The traditional way of making bokashi is to combine one tablespoon of essential microorganisms with one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in a cup of non-chlorinated water. This solution is then mixed with one pound of wheat bran and allowed to ferment for two weeks in a sealed container. After two weeks, the wheat bran is dried and then can be sprinkled onto each addition of garbage in the bokashi bucket. By sprinkling fermented wheat bran onto garbage, the garbage also ferments.
There are many variations on this recipe including making your own essential microorganisms using rice (traditional), barley, rye (all of which I have attempted successfully), and probably other grains. Another variation is use media other than wheat bran. I have also used straw and newspaper, others wood chips and sawdust.
I have settled on newspapers to ferment because I subscribe to the Peoria Journal-Star daily. I also use newspaper for bedding in my worm bins. If you are not confused enough yet, I brew kombucha tea and re-ferment it with molasses and vermipost (worm castings). This is what I am currently using to ferment newspapers.
In my last post, I stated that my bokashi bucket was about 3/4 full and working well using the newspapers fermented with kombucha tea. I read about three things that allowed that bucket to fill up quickly. It is now aging and will be ready to use in 6 more days.
- Many uses for coffee grounds on this blog; http://groundtoground.org/ , including Starbucks‘ ‘Grounds for Your Garden’ initiative.
- A post by a forum member, Maricybele, on Wildlife Gardeners http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/fertilizing-soil-amendments/1292-extreme-bokashi-make-your-own-innoculant-37.html
- A thread where a person is using coffee grounds to make bokashi, 5 gallons at a time; http://compostcompulsion.tribe.net/thread/592d5197-9fa8-40d6-8047-a34245781177
I decided to stop by a local Starbucks last week and asked about free coffee grounds. They did not have any 2 kilo bags, but they gave me all that they had so far that day – 30 POUNDS. I began adding it to my garbage to make up 1/2 inch layers, and the bucket was soon filled. I, then began adding coffee to a second bucket.
I went back to the same Starbucks a few days later and again asked for coffee grounds, 20 pounds this time. Then I pondered whether my bounty of coffee grounds should be fermented and used on other garbage, like Maricybele’s bokaffee, …or could it be the garbage itself???
I decided that it could be either, so I took the 20 pound plastic bag and added about a gallon of kombucha tea/molasses/vermipost mixture, mixed it up well, and tied a knot in the bag to make it airtight. I now have 3 batches of bokashi working. What am I going to do with all of this!!??