What's That Smell? Not Your Compost Heap.

Jun 12, 2012 5:01 pm

Japanese bokashi composting leaves the stink out

bokashi
Photo: Denna Jones on Flickr
Do you smell that? Neither do we, it's a Japanese bokashi composter.
 

With gardening season comes the pressing, almost consuming, urge to compost. No? It smells, you say? Well, thank the Japanese for bokashi composting (and kewpie mayo). Your fertilizer costs and subsequent odors just dropped to zilch. 

A Wall Street Journal article published this morning touts the benefits of bokashi and how it's finally possible for restaurants who produce literal tons of food scraps every year to convert their waste into compost without dealing with the stench of a thousand pounds of rotting cuisine.

Guess what the secret behind this ingenious practice is? Remember, we're talking about Asian people dealing with food here. If you said fermentation, you'd be correct. Bukoshi utilizes a time-tested mix of microorganisms, which don't yield your typical noxious ammonia smells while digesting food into soil. You'd have to get right up to the pile to smell anything. Can you hear your flowering broccoli bristling with excitement?

Not that using microorganisms to ferment garbage is news to anyone, but this particular blend could potentially sway the compost-phobic to start tossing more than just their eggshells and carrot peels into a bucket. Meat and even small amounts of dairy products and fats, previously uncompostable, can be broken down in the Japanese method. And now you don't have an excuse.

Try it out for yourself — it's the best $50 you'll spend on gardening all year.


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