At Manabi no Sato, in the mountains of Ei, we are currently trialling two forms of composting in order to reduce our waste output.
By Erin McCullagh
The first type of composting system being implemented is a simple outdoor receptacle made from wire and held up with bricks. This system takes fruit and vegetable scraps, as well as tissue paper and some cardboard. Kitchen scraps are divided into carbon and nitrogen, with the two types being layered to ensure the right balance is maintained.
The second type is a series of bokashi buckets. While most composting is an aerobic process, meaning that food scraps need to be exposed to the air to decompose, bokashi is an anaerobic process. The buckets are airtight and scraps are mixed with a bacterial bran. Over a few weeks, the scraps ferment, a process which turns them into ‘pre-compost’ which is then buried in the garden. Due to this fermentation process, all forms of kitchen waste, including meat, dairy and bones, can be included in bokashi compost. We use this system to compost everything that cannot be put in the outdoor receptacle.
Composting our food scraps has greatly reduced the amount of waste that we output at Manabi no Sato, while ensuring that nutrients from food return to enrich the soil.