Even if you live in a city you can compost indoors and create something that your houseplants, bulbs, or container gardens will enjoy living in. By using food scraps to enrich the plants’ soil you’ll also produce less garbage. Bokashi, the Japanese method of composting indoors, uses wheat bran and a liquid mixture to stimulate the composting process. Begin composting in your home by following these steps.
- Lay a tarp on the ground or on a flat surface outside.
- Spread out the wheat bran on the tarp.
- Mix together 12 litres (3.17 gallons) warm water, 240 millilitres (1 cup) molasses and 240 milliliters (1 cup) EM, or effective microorganisms (available online or at some garden centres), in a 20-litre (5-gallon) bucket.
- Transfer the liquid mixture to a spray bottle using a funnel.
- Spray the bran and mix it by hand. Continue spraying the liquid and mixing by hand until the bran feels completely wet.
- Transfer the soaked bran into an airtight container. Make sure you press down on the bran with your hands to remove any air.
- Let the bran mixture sit for a month.
- Dry the mixture by spreading it on the tarp and letting it sit for two days. Return it to the airtight container. It can be used for two years.
- Choose a small container with a lid, such as a coffee can, to store all your food scraps.
- Spread the table scraps from the smaller container evenly in the bottom of a 20-litre (5-gallon) bucket.
- Sprinkle the bokashi mixture over the layer of scraps, covering it completely. Replace the lid.
- Continue adding layers of food and bokashi to the large container until it’s full.
- Leave the full 20-litre (5-gallon) bucket outdoors for a few days.
- Start the process again with a clean 20-litre (5-gallon) bucket and lid.
- Pour a layer of topsoil into a large plastic tub or planter.
- Empty the contents from the full bucket into the planter or tub.
- Mix the topsoil and the fermented mixture from the bucket together.
- Add another layer of topsoil and let it sit for a month.
- Use the enriched soil for your house plants or container garden.
- Compost indoors with scraps that break down easily, such as bread, tea bags, coffee grounds and coffee filters, rice, beans, lettuce, spinach and pasta.
- Cut large scraps of food into smaller pieces so they can break down easily.
- Don’t use items that may have been sprayed by pesticides, such as grass clippings.
- Avoid composting with food that takes a long time to break down, such as meat, watermelon rinds, orange and banana peels, and fish bones.
THINGS YOU’LL NEED
- 40 kilograms (100 pounds) wheat bran
- Measuring cup
- 240 millilitres (1 cup) molasses
- 240 millilitres (1 cup) EM or effective microorganisms
- Spray bottle
- Large, plastic barrel with airtight lid
- Small container with lid for the counter
- Two 20-litre (5-gallon) containers
- Large plastic tub or planter
SOURCES AND CITATIONS
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