Back to the roots

We found a community who was using organic fertilizer made of an eco-enzyme.

How did local communities get involved in this initiative?

When looking for plants, we are usually assisted by local community representatives who are knowledgeable about the medicinal plants that occur in their area. Therefore, it is also not unusual for local people to share their knowledge about traditional uses and remedies of these plants. In addition, the local communities are usually very keen to show us their projects as well as plants, many of which we were not aware of.

As an example, while exploring the Karo district, we found a community who was using organic fertilizer made of an eco-enzyme through a process involving the recycling of organic waste residues. After this meeting, our group was so enthusiastic about this concept that Socfindo Conservation subsequently organised a training workshop on September the 10th involving neighbouring villages as participants.

We visited many new places and realized how diverse our forest and river landscapes were

Did you discover new places, did you meet new people?

Yes, by going around our region looking for medicinal plants, we visited many new places and realized how diverse our forest and river landscapes were. Meeting new people that were happy to share their traditional knowledge was also a highlight.

What do you enjoy the most during the field trips?

The experience of looking for medicinal plants in villages, being invited into people’s yards and gardens and discovering Sumatra’s natural environments was fantastic.

Can you tell us more about the workshop you mentioned?

On September the 10 th , PT Socfin Indonesia hosted a workshop on how to prepare eco-enzymes, in collaboration with the foundation "Yayasan Budaya Hijau Indonesia".

In the box below, you can learn how to prepare this amazing product!

How to make the eco Enzyme:

Eco Enzyme (not really an enzyme but a colloquial term) is actually vinegar or acetic acid derived from fermenting uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps, brown sugar and water. The vinegar with its acidic properties can be used as a non-toxic cleaner. The enzyme has a strong vinegary smell, but the smell varies and it can smell really nice depending on the fruit waste that goes into the fermentation.

The garbage[cleaning]-enzyme may be used to mop the floor, wash the sinks and toilets, as it removes dirt and grease really well.

According to "Yayasan Budaya Hijau Indonesia", here’s how to make garbage enzyme:

Supplies needed

  • Molasses, or brown sugar
  • Fresh vegetable and/or fruit peels (peels and cuttings which are not cooked)
  • Air-tight plastic container
  • Measuring cup


  1. In an airtight plastic container, measure and add 1 part molasses + 3 parts veggie/fruit peels + 10 parts water.

    Example by weight: Weight 100g molasses or brown sugar + 300g of veggie/fruit peel + 1000g of water. Use any multiples thereof, maintaining the same ratio.

  2. Give the mixture a good shake, and screw on the lid tightly. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes to make once you’re all set up with the ingredients and container, and the fermentation takes a minimum of 3 months, so it’s best to stagger the enzyme making in batches with labels on the container indicating the date they are made. This will ensure a regular supply later on.

    Please note: You’d need to keep the container airtight. However, the first ten days, the lid does not need to be tight. After the first ten days, you must open the lid once a week or once every few days to let out the gases, otherwise they may build up to explode in the container.

  3. After 3 months, you can filter the residue to get a clear, dark brown liquid that has a fresh, sour smell like vinegar.