If you have been around the garden bed a few times, you are probably quite familiar with composting, the process of breaking down and composting the yard and garden scraps you typically toss into a landfill. Even if you are an indoor plant parent, you are still probably well-acquainted with this sustainable activity that has reached insane levels of popularity and is now practiced in hundreds of thousands of homes and in hundreds of community programs throughout the United States.
As wonderful a process as composting is, the ancient process has had little improvements with the new technological advancements with 20th and 21st Centuries have ushered in; that is the reason Bokashi came into the picture. While the Bokashi process is derived from some traditional composting practices, the specialized equipment and materials used creates a usable material that is higher in nutrients and can be used in less than two weeks. However, we here at SD Microbes decided to take it one step further by using a special substrate (Organic Beer Grains) from another local business to improve the process even more, and we call it “BierKashi.”
Today, let us tell you more about BierKashi: What is it and how can you use it in your garden!
What is Bokashi anyway?
The word Bokashi comes from the Japanese language and roughly translates to “fading away,” a phrase that accurately describes the process that happens when food scraps are added to the Bokashi substance itself. This process was created by Dr. Teruo Higa who was a professor at the University of Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan back in the 1980’s.
Dr. Higa still works and teaches in Japan and is known as one of the pioneers behind Effective Microorganisms after his own negative experiences with agricultural chemical fertilizers and pesticides. He actually discovered the Bokashi process by accident after tossing what he thought was an ineffective batch of microorganisms on a patch of grass outside his classroom; the fantastic results of this accident became Bokashi and it has taken over the world ever since.
What makes BierKashi so different from Bokashi?
While the standard Bokashi process uses inoculated wheat or rice bran, a byproduct from milling whole grains and various wheats that has already begun to ferment, BierKashi uses a special kind of Organic spent beer grain from San Diego’s first and only organic brewery Protector Brewing ! We collect and process their pre-used organic beer grains with our own mix of Organic Red Flakey Wheat Bran to create a recycled substrate that we use to grow our microbial inoculate, Lactic Acid Bacteria Serum or LABS for short. We also add natural farming inputs from Jared’s Real Food, a holistic and regenerative no-till farm and csa in Lakeside, California, as well as other trace minerals as food for the microbes. This mixture is then dried to allow the microbes to sporulate and enter a dormancy-like state until it is ready to be used at home by you!
How do you use BierKashi to compost kitchen scraps at home?
The substrate that you get at home is a dried blend that needs moisture and food to be added to bring it back to life! Using our BierKashi Composting System is the easiest way to get your composting started in a no-mess way. Over time, the bacteria and microbes in our Bierkashi ferment the food scraps and partially digest them to then be added to your regular compost bin or to be added directly into your garden beds that are in need of a natural, organic fertilizer. This process is significantly quicker than traditional composting taking only upwards of 30 to 45 days and what you are left with can be used in multiple areas of your garden or indoor plant routines.
So, how can you use BierKashi in your garden?
Once your Bierkashi microbes have broken down the food and moisture you have given it, there are a ton of unique ways you can put it to use after just a short period of time. If you already have am aerobic compost pile or system at home, it can be mixed in to speed up the process and introduce more nutrients into the process than you would have ever had before. Bierkashi can also work wonders in a worm bin as a companion to the creatures you already have working for you or mixed in with a worm tea fertilizer solution. Last, but not least, you can add layers of Bierkashi into your existing soil beds to enrich the soil and prepare it for plants, especially those that love a higher pH or acidity level.