Make your own FREE bokashi starter.

[This is a summary from one of the pages in Google cache, of http  : / /, now gone, replaced by just another site selling buckets and bran]

Well, nearly free…..

Making your own bokashi starter culture in place of commercially available EM is incredibly easy.
My goal from the start was to produce bokashi compost without the use of expensive EM, bran or fancy buckets.
Step one:
The most important component of the commercial EM in relation to bokashi is lactobacillus bacteria, the others are secondary (if at all necessary) and can be cultured in the bucket when conditions are favorable.
I culture my own lactobacillus serum starting with a rice wash water solution.
Making the serum is amazingly simple.
I mix one part rice thoroughly with two parts water (1/2 a cup to one cup). Mix thoroughly and vigorously. Drain. The resulting water should be cloudy.
Place the rice water in a container with 50-75% head space allowing plenty of air to circulate. Cover lightly (air should be able to move in and out of the container) and place in a cool dark spot for 5-8 days.
At the end of the wait the mixture should smell mildly sour.
Strain out any particles.
Step two.
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.

4 Responses to “Make your own FREE bokashi starter.”

  1. Perrine Says:


    I am an organic farmer in France.
    I would like to know if such lactobacillus serum can be diluted and spraid diectly on plants and what should be the dilution? Shall I had anythibg else while spraying (for instance compost tea or else).

    Thank you very much for all those information.

    Best regards.


  2. Perrine Says:

    Thank you so much! I found an excellent article from Gil Caradang. Just wanted to make sure my undersatnding of the recpe is good though…Since I am not a native English speaker, I am not too sure of the meaning of “10 part of milk”. Does it mean I shal add 10 times more milk than solution?

    Thank you very much again for your help!


    • bichofeo Says:

      Yes, I understand it means one part of the strained liquid (the cloudy solution you get after leaving the rice in water) to 10 parts milk.
      good luck.

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