Bokashi on base in Okinawa


Sometimes there’s an unexpected twist in the tail.

I clicked on this link expecting to find a classic Bokashi tale — how Bokashi was discovered inadvertently by Professor Teruo Higa in Okinawa in the early 1980s and has since spread to virtually every corner of the globe. Still on a smallish scale, but the message is spreading neighbour-to-neighbour as we speak.

So here we have a tale of a truly happy woman/wife/mother living on what I assume is the US base on Okinawa — and she just received a Bokashi bucket for a present. It’s really cool to read — they can’t have traditional compost bins at base homes apparently for fear of rats and stuff, and at the same time the soil is hopeless and she wants to grow tomatoes. So why not do as the locals do? A Bokashi bin in the kitchen and a great veggie patch outside the back door.

Bokashi is based on Effective Microorganisms, a special brew of naturally-occuring microorganisms that do many different things. Mainly because these microbes have been around a fair bit longer than us (say, 4 billion years), they are extremely versatile and multifunctional. EM is used in many applications ranging from agriculture to environmental restoration to healthcare and animal food — it’s a fascinating area and something we’re sure to hear much more about as the years go by.  Hopefully we’ll look back on this time as the years when biology started to be used instead of chemistry — more nature, less poison.

Anyhow, it all started on Okinawa, and much of the research supporting and developing the EM movement has taken place there over the last 30 years. Teruo Higa has written his story enthusiastically and well in his book “An Earth Saving Revolution” (ISBN 4-7631-9214-0), it’s a bit tricky to get hold of but google it in your country and you’ll probably find you can get hold of it through your local EM organisation.

3 thoughts on “Bokashi on base in Okinawa

  1. It sounds really great. I hope to find more info using Bokashi on Livestock operations. I am from Nicaragua, so it would be great to adapt this wonderfull mean to restore lost environment conditions in my country.

    1. Keep in touch! It would be really interesting to find out what people are doing with Bokashi and EM in Nicaragua. I hope you can get started!

      1. ps Check the EM website from New Zealand (in the link list to the right), they have a lot of good information on agriculture. Good luck!

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