Community Projects - Bokashi in the Bushveld

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Anyone who has visited the Thornybush Collection during their South African safari will know that we go all out in everything we do, and also in how we go about doing it. Our guests are treated to delicious balanced meals (and treats) several times a day, but have you ever wondered what happens to all the scraps and kitchen waste?

From Food-Scraps to Fermenting Compost.

Well, we make magic with them – black magic in the form of compost. Rich, black compost is the cornerstone of our gardening operations. Anyone who has attempted the same at home will know that it takes time, patience and skill to nurture a compost heap.


That's why, when we heard about Bokashi – we reached out with both hands to embrace a system that greatly assists in churning out gorgeous nourishing compost in no time at all.

Bokashi was fine-tuned by Professor Teruo Higa who modified a centuries' old Japanese practice and made it into a household name in his home country.

How this works is simple. By getting the right team of effective microscopic organisms together in one place, kitchen waste is pretty much pickled into submission and breaks down (ferments) into compost far quicker than before.

We ordered our first batch of Bokashi bran and the effective microorganisms to continue to produce our own, and got busy. Being the lodge closest to our community operations, we have started the waste management system at Simbambili Game Lodge, installing some Bokashi bins without delay. In two weeks, our first batch was ready – and so long as we feed the bins, it just keeps on coming.

An added bonus with the Bokashi system, is that it needs to ferment in an anaerobic setting, thus the bins are completely sealed to exclude oxygen. This not only prevents rotting and odours, but it also keeps our opportunistic wildlife and the bushveld flies from getting to the scraps before our little EM helpers do.

Our Bokashi bins are the pride and joy of our community projects soil fertility programme. The compost produced is rich, it improves our soils and nourishes our vegetables and herbs like no chemical fertilizer can. Mother Nature loves it and rewards us with delicious healthy produce for our community and our kitchens.

Environmentally Friendly Soil Food

As these speedy organisms get to work they force liquid out of the food waste. This seeps to the bottom of the bin and with the flick of a tap, we simply decant this out of the bin. From there we can use it to fertilize or add it to our existing compost piles to give them a super-charged Bokashi boost.


We hope to install Bokashi bins at all our lodges in the near future. Keep in touch to find out what else we're doing to make sure we minimise our carbon footprint, while still offering a world-class safari experience.

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Sunday, 24 September 2017