Finishing bokashi solids in your YOLO

Bokashi is a popular method used to breakdown cooked food waste. It requires the addition of a bokashi bran – layering waste and then bran and then waste and then bran inside your container. The organic material is fermented by specialist bacteria in the bran. As this is an anaerobic process, bokashi bins have airtight lids.

Bokashi is useful to convert kitchen waste that is not suitable for composting in a YOLO, heap or stack. These waste items include cooked-food leftovers, meat and skin, fats and oils, and dairy waste like cheese. Where you wouldn’t put leftover salad that has a dressing into your YOLO, you could put it into a bokashi bin.

Once a bokashi bin is full, the usual recommendation is that the ‘tea’ is drained and the solids are put into a hole dug into the ground or spread over soil (not plant beds). This is not often practical.

Instead, you can ‘finish’ your bokashi solids in your YOLO. Exposed to air, the lactic acid of the bokashi oxidises to pyruvate, a fundamental energy carrier in biological processes.

When your bokashi container is full, drain the tea, and put the solids into your YOLO. Tumble to mix thoroughly with the other material and leave for at least two weeks to decompose aerobically with the rest of the material. Add to an ‘active’ shell and continue to add new organic material, regularly tumbling and opening the lid to let in fresh air. If you add to a ‘maturing’ shell, you must still, as usual, tumble and aerate regularly.

When your contents are ready, you can dig the whole lot into your garden beds or spread on top and around our plants.

It is a good combination using bokashi for the cooked food waste that you shouldn’t put into compost and then your YOLO for all your organics.

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