This section is about growing organic produce from humanure compost in a small space without fertiliser, herbicide, pesticide or “suicide”.
We deal with composting of vegetables scraps and vermiculture (worms) a bit further down the page
Organic brown carbon = sawdust, leaves, coir, rice-husk, paper-shred etc
Organic green carbon = fresh green vegetable matter and any animal waste
horticultural brown waste will break down & compost on its own if it’s shredded and kept damp – it just takes longer
For COMPOSTING and making good use of our waste body products with the humanure or human8ture system; read below
This is about human waste collected in the humanure system
More on NPK (urine) below
A dedicated bag is placed in a feces container
Newspaper or sawdust is added to the bottom of the bag
A ‘deposit’ is made (your poop)
The deposit is completely covered with formula (sawdust, leaves, soil etc) in the bag.
The full bag is removed and deposited/stored in a composter bin
It is converted via ATC aerobic thermophilic composting into humus.
ATC is a rapid bio-digestion process where ideal conditions for growth and colonization of bacteria are created and maintained. The pile heats up from 105°F to 160°F or more, which kills off all known pathogens. Earth worms find their way to the pile after this (or are introduced) and do their work (vermiculture) The end product is a rich, dark, earthy organic material called humus which is great for the garden.
Note: normal human body temperature is around 34.4–37.8 °C (93.9–100 °F) when we have a fever the body heats up to around 101 / 104 °F to kill off the disease that is ailing it.
Q: Why Should I Make My Own Compost? A: CLICK ME
THE COMPOSTER: (for humanure)
Q: How big does the composter need to be /or/ how many 50kg bags can I get into a 1 cubic mtr container/composter? (with the humanure UDDT system)
A: Good question – I’m glad you asked, although, it’s a bit like, how long is a piece of string? Depends how stuffed the bag is, doesn’t it?
Basically, if the 50kg bag was full of cement, for example, a one cubic metre container would take 20x50kg bags. If the bag was full of cotton wool/feathers you’d be stacking a lot more.
So, we need to get down to basics. The average human poops about 250gr a day. A generous portion of brown carbon formula (leaves, sawdust etc) on top of that would be 500gr. = 750gr.
A family of four would generate 3kg (in volume – not weight) of ‘humanure’ mix in one day. (if they were all at home and not at work or school) actual weight about 1kg ++
- There are many kinds of composters as you can see
THE COMPOSTER: (cont)
So, a family of four would deposit 36kg (volume) of faeces, sans urine, every two weeks into a 50kg paper sack. Due to it’s make up and consistency it averages about half of a 50kg sack, therefore, a 1 cubic metre container would take 40 of aforementioned sacks. 2 sacks a month x 12 months = 24 sacks. So, a one cubic metre composter is more than enough for a family of four for one year. This has also not taken into consideration that the pile is going to start to shrink a lot once aerobic thermophilic composting takes place. WIKI
NOTE: if you are using soil, as opposed to, or in addition to, sawdust, as your cover material in the container then the weight is going to increase.
A good composter bin should allow for aeration along the sides to help oxygenate the pile, holes in the bottom to allow our friends the worms in and a lid to prevent excessive rainwater. It should be kept in a cool, covered place away from the main house.
THE COMPOSTER: (cont)
Total composting time again is variable, but takes about one year from final deposit depending on what climate you live in (WHO) This system requires only two bins. You fill up the first and replace the lid (must have a lid as too much rainwater and it will turn anaerobic and stinky) Having said that, once the pile starts to heat up, after about a month or a few sacks, you should add water/urine before and after each deposit. This is because as the pile heats up it dehydrates, just like we do in the sun.
Fill up the first bin – replace lid – leave for one year from last deposit. This is called the retention time. Never add to the bin during the retention time, this is because the pile needs to go through the final decomposing state when fungal organisms and worms (vermiculture) come into play. They don’t like to be disturbed. Read more:
Start second bin – repeat – empty first bin and use humus after one year etc etc
NOTE: If you think you are growing vegetables in human waste you are not; you are growing in humus, which has killed off pathogens at a temperature way beyond what the human body takes to kill of its own pathogens; in addition it has also gone through the vermiculture re-digestive process. You should worry about using industrial fertiliser, aka, toxic, carcinogenic waste, not humus.
