Up to 50% of food produced globally goes to waste, generating two billion tonnes of organic matter in landfills. This is seen as a health and environmental issue; a South African household of four people produces 40kg to 50kg of food waste every month.
Local urban gardening collective, the Manzi Garden group from Monwabisi Park in Khayelitsha saw this as an issue within their informal settlement and decided to do something about it.
The group have always looked to produce the healthiest food through waterwise and organic garden production methods and were quick to embrace Bokashi.
Bokashi is a method of fermenting food scraps. Bokashi can work on its own or enhance an existing compost practice. The training demonstrated how to take abundant community waste and turn it into a rewarding social business that’s just not profitable but also good for the environment, and helps to address the serious lack of waste management in many of our communities.
The group seized upon the idea and started using Bokashi to create nutrient-rich compost to feed their garden. They scaled this and created their own bokashi flakes, Zenzele Bokashi, for sale.
The group, rooted in community activism and empowerment, understand that sharing this knowledge is the key to creating a broad network of urban gardeners producing healthy food in a sustainable way.
On the 12th March, 2020, VPUU’s local economic development team facilitated a learning exchange between the Manzi Garden Group and the Fairyland Neighbourhood Watch in Paarl, focusing on making Bokashi, a convenient and manageable means of reducing the volume of household waste going into landfills by transforming food leftovers.
About 20 attendees were trained on Bokashi production, packaging, business development and the use of the product within the new community food garden at Groenheuwel Primary School.
The Fairyland Neighbourhood Watch gained practical new skills and literally started producing during the training. They were left inspired and motivated to start their own bokashi business and introduce the system to their community and the Groenhewel Primary School.190718_VPUU_Urban-Gardening-sf