Tim Hawke, North Canterbury Farmer, Discusses Bokashi

  • 26 May 2017

This video is of Tim Hawke a Sheep and Dairy grazer from Loburn, North Canterbury Farmer, discussing how he has made and used Bokashi, Fermented Organic Matter, on his farm and the promising results. 

What is Bokashi

This technique called anaerobic composting or bokashi which ferments the organic materials rather than decomposes, has demonstrated there is a way to keep all of the energy and retain all the original organic material. This process takes place without aeration and without any extra processing therefore saving time and money. A starter in the form of EM is added to organic matter at roughly the same ratios of C : N as compost and the material is then fermented by covering the windrow/pile in a plastic cover similar to a silage cover. This compost will have higher energy and nutrient levels than a conventional aerobic compost because the heat generated is much lower (closer to 40 degrees C), and no leaching occurs because of the cover. This process is similar to making silage where we get a process more towards fermentation than decomposition. A good example as to why this process is important is that as the silage process makes herbage more digestible to cows, this EM based composting process makes the material more digestible to the soil! The EM Bokashi composting method is a relatively fast process that provides not only valuable organic matter to the soil, but also provides the benefits of fermentation by-products (metabolites) to help grow healthy crops and maintain healthy soils with a low cost sustainable system.

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