Archive for the ‘Bocashi compost’ Category

Bocashi as a type of compost (rural) (Honduras)

January 9, 2011

HONDURAS – Making Bocashi Fertilizer

…  The basic recipe is to take a source of dry manure (chicken and goat) and mix it with a source of carbon (coffee hulls) and some soil and then start adding the extras. … three bags of ground charcoal, a bag of rice germ, a bag of agricultural lime, a gallon of molasses, and also a bag of finished bocashi as a starter. You mix it all together with enough water for 50% moisture and then you mix and monitor over then next 7 days. Essentially you have made a big pile of pickles for the earth. Not only does the bocashi add activated minerals, but the main function is to improve the microbial balance in the soil. It is sort of like an acidophillus pill for the soil. …  

Source: Farmer to Farmer Blog


Natural Fertilizer. Bocashi in Central America

September 27, 2010

The soil’s second chance

One strategy to replenish and maintain soil fertility involves the creation of bocashi. This highly effective and inexpensive natural fertiliser can be made from readily-available materials, including manure, coffee pulp, or rice hulls, together with yeast and molasses. These are then mixed with healthy soil. The yeast feeds on the molasses during a 15-day fermentation and decomposition process, aided by mixing manually twice-a-day. The bocashi mix is then added to crops, and yields either match or improve upon those obtained with chemical fertilisers – at a fraction of the cost.

A young farmer inspects his maize crop, which has benefited from the application of bocashi


Source: Learning not to burn – transforming land and livelihoods in Central America

(Note: This is another example of “cutting the EM hype”, as the method described is a simple farm compost recipe. It involves fermenting to avoid putrefaction. No more, no less. In this case, using yeast.)

Bokashi Compost (Nicaragua)

May 27, 2010


ingredients for making 16 sacks of compost in 15 days.
5 sacks rice hulls or dried grass or leaves
5 sacks fertile soil
5 sacks cow or chicken manure or both
1.5 sacks carbon (charcoal from fire)
23 lbs. semolina
10 lbs. lime
5 lbs. sugar
172 lb. yeast
optional: spent coffee grounds

choose a spot protected from the sun, wind, and rain or prepare outdoors and cover with black plastic. Work in a site with firm ground bemeath.

Layer the materials, keeping in mind a good mix between green and brown materials. Water should be added to drier layers, not building the pile higher than 50 centimenters.
Mix the sugar and yeast in water and pour lightly and homogenously over the top of pile and mix to spread the mixture to all parts of pile, thus beginning the fermentation.
Once finished, begin to turn the pile twice daily for 5 days and then once daily for 7 days.
Let the pile sit for 3 days.
The pile should always feel moist and warm in the center.
Test pile to make sure everything is well mixed and decomposed.
Place compost into sacks, protected from sun and rain until used.
The compost should not be left for more than 3 months.

Source: Puddle Jumping in Nicaragua Abono Bocashi

(Note: This is another example of “cutting the EM hype”, as the method described is a simple farm compost recipe. It involves fermenting to avoid putrefaction. No more, no less. In this case, using yeast.)

Many thanks to long gone !!

April 17, 2010

The original site for Newspaper Bokashi Secrets and an alternative to the expensive bran and EM Hype, was  http : / /   It  was temporarily down during March and April 2010, but  is now definitely gone. In its place is just another site selling that expensive bran and bucket hype. In appreciation of the work of the author of that  original site,  see his Original posts (Google cache for February 2010) below, reorganized.  OR download  Bokashicomposting.pdf    

For a more comprehensive  version on bocashi, rural and urban (in Spanish)  
see  Bokashi (Pre) Compostaje domiciliario


March 15, 2010

September 12th, 2008
This website he original http : / /] is dedicated to the use and promotion of Bokashi composting using FREE naturally occurring beneficial indigenous micro-organisms (BIM)! Bokashi composting need not be expensive! No need for expensive commercial starters, expensive cultures, expensive bran or fancy buckets!

Download Bokashicomposting.pdf

Getting started (Part Two) Purifying the lactobacillus.

March 13, 2010

September 30th, 2008                            Source: the now extinct  http :  / /

Put the finished rice water solution in a bigger container and add 10 parts milk (I use skim). DO NOT seal tightly, the gases must be able to escape.
Allow 14 days for a complete ferment, most of the solids in the milk will float to the top revealing the yellowish serum.
Strain off the solids.

