Bokashi is the Japanese word for “well fermented organic material”. Food leftovers like peelings, stumps and leftovers, but also garden leftovers and manure with straw are organic materials that can be fermented. Anything goes as long as it is fresh.
You probably know fermentation from sauerkraut. Fresh white cabbage is stored in an oxygen-free environment with the help of lactic acid bacteria, among others. This turns white cabbage into fermented white cabbage. If the same cabbage were left in a bowl, it would rot.
The microbiology responsible for the fermentation process excretes very useful metabolic products. Antioxidants, vitamins,enzymes, natural antibiotics and growth hormones. Not only valuable for our own body but also for the plant. Fermentation is therefore a preservation technique that preserves nutrients and energy. After all, it does not get hot. Just like sauerkraut, Bokashi has a higher nutritional value than non-fermented organic materials.
Bokashi as soil booster
Bokashi does not only provide nutrition for plants and improves the structure of the soil, but it also activates soil life. These microbes will definitively settle in the soil, multiply and dominate over the present harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses. In this way, you create a disease-resistant soil and natural balance.
Traditionally Bokashi is used in Japan to increase the microbial diversity in the soil and to provide plants with bio-active nutrients, such as natural antibiotics and growth hormones, vitamins and amino acids. This gives plants more essential energy and greater resistance to harmful bacteria and fungi. The neutral micro-organisms in a pathogenic soil that initially chose the previously dominant harmful micro-organisms will now join the effective micro-organisms of EM. Thus, pathogenic soil becomes disease-resistant soil. See also our flyer on Bokashi as soil booster.
Value of Bokashi
Contrary to normal compost, carbon and energy are preserved in Bokashi. Bokashi takes care of:
– Good nutrition for soil life.
– Detoxifying effect on the soil.
– Good environment for micro-organisms.- Faster availability of absorbable nutrients for the plant.
The Effective Micro-organisms present in the Bokashi take care of:
– The production of all kinds of important bio-active substances, like enzymes, natural antibiotics and growth hormones, vitamins and
– A shift to a constructive and disease resistant soil.
– Increased microbial diversity and activity.
Bokashi composting is also becoming popular on-farm to increase organic matter content in the soil , for more information see our animal husbandry section on the site.