Biochar Bokashi Compost
Ms. Pham Nhu Trang and Ms. Thanh

The Story:

Soil is arguably the most important component of any landscape, so building and maintaining healthy soils are integral to any farm. Healthy soil maintains an ideal environment for plant growth, from storing water and air to hosting a variety of beneficial microorganisms and balancing nutrients. In Hanoi and Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam,  Ms. Pham Nhu Trang and Ms. Thanh (two innovative female farmers) are keenly aware of this. They adapted traditional biochar bokashi compost production. Their new techniques incorporate different raw materials that are inexpensive, locally produced, and readily available.

Biochar Compost provides great benefits to the soil, especially when it is treated with effective microorganism (EM) varieties. This process is known as Biochar Bokashi Compost. It helps farmers improve soil faster. Farmers can easily adapt the method to produce this compost by using common and cheap materials. Biochar Bokashi Compost can be used as a component of potting blends and also for soil treatment at the time of seeding or transplanting seedling because it has plenty of good characteristics.

The Innovation:

Ms. Pham Nhu Trang and Ms. Thanh adapted the Biochar Bokashi Compost based on the raw materials easily available to them. Ms. Trang uses rice husks, rice straw, sesbania stems, and corn cobs and corn stalks. Ms. Thanh added fruit tree branches from around the house. Both have had similar success improving the soil on their farms quickly.

In collaboration with Vietnamese organizations i-Nature and Center for Creativity and Sustainability, A Growing Culture helped Ms. Pham Nhu Trang and Ms. Thanh document their innovation. Read more about the documentation project here

The Impact:

When a Biochar Bokashi Compost is applied, microorganisms break down organic matter, resulting in a stable, nutrient-retentive humus soil. The overall nutrient content of compost is balanced by the combination of many different materials such as rice grain powder, cow manure, rice husk and rice husk biochar. The use of Biochar Bokashi Compost also reduces the toxins in the raw materials through composting (a breakdown process). Ultimately, this composting method improves the soil, which improves the crops they are growing in it.