Bokashi programme at village garden

Hennie Paulse emptying a bucket of fermented kitchen waste into one of the SWVG drums for further composting.

This year the Somerset West Village Garden (SWGV) started encouraging the community and the shoppers at the weekly market to save their kitchen waste, and give it back to the garden composted, and guided by Natashia
de Wet of Circular Homes, a Bokashi programme was launched at the garden.

All forms of kitchen waste – plate scrapings, bones, peels, etc – are layered with Bokashi bran in a bucket, and once the bin is full, it gets sealed for two weeks, which allows the micro-organisms to do their work.

Then the full bucket is taken to the SWVG, where the contents are added to the compost bins and the clean bucket returned to the user… no more smelly bins, no more flies and no more waste.

By introducing the Bokashi system, wheely bins can become free from food scraps – food which is usually past its sell-by date, and which can cause serious illness to bin-scratchers.

It is hoped that if the scratchers are no longer able to glean food from the bins, they may be encouraged to join the SWVG programme, as well as those of Thomas House of Hope, previously known Helderberg Street People’s Centre – where they can receive proper nourishment and even improve their employment prospects.

The first fermented bin was donated at the end of February, and to date they have received 21 bins, which equates to 336kg of kitchen waste – which resulted in a 0.50 m3 landfill airspace saving, and a saving of the creation of 203.86 kg CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).

The SWVG has completed the circle, whereby people can also lessen their carbon footpring… the community can buy freshly harvested, organic vegetables, and then return their fermented kitchen waste that will be used as rich organic compost to feed the soil in which the vegetables grow.

At the same time the community is saving the landfills and creating less carbon dioxide, a win-win all round.

Natashia is available at the SWVG market day every Tuesday, from 9am to 11am, and full, fermented bins may be brought to the garden any weekday, between 9am and 2pm.