You now have purified lactobacillus serum.


Download complete instructions: Bokashicomposting.pdf

Getting started (Part Three) Newspaper bokashi.

March 12, 2010

September 30th, 2008                   Source: the now extinct  http  :  /  /

Instead of using expensive bran I ferment newspaper to use between the layers of compost in the bucket.

I take one part lactobacillus serum to one part molasses to six parts water. (label and freeze any extra serum)

I soak a  bunch of newspapers thoroughly in the mixture and drain well.

newspaper soaking

I place the soaked newspapers in a 2 gallon zip lock baggie, remove all the air and seal.

soaked newspaper in ziplock bag

Place in a cool dark spot and wait 10 days to 2 weeks to get a good fermentation.

After the fermentation process I separate and dry the newspaper. It’s now the carrier for the bacteria.

Download complete instructions: Bokashicomposting.pdf

Yogurt whey as a starter culture.

March 11, 2010

September 30th, 2008              Source: the late  http :  /  /  (extinct)

If you don’t want to take the time to collect your own free indigenous lactobacillus starter culture (Parts One and Two), you can use live active yogurt whey, the yellowish liquid drained when making yogurt cheese.

Simply replace the one part of lacto serum in step three with the yogurt whey.

Download complete instructions: Bokashicomposting.pdf

Starting a newspaper bokashi bucket.

March 10, 2010

October 1st, 2008                       Source : the now extinct: http  :  /  /

After the bokashi newspaper has thoroughly dried, it’s now the carrier for the digestive lacto bacteria.

I bought inexpensive snap-top buckets from Wal-Mart for about $5.00 each, the lids snap on and off easily, especially with the addition of a little olive oil rubbed around the rim.

I don’t bother with a drain….I place 1 to 2 inches of dry absorbent material in the bottom of the bucket (peat, shredded newspaper, or clean sawdust) and pack well.

To start the bucket I place a piece of the bokashi newspaper on top of the absorbent material, just enough to cover….then I start adding waste (chopped up)…up to a 1/2 inch layer at a time…add a piece of newspaper between each and every layer until the bucket is full….packing each layer well helps ensure a good fermentation. (I use a potato masher.)

That’s about all there is to it.

Oh, I’ve been experimenting with adding a tablespoon of healthy garden soil to the bucket after it’s started well (4-5 days) to culture more of the naturally occurring anaerobic digestive microorganisms, but I’m convinced it’s not necessary. The bokashi compost with just the lacto decomposed quickly in the garden and in my worm bins.

Download complete instructions: Bokashicomposting.pdf

Newspaper bokashi secrets.

March 9, 2010

October 17th, 2008                  Source : the now extinct: http  :  /  /

Well, not really secrets, mostly common sense.

I’ve never had a failed newspaper bokashi bucket when following these simple rules.

1. Start the bucket with a 1 to 2 inch layer of absorbent materials. (shredded newspaper, peat, sawdust or something similar.) This layer will soak up any excess nutrient drainage. (There’s nothing wrong with faucet buckets, other than the expense. I just prefer to keep things as cheap and easy as possible.)

2. Start your newspaper bokashi bucket with a layer of high carbohydrate waste. This jump starts the fermentation process ensuring success.

3. Place a piece of newspaper between each layer of waste. Make the layers no more than 1/2 an inch think. This ensures that the beneficial bacteria will spread throughout the waste quickly.

4. Chop the waste into small pieces, if possible. This gives the bacteria a larger surface area to feed upon. It also leads to faster final decomposition or digestion when your bokashi is buried, added to worm bins or added to an aerobic compost pile.

5. Compress the layers of waste tightly. This helps exclude air and helps transfer beneficial bacteria throughout the waste rapidly. (I place a piece of bokashi newspaper on top of the waste and press with a potato masher, there’s no mess as with bran bokashi. )

6. Never add spoiled waste to a bokashi bucket. Rotten and moldy waste will introduce rogue organisms that can cause a bucket to fail.

7. Always close the lid lightly to exclude air.

8. Do not add excess amounts of fluids to your bokashi bucket.

9. Collect waste throughout the day and add to the bucket at the end of the day. This minimizes exposure to outside air.

10. Add waste at least once a day. It’s usually not a problem to skip a day or two occasionally, once the bucket is well established.

Good luck with your newspaper bokashi!!!!

Download complete instructions: Bokashicomposting.pdf