IS IT SAFE? Yes, according to WHO standards.
“Faecal pathogens are dead after one week of composting at a sustained temperature of 122 °f. Biomass still needs time to break down and also go through process of vermiculture. When processed / composted properly from humanure to humus the compost contains no harmful pathogens.” (WHO)
MAKING COMPOST FROM GARDEN AND KITCHEN WASTE ….
is very similar to the information above. Basically, you need to keep an equal balance of brown carbon and green carbon. You would start off with a layer of sawdust or shredded paper, add a layer of kitchen scraps, add a layer of whatever you have handy, let’s say leaves and twigs, add a layer of kitchen scraps, etc etc. Keep it nice n moist, and nature will do the rest. You can do this in an open composter pile (see above) but I prefer the tumbler, as it prevents gasses such as valuable nitrogen escaping and does not leach into the ground. If you are adding red wriggler worms, which is a great idea, fit a mesh base to the barrel and a drip tray below to catch the ‘worm tea’
HERE IS A GREAT VIDEO ON COMPOSTING BROWN & GREEN CARBONS, FROM howdini.com
There are also hot composting systems out there that should be considered such as the Howard Higgins system; they are reputed to seriously cut down the composting time.
BUILD YOUR OWN LOW COST COMPOSTER (text) (Thank you Mother Earth News)
The only thing I would add to this idea, is to say, I would drill 50mm holes in the centre of the barrel (similar to the water heater tumbler below, on a vertical not horizontal barrel) and run a metal pipe through the middle. The pipe could be put on a metal stand or bricks.
TURN A TEDIOUS CHORE INTO A FUN ACTIVITY
I saw this old picture on the ‘net and couldn’t resist. Hilarious! (but you get the idea)
WARNING: must be done under adult supervision!
DISCLAIMER: kabook-i pte ltd accepts no responsibility for injuries sustained whilst performing this activity.
MAKE YOUR OWN LOW COST TUMBLER COMPOSTER
If your barrel has been used for petroleum products or other substances that could harm your finished compost, build a blazing fire inside it to destroy the residue.
PS: Best not to do this indoors : )
HERE ARE SOME BUILD PLANS FOR LOW COST TUMBLERS
(I don’t know why but these suckers keep on losing the link – if they don’t work, go to the BUILD YOUR OWN LOW COST COMPOSTER – and search for them on the page)
But…I’ve got loads of compost – what do I do?
Build a bigger composter – Duh!
Watch this great video to see how the big boys do it. (it links to video 2 & 3 when it’s finished)
THE COMPOSTER & VERMICULTURE & WORMS
THIS IS A GREAT VIDEO FROM GARDENING CENTRAL ON MAKING YOUR OWN, CHEAP, WORM FARM FROM OLD STYROFOAM CONTAINERS
- VERMICULTURE – is basically composting with worms
- Earthworms generally like to live and eat in soil and humus
- Tigers live above ground and eat soft, vegetable waste
- They generally don’t like to share each others environments.
- Adding Tigers to a human waste composter will probably kill them
- Maggots in compost are not a problem, they help in the cycle
- Maggots can be ‘farmed’. Leave a slice of bread soaked in milk on top of the pile. Maggots will throng to it; they are great for fishing or feeding your fish & chickens
- Worms can eat up to half their body weight every day; they can double their population every few months.
Vermiculture process with humus: After first stage of thermophilic composting, when things cool down a bit on lower layers, earth worms will enter from the ground (or can be introduced) This is where vermiculture composting takes place. The earth worms eat the residue and leave behind castings. You finish up with a black, rich soil called humus that is full of wonderful bacteria that are perfect for organic gardening.
