Bokashi or "Effective Microorganisms"

"Bokashi" is a Japanese word meaning "fermented organic matter". It is a system of odorless composting, where carefully selected, "effective" microbes or "EM" are used to decompose organic kitchen waste. Similar to the wine-making process, this system relies on fermentation rather than putrefaction. Bokashi is made using a combination of sawdust and bran that has been inoculated with the microorganisms. It takes about ten days to do its work, and in the end you are left with nutrient-rich liquid compost. The system will also allow you to compost meat and diary products. A step-by-step guide can be seen here and here. The EM system is very popular with apartment dwellers in Japan and Korea. Real Goods sells a bokashi system. EMTrading has a lot of Effective Microorganism information. [by Justin Thomas]

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