Perfect if you have a big garden or run a restaurant/hotel/school with a garden
A bokashi compost stack can be used to process large quantities of:
This method is extremely fast and requires little space, which is why we have adopted it as our main approach to large-scale composting.
It combines the best of aerobic and aerobic composting – an unusual combination which is made possible by the use of EM (Effective Microorganisms) and fermented food waste using the bokashi method.
A bokashi compost stack can be made underground (in a deep pit) or over ground (as shown here, in various forms of frames). Both underground and overground work well, although during monsoon the deep beds tend to get waterlogged.
We usually use the above-ground version shown here if we plan to harvest the compost for use in the garden. The below-ground pit is our preferred option when we want to prepare the ground for intensive growing or to plant fruit trees. Either way, the method is basically the same.
You can use bamboo, shipping pallets (plastic or timber) or any other building material you have available. Make it as sturdy as possible. You will need to be able to fill it easily and empty it easily, so detachable end walls are a good idea.
We build our stacks using shipping pallets tied together with rope. Each one is approximately 1 cubic metre in size and they can be connected in groups.
We fill them one stack at a time.
2. MAKE A WATERPROOF AND REMOVABLE COVER
The bokashi stack should maintain an even humidity and be as cool as possible. During monsoon it should be protected from rain, so a removable cover is good. This can also be used to shade the stack during the dry season. Another alternative is to erect a bamboo grid over the stack in the dry season and grow gourds to shade the compost. The gourds can be planted directly in the compost.
3. START FILLING THE STACK
In the section you plan to fill, build up the stack layer by layer as follows:
CEM is the liquid, activated version of Effective Microorganisms. It essentially contains the same microbes as you have in bokashi bran and fermented bokashi food waste, but in an easy to apply form.
You can make CEM yourself, very cost-effectively, using EM-1 (which is the original concentrate product, available from Bokashi Myanmar) and high-quality molasses.
CEM is used to water a bokashi compost stack as well as generally in the garden to improve the soil and plant microbiomes. The standard dilution is 1:100, i.e. 1 deciliter in a 10 liter watering can.
To make 20 liters of CEM you will need:
Add 1 liter molasses and stir to mix (so the molasses does not sink)
2. Pour into 20 liter bottle
3. Add 1 liter EM-1
4. Top up with 9 liters water
5. Wait for 1-2 weeks for it to ferment
6. Use within 6 months, preferably sooner