DID YOU KNOW? if you put worms into a glass of clean water they will ‘purge’ themselves i.e. puke their little guts out; then you can give them a rinse and eat them, yum! (worms are full of protein)
There is another form of composted soil called Terra Pretta. Literally “black soil” in Portuguese) is a type of very dark, fertile anthropogenic soil found in the Amazon Basin. Terra preta owes its name to its very high charcoal content, and was man-made by ancient cultures adding a mixture of charcoal, bone, and manure to the otherwise relatively infertile Amazonian soil. It is very stable and remains in the soil for thousands of years.
Making charcoal in the traditional high energy way is counter-productive and unhealthy, but you can make your own charcoal with the Low Temperature for Charcoal method.
You can find a very informative pdf on Terra Pretta here. Magic Soil of the Amazon by Allan Balliett
You can also read about the Howard Higgins System for dealing with all waste inputs, including human, to create terra pretta.
Carbonization can also occur through Pyrolysis, which is a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures without the participation of oxygen. It involves the simultaneous change of chemical composition and physical phase, and is irreversible. The transformation of biomass into charcoal produces a series of charcoal derivatives known as pyrogenic or black carbon, the composition of which varies from lightly charred organic matter, to soot particles rich in graphite formed by recomposition of free radicals. Here, all types of carbonated materials are called charcoal.
(I am currently about to start building and testing a retort to create bio char through pyrolysis and to experiment with poop to convert to bio char) COMING SOON!
Also highly connected to compost, soil and healthy growth is bug-life.
MORE NATURAL BUG REMEDIES HERE
The black soldier fly, or Hermetia illucens is a common and widespread fly of the family Stratiomyidae, whose larvae are common detritivores in compost heaps. Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) may be used in manure management, for house fly control and reduction in manure volume. Mature larvae and prepupae raised in manure management operations may also be used to supplement fish and animal feeds. The adult soldier fly has no functioning mouth-parts; it spends its time searching for mates and reproducing. The adult’s life span is 5 to 8 days. Note: therefore, it is not a hazardous disease-causing vector going from compost pile to food and it does not bite or sting. Nature is incredible, don’t you think? It seems this little critter was actually made for the job!
THE LINK BETWEEN SUSTAINABLE SANITATION AND GROWING YOUR OWN HEALTHY FOOD IS HERE: READ THE FACTS NOW!
This fact sheet provides information on the link between sanitation and agriculture as well as related implications on health, economy and the environment. It presents examples of treating and using treated excreta and wastewater in a productive way and describes the potential for urban agriculture and resource recovery in rural areas.
Institutional and legal aspects, business opportunities and management of associated health risks are also discussed.
There are many compelling reasons for treated excreta use in agriculture in terms of nitrogen – to reduce fossil fuel use, reduce emissions of gases responsible for climate change, to reduce the input of reactive nitrogen in ecosystems, reduce energy required to process humanure and to re-pleat the barren land with healthy natural composts.
CREATES AN ENDLESS CYCLE OF GROW : EAT : EXCRETE : COMPOST : etc
VIDEO: COMPOSTING TERRA PRETA & SANITATION – GROWING BIG AND HEALTHY CROPS
Humus: is a highly fertile product that is full of positive enzymes that suppress disease and eliminate the need for pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers. It helps soil retain moisture by increasing micro-porosity and encourages the formation of good soil structure. Humus allows soil organisms to feed and reproduce and is often described as the life-force of soil.
Organic brown carbon = sawdust, leaves, coir, rice-husk, paper-shred etc
Organic green carbon = faeces & any vegetable matter
Properly managed, the bio bag contents and composter does not smell (bad odours come from escaping nitrogen if poorly maintained
Create The Cycle of Life
URINE: aka NPK
Urine: the urine container is emptied daily; urine is then diluted and utilized in the garden or, undiluted, stored for sale. Alternatively, urine is directly fed into a garden system. Urine that contains faecal matter from anal cleansing can be stored, used for horticulture, sprayed onto land six weeks before planting or diverted to fruit trees, which act as an arrester. Urine is a vital source of NPK, the life-force for organic growth.
