For some reason, probably due to that feline-life-sapping trait, curiosity, I pondered the possibilities of creating my very own micro-organism starter to be used in my Bokashi. It seemed a natural step on from the DIY grain mix and again was again driven by an eagerness not to pay for anything I could do, albeit poorly, on my own. I'd heard of people creating their own yoghurt and sour dough starters and, because I knew nothing about either, felt that was a firm foundation for my own attempt at a Bokashi starter.
With a bit of searching courtesy of zuula.com I came across an interesting forum post entitled "Extreme Bokashi" which outlined the experience of someone who had already tried this at home. As a bonus, the post also suggested that newspaper could be used in place of grains in the mix - yet another sockful of pennies saved as newspapers fall free from the sky (well, you have to dive into the neighbours' recycle bins).
Anyway, back to the starter, which required a two part process. The first part required a mix of one part rice grains and two water, shaken well and the liquid drained into a jar and covered loosely with some kitchen paper. This is left in a ventilated, cool, dark spot for about five days, over which time it develops the bacteria used in the next phase.
Cue dramatic imagery....
|The wonder of science|
|The wonder of the mildly curious|
The rice water is added to about ten parts milk and the container covered lightly and left to ferment for fourteen days - yes, that's right - Milk + ferment + 14 days. Ventilation and/or isolation is clearly the key here. Admittedly our pioneer poster didn't disguise the truth stating "Most of the solids should float to the top, leaving a yellowish liquid". I'm sure most would shudder just thinking about the sort of smell that would accompany such a picture. Clearly not a project for the faint hearted.
That yellowish liquid, however, is the lactobacillus starter and can be used in place of the EM liquid in the DIY recipe.
Now I need to find a post about purging a house of bad odours.