What’s a Bokashi?

Is it a game? a new dance? a science experiment?  Not exactly, but it is Dubai’s answer to increase recyling, give a second life to food scraps and improve sandy soil.

Plenty of people with gardens in less harsh climates are familiar with the composting concept. My parents had one, as did their parents before them. When I bought my first home, many moons ago, I scouted out the ideal spot in the yard to toss my organic trash. But moving to Dubai seven years ago ended my novice career in recycling. Finally, we now have  a number of industrial size bins across the city where we can deposit our paper, aluminum and glass trash. But the thought of piling up vegetable peels, apples cores and other smelly waste in a corner of the garden to attract rats & ants never seemed very appealing.

Enter the ‘bokashi’ – a Japanese word meaning ‘fermented organic matter’. The bokashi bin is not much more than a large garbage pail with a lid and handle. It does have a raised perforated bottom that allows juices to collect which avoids your trash stewing into a smelly mess. Scroll down to see one.

Simply drop in your peels, leftover lettuce or any fruit and veg, add a handful of sawdust (not to be forgotten lest you don’t mind wearing a nose plug) and close. Continue layering every day until full. Then, my advice is to get your gardener to do the dirty job of burying the waste in the garden. Drain off the liquid once a week to feed your flowering plants.

In a few months time, you’ll have a much more nourishing soil. The prospect of plumper tomatoes and a succulent harvest of deep purple eggplant keeps me going with my Bokashi routine.

You’ll be alerted when I find my first earthworm !!!!  — Posted by Lee


PS – if you want to know where to get yours, just google bokashi dubai. Or try the Change Initiative or Ripe in Umm Suqeim.


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