Composting by Using Takakura Method

Meilisa Dwi N
5 min readMay 25, 2020


Brief steps of composting by using Takakura Basket method -made with Canva.

It’s been about a month since my last story and OMG I realized how procrastinator I am. Hopefully I can constantly write anything useful here, as what motives me signing up here. Ok enough.

As I said in my last story, I should tell you how I made my Takakura Basket and how to convert the kitchen waste into compost with it. But during this 2 weeks, I would inform that I made some mistakes so that mine is failed hahaha. It should be clean and smell good, but mine is not. Since my family was annoyed with its smell, my Dad threw it away to the ricefield and I have to restart this project. Well it’s not a big problem actually, still there’s is something you learned in every failure, isn’t it? After evaluating some mistakes and asking to the experts, I will remake it again, soon.

All you need to make this kind of kitchen-waste-into-compost-converter is:

  • Basket. Of course. If you have the old one, for sure you can use it. There’s only one specification: it has holes. It’s needed as the air circulatory track. Whether it’s made of plastic, bamboo, iron, or anything, it’s up to you. I suggest you to use the one which has longer dimension for the height than the wide (you’ll know the reason later).
  • Rice hulls. Actually you can also the burnt one which has black color, some people also said you can replace it with the sawdust. The function is to absorb the water and maintain the humidity inside. Since the rice hulls has higher absorption ability than the burnt, I recommend you to use rice hulls. It’s not hard to find it, gardening store will provide you this and the price is cheap (about IDR 15K/sack).
  • Mesh fabric. Actually you also can use the usual fabric. It will be used to wrap the rice hulls and make it like pillow shape.
  • EM4. This contains microorganism as the decomposer. Choose the one for farming (usually the bottle is yellow). (anyway you have to read and do the instruction of using EM4 on the label first)
  • Stirrer. You can use anything. I use the rice ladle because my Mom has so much as it’s the bonus while buying the rice.
  • Scissor / cutter. You will need it for cutting out the waste, but if you think you can do it by your hand it’s okay.

There you go, here’s the sketch. Go on and make your composter!

Takakura Basket’s Sketch. -made with Canva.

Then, what to do? The brief steps are: prepare — cut — mix.

  1. Prepare the material: the Takakura Basket, kitchen / food waste, EM4, and additionally you can use scissor / cutter.
  2. Cut out the kitchen waste. Smaller is better. Anyway, you can add anything here except the animal-based material (like meat and fish) because it will initiate the larvae and make it smells bad. Actually some said that it’s okay to throw away everything, but I made 2 exception: the animal-based material and over-stale food. I was used to put vegetable waste, eggshell, staled tempeh, and the yesterday-rice. You can add the waste anytime.
  3. Mix out the waste and the soil / compost, then add EM4. This is why I said the smaller its size is better, because the area which will have contact with microorganism is wider so that it ease the decomposing process.

You can place the basket anywhere. It’s clean. The insect (like ant and fly which usually comes to the bin) seems not interested with this basket. Ah, once I found out that the ants came, maybe because I threw sweet cake and I didn’t cut it off so that the ant could realize there’s the food source there, then after I cut it into pieces, the ants didn’t come again.

You won’t smell something bad like what’s you find on the garbage truck. The scent is various, based on what’s you put inside. On the first days, my mom made orange drink almost everyday, so I put the waste on the bin. The next days I smell the orange scent from there haha. Beside its unique scent, what will you find is the warm temperature inside. I could feel it while mixing it with the new waste I just put in.

Everything went well, the waste usually broke down into pieces (and I couldn’t recognize what it is) for 2–5 days, based on the type. Then, the 2nd week I found out that the basket gave me bad odor. Then I was so sure that I made the mistake. After analyzed what could be wrong, I assumed that one of the kitchen waste shouldn’t put in is over-stale food. I put the over-stale rice inside (I let the rice on the room temperature for about 2 days so until secreted water and smells so bad). Not only the odor, what made me annoyed also the maggot. I thought the stale-rice contained the fly egg.

I’ve asked the experts, they said I could add gips, or dry it in the sun. Of course it will take time to normalize it again. But my family totally were annoyed by its bad odor, so that my Dad brought it to his ricefield.

Okay. I failed for my 1st try. At least, I know what’s made me fail so that I won’t repeat it again and I could tell the other not to do same things. Anyway, let me tell you, I write it here to motivate myself not to stop. Once, someone said to me, one of the ways we can do to constantly do something is to write it and publish in our social media. Sharing is caring. How can we share something if we ourselves didn’t do and take care of it?



Meilisa Dwi N

Meilisa is a photography enthusiast who has interest in agriculture.