The Scoop of the Poop

worm-castings-soil

Have you ever thought of where your sh** goes? And I do not mean from your mouth, but the other end. Usually you do your business, flip a knob and “PRESTO”, no more thoughts about your sh**. (Don’t we all wish LIFE was that easy). Well, it most likely goes into a septic tank or municipal sewage system; the usual route in our culture, and you think or don’t think about it; “Out of sight, 0ut of mind”. Well you may be losing out on a plethora of goodness, not to mention easing a tax on the “system”. Alternative: making black gold without fracking, especially if you like to garden. Worm castings are an extremely valuable addition for a gardener. Besides adding nutrients, they enhance the ability of your soil to retain water, and also inhibit root diseases such as root rot. The humus in worm castings removes toxins and harmful fungi and bacteria from the soil.

There are many cultures that have capitalized on this resource. In fact, it has been a way of life and necessity in their culture The Guardian Within the United States, Anna Edey http://www.solviva.com has propelled this vision in the prestigious Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts. She has spearheaded this philosophy of the full circle of using our “waste”. Her book “Solviva”, which was published in the 1970’s, explains how to build and use a worm composting box for humanure. There are plans for both flushing and dry toilets. The concept broken down is very simple. Build a 10+ cubic foot ventilated box; I use a recycled chest freezer.

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Drain it to a nitrogen loving plant bed; I use bamboo. That’s basically it. The worms do all the work and the two-fold outcome is more worms; vermiculture, and castings; black gold. I have used this flushing type system for over 10 years. Aside from a small learning curve and some tweaks in the beginning, the system has not failed.

This may sound progressive, but look at Art Ludwig’s use of greywater, an upcoming blog  LivinOffGrid Blog.

Think outside the “box” …. then think within the “box”—WORMS!!

Check out this hilarious video out of Australia; My Daddy’s Dunny Doesn’t Flush

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10 thoughts on “The Scoop of the Poop

  1. Although not one that I can convince myself to utilize, humanure is a interesting concept. We have a garden and are big into recycling at our house. We have talked about composting at home, but worry about rodents, so we buy our compost from a local company. I am looking forward to following along and learning more about living off the grid. I’m sure your 20 years of experience will provide a lot of great information! (CS5711)

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  2. I feel similarly. This is something that I admire, but don’t know if I could commit to it myself. Maybe if I had a plot of land, I would welcome the idea more? I appreciate you talking about humanure, because it’s something that people should know about when trying to reduce their carbon footprint, but many might feel uncomfortable broaching the topic. Thanks! (CS 5711)

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  3. You taught me a new word, “humanure”. When I first moved to Sonoma County, I lived in what I’d call the country, on Furlong Road, almost to Occidental. My landlord had a “composting toilet”. Is that similar to what you mention here? Great topic, look forward to reading more. CS5711

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  4. Nice clean blog with great imagery, both aesthetically clean while still a bit humorous at times. Widgets work. The ”Feed Me!” header is genuinely funny while being clear in its intended use. The posts read well. Reading comprehensively but not with an editorial eye, I thought the writing was clear and flowed well. One suggestion for improvement would be to perhaps keep the posts shorter, and possibly including at least a summary to any counter arguments which can be made. I am specifically thinking about the human waste composting piece. I am not all that well versed on the topic, but I think counter arguments could be made. I am trying to create a more in town JC neighborhood style living a bit off the grid myself. Got some red wigglers in the mail yesterday. (CS5711)

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  5. I would recommend​ anybody who is interested in this to read the free ebook “humanure handbook” by Joseph C. Jenkins. It has a lot of important safety information and plans to build composting toilets, though it doesn’t go into worm vermiculite like this article does.

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