ZENZELE BOKASHI is a joint product of urban gardeners in Cape Town’s informal settlements and Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading to provide sustainable income for the youth. Urban agriculture addresses economic and social challenges in an integrated manner by empowering youth with skills to develop urban food gardens, manage food waste and improve food security.
The term Bokashi is a Japanese word that means “fermented organic matter.” The Bokashi host medium can be any fine organic grain or grass-like substance — bran, rice, wheat mill run (WMR, a waste product from flour milling), used mushroom growth medium, dried leaves, even sawdust.
Zenzele Bokashi is made from sawdust. This medium is inoculated with beneficial microbes that flourish in anaerobic, acidic environments. To prepare the inoculant, a brew that will attract the appropriate bacterial strains is prepared, the host material is immersed in it, and the microbes are allowed to ferment. Molasses provides an energy source for the microbes which reproduce wildly for several days. Once the fermentation stage is over, the inoculated host can be dried, packaged, and stored for long periods.