and eggs can all go in a Bokashi as can fruit and vegetable scraps.

The Bokashi system is made up of two buckets which fit tightly inside each other. The top bucket has holes in the bottom of it. Every time you put the food into this bucket add a tablespoon of inoculent and squash it all down. A small amount of liquid will drain into the bottom bucket and this is an excellent fertiliser.

Top tip: Like the idea of using Bokashi to take care of your food scraps but don’t have a garden? Why not jump on Neighbourly and see if anyone in your community is keen to take your Bokashi pickles for their garden? 

Six benefits of Bokashi

  1. Once dug into the soil or added to your compost it helps your food waste break down rapidly releasing the nutrients within 2-4 weeks.
  2. Little space needed as fermentation takes place in the bucket, so ideal for offices, apartments and schools.
  3. Buckets can be kept indoors as the smell is inoffensive and the buckets are air-tight.
  4. It keeps food waste out of the landfill and it improves helpful microbial activity in the soil.
  5. If buried deeply enough, rats or dogs will not be attracted to the Bokashi when it’s added to your garden.
  6. Meat, fish and odorous food waste (not recommended in other composting systems) can be processed with Bokashi.

For more information on Bokashi – or to find a free workshop near you in Auckland – click here