For almost three years, I’ve been using a bokashi bin to ferment all manner of food waste for use as fertiliser in the garden. There is no doubt under normal circumstances that the contents of the bin become excellent compost after a couple of months in the ground.
Whether or not they have provided a specific benefit to the hugel beds, it is difficult to say, but about once every four months I’ve been building one and topping off the wood with bokashi solids. I had been concerned in case rats got wind of them but until this latest bed we were fine.
I keep covering the hole that the rat makes at the side of the bed. Every day, I check and the hole is back with more of the hugel bed contents on the surface. At least I’m not losing all my goodness to its dietary requirements!
Now, I think that it will still be safe to empty the bokashi into the ground in the spring and summer. However, I’m running out of ground which doesn’t have perennials planted in it and/or hasn’t become a hugel bed. And if the ground isn’t a good repository in winter, the compost heap is even less so.
So, it looks like the best thing to do is cut back on the amount of food waste going in the bokashi bin. If I divert food scraps which are okay to go directly in the compost bin (e.g. uncooked leaves and peelings), the bokashi will take much longer to fill up. In turn, hopefully, this means the bokashi bin which is currently full won’t need to be emptied for some time to come. (I have two bins, so that I can keep production going.)
And in the meantime, I hope the resident rat finds a new home, nowhere is my garden, once it has eaten the delectable titbits it has found in the hugel bed. I really don’t want to have to put poison down.