Bokashi Trench Composting Unveiled at Bushwick New York’s Aberdeen Compost Lot

July 16, 2009 by


The first Vokashi trench composting will be unveiled today, Friday, July 17, 3:00 pm at the NYRP Aberdeen composting lot (take L train to Bushwick & Aberdeen; right on Aberdeen to the end of the block).

After months of collecting food waste using the EM Bokashi method, the Brooklyn company, Vokashi, will show the success of planting multiple buckets in two trenches at the Aberdeen composting lot. Bokashi composting is also a great compost method for city dwellers with small spaces, or those with limited materials to add to a compost pile. The composters are small and self-contained, producing a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer. Bokashi relies on a mixture of microorganisms that help quickly break down organic matter ssuch as kitchen scraps and garden cuttings. The fertilizer can be used in the garden after a few weeks of fermentation.


For about $40, Vokashi, offers a monthly signature service plan (866-989-9848) which provides a convenient and economic collection system for recycling kitchen waste. To support this service, Vokashi has created a line of recycled plastic buckets and produces its own Vokashi bran inoculated with patented effective microorganisms (EM-1). When the container is full, it can be planted in your garden or Vokashi will pick it up and plant it in a dedicated composting site, community garden, or in special lots being developed to produce urban organic top soil.

You  can also try your hand at making your own composting container from a five-gallon bucket that drains through the bottom into another container or purchase a Bokashi Composting Kit for about $65.00.

Vandra Thorburn, a gardener in one of the NYRP gardens, said the organization agreed to let her try trenching in their composting lot in Bushwick. Vokashi, explains Thorburn,  could be handling hundreds of buckets of fermented food waste by planting them in the ground where they will, within a month, decompose naturally creating nutrient enriched soil that can be used for farms, gardens and parks.

Vokashi (which uses the EM Bokashi method) is remarkably clean, odorless and safe. It is a revolutionary way to handle our food waste. “Recycling food waste changes the definition of waste. It reconnects us to the earth which is never a waste!” says Barry Weinbrom, Environmentalist, Educator, and Activist.

For more information about Vokashi, visit or call Vandra Thorburn at 866 989 9848.

About to pour fermented food waste

Free Bokashi Compost Starter Recipe

1. Start the bucket with a 1 to 2 inch layer of absorbent materials. (shredded newspaper, peat, sawdust or something similar.) This layer will soak up any excess nutrient drainage. (There’s nothing wrong with faucet buckets, other than the expense. I just prefer to keep things as cheap and easy as possible.)

2. Start your newspaper bokashi bucket with a layer of high carbohydrate waste. This jump starts the fermentation process ensuring success.

3. Place a piece of newspaper between each layer of waste. Make the layers no more than 1/2 an inch think. This ensures that the beneficial bacteria will spread throughout the waste quickly.

4. Chop the waste into small pieces, if possible. This gives the bacteria a larger surface area to feed upon. It also leads to faster final decomposition or digestion when your bokashi is buried, added to worm bins or added to an aerobic compost pile.

5. Compress the layers of waste tightly. This helps exclude air and helps transfer beneficial bacteria throughout the waste rapidly. (I place a piece of bokashi newspaper on top of the waste and press with a potato masher, there’s no mess as with bran bokashi. )

6. Never add spoiled waste to a bokashi bucket. Rotten and moldy waste will introduce rogue organisms that can cause a bucket to fail.

7. Always close the lid lightly to exclude air.

8. Do not add excess amounts of fluids to your bokashi bucket.

9. Collect waste throughout the day and add to the bucket at the end of the day. This minimizes exposure to outside air.

10. Add waste at least once a day. It’s usually not a problem to skip a day or two occasionally, once the bucket is well established.

Recipe courtesy of


  1. Lorrie said:

    This article should be supplemented with a page from the same author that gives his actual “recipe” for newspaper Bokashi:

    — September 19, 2009 @ 12:47

  2. Rob.b said:

    Thanks for the detailed guide on Bokashi. I found your article very helpful.

    — October 19, 2009 @ 10:25

  3. Miss Bokashi said:

    Thanks for this post. really interesting. I use a Bokashi bin and it’s really working. I compost all of my kitchen wastes with it; very good.

    — October 29, 2009 @ 21:17

  4. Laura said:

    Hey — this left out a critical step: how to inoculate the newspaper with microorganisms that cause the fermentation! Google newspaper bokashi for the answer.

    — November 20, 2009 @ 17:39

  5. Bokashi said:

    Hi there,

    Thanks a lot for the article, it contains very useful information.


    — February 19, 2010 @ 00:21

  6. Lei Ting said:

    Hi, I write an article which record my bokashi experience, it is clear and direct. If anyone has interest to know more about bokashi, you can check my blog as well. Thanks:)

    — January 19, 2022 @ 20:45

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