VIDEO: NPK: LIQUID GOLD
Why flush away all that precious NPK (pee) ? Watch this video to see how you can use pee to grow crops when mixed with waste carbons such as straw and leaves
- Nitrogen (N) – encourages healthy foliage growth – beneficial to leafy vegetables such as cabbages, lettuce and spinach, makes them grow greener and faster
- Phosphorus (P) – encourages root growth – essential for all plants – disease resistant – good for blooming and flowering
- Potassium (K) – (Potash) encourages bigger, healthier blooms and fruit – beneficial for all agri & horti culture – disease & drought (root) resistant.
Why K for potassium? – so you know which one is which!
WARNING: industrial (non-organic) NPK fertilisers may contain high levels of phosphorous or sulphur (for example) and other dangerous elements such as arsenic, chromium and lead found in raw sewage sludge. Want to go industrial or natural? You decide.
High application rates of industrial NPK fertilisers combined with their high solubility leads to increased leaching of nitrates into groundwater and rivers, lakes etc. This poisons groundwater and promotes algae bloom. CLICK HERE to find out more.
Did you know you can create hydrogen fuel from urine? In fact, there are lots of things you can do with it:
Purple Stinky has 8 great uses for urine
Fresh urine is NH4 ions rich, the form of N compounds soil micro-organisms and plant roots easily digest.
Can you see how it’s all beginning to come together?
With a kabook-i system in place we;
eat-defecate-compost humanure-grow vegetables in humus-eat
I firmly believe that common farming practices, especially since the industrial revolution, have been an absolute disaster. And if we had used the humus/compost method we’d be knee-deep in organic black soil now with no need to put poison on the land, or in our mouths. And we wouldn’t have an aversion to growing crops in something that used to be humanure.
Q: So why do farmers farm it that way then?
A: Erm…, that’s the way it’s always been done, isn’t it?
Well, it’s time for a change.
I will be adding more to this article later on, but suffice it to say, current industrial farming practices are an ecological disaster. By using tractors and scythes to turn the soil, to get rid of the weeds and aerate the soil, we destroy the precious eco / micro system and also lose the topsoil. In Europe & the US, the top soil is so depleted now (almost totally gone) that we have to use pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers (PHF) to get anything to grow. Where does the PHF go? Into plants. Where do the plants go? Think about it. Same for farm animals, whatever grain they are fed or eat off the land goes into their system, and ours. And bugs are getting more resistant to the poisons by the hour, so they have to make the poisons farmers put on plants even stronger; which leads to… cancer? You decide. (Cancer has risen drastically in the last 100 years.) You could also do some research on Monsanto, GMO’s and mono-cultures in grains and vegetables.
NOTE: 70% or fresh water is used up in agriculture SEVENTY PERCENT! (100 font)
One way to save water is to take a radical new approach to farming. It’s very simple. Use the raised-bed method with Terra Preta and cover with wood-chip. Simple, no?
So why isn’t everybody doing it this way? (coming soon, change is on its way)
So there’s no getting away from eating poison, is there?
Yes there is.
It doesn’t matter if you live on a piece of barren land, up a mountain or on a concrete car park. You can still have a fantastic garden that produces tons of wonderful organic goodies, even in a small space.
Hang on, I’m coming to that. Go to the Human8ture ® part if you haven’t been there yet and read about composting of humanure.
Okay, here it is; no big secret, or is it?
Raised bed organic gardening with humus and/or compost; based on Mel Bartholomew’s book, Square Foot Gardening. With this method, there is no need for back breaking labour, no need for pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. I will be adding more detail to this article in time (and a few drawings) but here are the basics.
ANOTHER COMPELLING REASON TO USE RAISED BED GARDENS: THEY USE 70% LESS WATER THAN CONVENTIONAL FARMING: SEE BELOW
Another essential resource in food production is water. Agriculture is a water intensive process and consumes 70% of the total water withdrawn globally (FAO, 2011). The
supply and availability of water is increasingly diminishing and is unevenly distributed globally. Already today, large parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East face either physical or economic water scarcity. SuSaNa
NOTE: use horticultural compost from a trusted source.