Category Archives: Other

A kindred soul in the Bokashi world

You get into a lot of interesting conversations when you bring up the subject of Bokashi. I have to admit I often feel like a bit of a nerd, but the subject of taking care of our soil and our waste and our gardens is relevant as hell so often I just dive on in anyway. Sometimes you end up in a long and philosophical discussion on the environment, other times you end up with a very, very blank look to deal with.

There’s a woman in Austin, Texas who is experimenting in every way you can think of with Bokashi, worms, compost and apartment gardening — all with a great spirit of curiosity.

But on the subject of blank looks she describes it perfectly — have a read of it here, it’s quite funny!:

“Go on,” my friend said, “ask her.” My friend’s friend rolled his eyes but obediently asked me what I’m doing with all my buckets.

“…Bokashi? What’s that?”

“Two-stage composting,” I answered.

He nodded, said that he didn’t garden, and the conversation moved on.


The whole idea of running a soil factory at home is interesting.

You can reach a committed gardener easily — fellow composters are quick to recognise a kindred spirit. But often they think they’ve got it sorted, nothing to be gained by trying something new. “Suburban gardeners” often have another response, they love their gardens to bits, but that whole business of soil is a bit of a mystery. Too hard, too messy, too complicated — can’t you just buy something in a bag? So some buy into the idea of Bokashi — a back garden soil factory — while many don’t dare.

Then there are many dedicated green people you come across, they understand immediately we can’t carry on the way we’re going. Some jump on the idea immediately of getting a practical solution to an everyday problem, something they can do themselves. Easily. Others back off a bit, sometimes the theory is more comfortable than the practice.

Then you have the people who just don’t get it. Those who are worried about what the neighbours might think, are afraid it might smell, that they don’t know anyone else doing it, that actually it should be someone elses problem to take care of their rubbish. My only consolation is that times will change — ARE CHANGING! — and the world is slowly but surely moving forward in this any so many other areas. It wasn’t that long ago we wouldn’t have dreamed of sorting our plastic for recycling, now its everyday life (at least here in Sweden).

So how do we converts convince the unconvinced? I don’t know. But it’s worth keeping on trying!

Bokashi in a brave new world

Jenny Harlen
Photo: Jenny Harlen

First time I heard about Bokashi I wondered what the hell it was. And it made me very curious! Soon I was searching websites up and down for information and my curiousity only increased. This was definitely something we had to test. And assuming it worked (which of course it did, brilliantly), something that had to spread far and wide.

We’ve been composting as long as I can remember. Not especially well, just average drag-and-drop composting where everything ends up in a big heap and some years later you muck around in it and see what you’ve got. I always saw it as more of a storage place for stuff that should go back to nature somehow than for what it really is: a small scale soil factory that gives you everything you need to get your garden growing well.

Bokashi is far more than just a new-fangled form of composting however. And that’s what we’d like to take up here in this blog. Not only what is is, but how it works, why it works, what happens in your soil when Bokashi gets involved, and how to make all things Bokashi run as smoothly as possible.

We have lots of ideas and good information to share! And look forward to sharing it all.

This blog is something we do just to help spread the Bokashi word as far and wide as possible. In Sweden, where we live (even though I’m from New Zealand orginally), we run the EM Bokashi webshop. You can visit it on, soon there’ll be an English version but just now it’s only in Swedish.

Please feel free to get in touch if there’s anything you’d like us to take up or would like to know more about. Look forward to hearing from you!