Filling the bokashi barrel

Bokashi is a two step process. First, fermentation in a barrel. Second, dig down into the ground or into a container and make soil.

It’s very straightforward once you get started, but there are some basic steps to follow.
Here you can learn how to do bokashi and use it to make great soil!

Photo: Jenny Harlen

PART ONE. FERMENT THE FOOD WASTE.

An airtight barrel, bucket or container is needed along with a supply of bokashi bran (half kilo per 60 liter barrel, 100 grams per 10-liter bucket). 

A second barrel, bucket or container is needed while the first one is fermenting. 

1. Put a layer of absorbent rice husk in the bottom of the airtight barrel, bucket or container (5-10% of the volume). This is to absorb moisture from the food/organic waste. Sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of bokashi bran.

If rice husk is not available, use some other form of absorbent material such as coconut fiber or charcoal. Shredded newspaper or office paper can also be used. Use tissue paper if you have it. 

2. Add food scraps and other organic waste from the kitchens and garden. Sprinkle with approximately two tablespoons of bokashi bran for each liter of food/organic waste. You can use every type of food waste. The only thing to avoid is liquids, as you want the contents to be reasonably dry.

3. Continue filling until the container is full, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. Press down the food scraps to create more space (you can use a bottle or a plate to keep your hands clean). If you have a lot of one particular type of material, layer it with other material.

4. Top the barrel with something absorbent (more rice husk for example, or a shredded newspaper). 

5. Leave the barrel to ferment with the lid on tightly. We recommend one week in Myanmar temperatures (around 30 degrees) or two weeks in airconditioning.  

6. Start a new barrel in the same way while the first one ferments.

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We have made a video here showing you how to fill a bokashi barrel with market waste! You may have a smaller barrel, or some other type of airtight container, but the principals are still the same as shown here. Hope it helps!

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