July 11


A History of Bokashi and EM1

A History of Bokashi and EM1

While studying microbiology in Okinawa Japan in the early 1980’s Dr. Teguo Higa discovered important properties of several microbial species. He discovered a combination of naturally occurring bacteria and yeasts that together could do remarkable things. He patented and copyrighted this mixture as Effective Microorganisms 1 or EM1. In the beginning his microbe combination was sprayed on agricultural crops and was noticed to increase yield and eliminate the need for chemical pesticides, and fungicides. Soon it was discovered the same combination could eliminate odours from livestock pens and prevent skin diseases on livestock. With further experimentation and study it was realized Dr Higa’s effective microorganisms could also break down many chemical pollutants into inert forms and ferment food waste without foul odours. From the discovery of fermenting food waste bokashi composting was born. Bokashi involves inoculating food waste (including meat and dairy) with EM1. EM1 begins the decomposition through fermentation (like making pickles or sauerkraut) rather than the stinky process of putrefaction. Through this action pathogens are eliminated, lignjns and cellulose is softened and complex organic molecules begin being disassembled into smaller, plant available compounds. Bokashi does not create heat, does not smell foul and retains more nutrients than other methods of composting. The labour input is minimal because there is no turning piles, monitoring temperature, or adding moisture. Bokashi can also be done on a very small scale, indoors making It more suitable for apartment dwellers. EM1 and bokashi are a viable method for repairing the environment, saving food waste from landfills, reducing or eliminating the need for chemicals in farming and creating a healthier future for generations to come. Perhaps one day EM1 will be in every home, business and school.

You can learn more about EM1 and bokashi or get your own supply by clicking here 


Bokashi, composting, EM1, soil

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  • I want to accelerate garden compost, fertilize plants, deodorize cat litter and house smells, feed the septic tank and i bought 5 lb of bokashi.
    Now i doubt it was the right thing to have ordered.
    Would it be better next time i order to order EM1 liquid? Or can i make an equivalent solution by steeping Bokashi in water?

    Can i make EM1 by fermenting brown rice and how please.
    Thank you for your help

    • I assume what you bought was EM inoculated bran? That’s best for processing food waste in a bokashi bucket. EM1 liquid would be a better choice for your purpose. I think lactic acid bacteria serum would work nearly as well for you. This is what some call EM (it’s different) made from rice water. There are lots of tutorials online by searching “homemade EM” or “lactic acid bacteria”

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