A passion for food + fashion

Going Green and Japanese

In Food on July 1, 2009 at 8:58 pm


My friend Lizzie blogged about composting the other day on her groovy blog, DESIGNwatcher. The condo bylaws in her Chicago condo forbid it, so reason #547 why we’re thrilled Lizzie is moving back to LA!!! She can compost!

I’ve been on again-off again with Bokashi, a Japanese anaerobic composting system that ferments kitchen and garden scraps in a matter of days versus months. I have the Happy Farmer Bokashi composter, pictured above. (To get the scoop on how Bokashi works, click HERE.) And get this: it is pretty much odorless. I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but I had my Bokashi half full in my kitchen last summer and kind of forgot about it because I ended up having a C-section, and once Tiny G was on the scene frankly, well, I had other stuff to do. The better part of a year—a YEAR—went by and I was like, oh yeah, I need to empty the Bokashi. Did  mention that it was sitting in my kitchen all this time? For reals.

Terrified I went to empty it, not knowing what kind of nightmare was brewing within. But I couldn’t believe it. Upon opening my Happy Farmer composter, I discovered the contents had fermented and had only a faint pickled odor. So I’m back at it, and this time will get this stuff into the ground in a timely manner. Here’s a peek inside, with scraps from the other night’s ga bop salad (and yes, you can put small amounts of animal fat like chicken skin in the Bokashi, no problem)…


And then here it is with the compost starter sprinkled over:


After, I place a plastic sheet cut out from a plastic placemat, and put it over the contents and put a brick on top to keep it compacted. Then just replace the lid and seal tight, repeating with scraps and adding to the Bokashi bin until full. Then you let it sit, sealed and untouched, for a fortnight, after which you mix it in with your soil. I’ll be using it in my herb garden. My neighbor Debra got me onto this in the first place and I can honestly tell you without any hyperbole whatsoever that the lettuces from her garden and the sweetest and best I’ve ever tasted. Ever.

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