Sustainability in the Jabulani Kitchen | The Jabulani Sustainability Vision: Part 1
by jabulani safari blog
In this blog post, we look at an important section of the Jabulani Sustainability Vision: sustainability in the Jabulani kitchen. The lodge’s kitchen was one of the first places where we started to implement sustainable practices, and it plays a vital role in the carbon neutral future we are aiming for. From sourcing locally grown produce to minimising food waste, learn how the kitchen team ensures that Jabulani guests can enjoy delicious meals while minimising our impact on the environment.
We use local produce
We source local produce as much as possible, especially as we are in the hub of many fruitful farms. Using local produce ensures fresh produce that lasts longer, reducing food waste, and also reduces the carbon footprint, while supporting local producers and feeding revenue back into the local economy and community.
We grow our own herbs and vegetables
We invested in an aquaponics food garden with HERD, alongside the orphanage. Our innovative aquaponics system allows us to grow fresh produce most commonly used in the Jabulani kitchen or for staff meals, giving us more control over the quality and source of the ingredients available. This feeds into our greater conservation philosophy, providing sustainable farm-to-fork produce while saving water.
A combination of aquaculture (growing fish and other aquatic animals) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil), this symbiotic system recycles fish waste to feed our plants. Essentially, we feed the plants tilapia (fish) waste while, in return, the plants clean the water used to sustain the fish.
We prevent and minimise food waste
Addressing our kitchen waste, food wastage is limited by careful on-the-day menu planning and not overstocking on food items. We don’t offer buffets and focus rather on individual portions to prevent wastage. We try to keep our food waste to a minimum by also using all our offcuts of vegetables, bones and herbs for stocks and sauces.
We repurpose food leftovers
We keep the remaining food leftovers aside and the team from HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development) collect it and use it for compost – utilising the wormery, bokashi bins and elephant dung. This compost is used in our reserve and also for the bana grass plantation that is grown to provide a sustainable and nearby food source for the elephants in HERD’s care.
We currently feed our red wiggler worms (Eisenia fetida) elephant dung from the herd and any food waste from the kitchen at Jabulani lodge. These worms eat just about anything organic, such as fruit and vegetable scraps, bread, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, grains, plant trimmings, paper and leaves.
The vast variety of worms on the farm creates a rich and healthy biodiversity. The by-products produced by the worm farm greatly benefit the reserve, such as the vermicompost (an excellent, nutrient-rich organic fertiliser and soil conditioner) and vermitea (urine that acts as an organic insect repellent for crops). We use these by-products to enrich our bana grass plantation, which is used to feed the elephants.
We use responsibly sourced meat
Within our lodge’s kitchen, we do not source fish that appear on the red to yellow spectrum of the IUCN Red Data List. Our beef is sourced from a local company that does not only produce excellent quality beef, but most importantly does so following strict sustainability guidelines.
We’re working to repurpose used cooking oil
A lodge’s kitchen inevitably uses cooking oil in the preparation of food. The used cooking oil is a valuable resource in the making of biodiesel. We will be working with a local partner to assist us in the effective reuse of the used cooking oil. The oil will be purchased from us and used in the refining process of biodiesel, adding one more link in the value chain of a green economy.