Humanure - Should we? Could we? Would we?

How will oil depletion affect the way we live? What will the economic impact be? How will agriculture change? Will we thrive or merely survive?

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Keela
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Humanure - Should we? Could we? Would we?

Post by Keela »

This deserves a thread of its own.

Soil fertility was being discussed on another thread and:
Sally wrote:
SunnyJim wrote:
Sally wrote:Humanure! Got the book - now just gotta try the tee-shirt for size!
Yeah!!! Go girl! Poo for victory! I fully intend to get my humanure hacienda built this summer....
We'd better start a new thread for this one! I'm at the stage of leaving books round the house - remarkably family who live here are debating it positively!!!

Not sure they want their friends to know though!
So anyone else game for this?

The definitive text is The Humanure Handbook
RevdTess
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Post by RevdTess »

I've mentioned it a few times to my friends on the towpath with universally negative responses of outrage. Nevertheless i have my copy of humanure now and shall jolly well out-science them next time the subject arises!
fifthcolumn
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Post by fifthcolumn »

Nasty but probably needed to keep the soil in good working order.
Also: burnt toast for carbon and composting.

On a N A T I O N A L scale. :shock:
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Keela
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Post by Keela »

Found it - a link to Joseph Jenkin's website... scroll down and there is a pdf that can be downloaded with the basic details of how to build a humanure compost pile.


Humanure Website

Edit: Ah! You can also download the whole book for free!
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danza
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Post by danza »

Why not. Id do it. Just not at the moment. :)
I am quite positive about the future of humanity. I know it has too get a whole lot worse before it gets better.
MacG
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Post by MacG »

No problems for me, but the kids and the SO and her kids will scream. At least the girls. The best thing is that it's completely legal, even to put the proceeds in the veggie lot. It's just that people don't like to think about it.

I read a funny thing about the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan - apparently the "night soil" represented an economic value and people purchased it for fertilizing. There were thus conflicts between tenants and landlords over the ownership of the "night soil" left by the tenants in the landlords toilets.
eatyourveg
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Post by eatyourveg »

Why ever not?
Amongst other things it means getting off the totally dumb sewerage system by dry composting.
Left for two years humanure is perfectly safe for veg use etc., after one year ok for fruit bushes and trees.
A guy close to me manufactures dry composting portaloos, I am certainly going to be bilding a humanure system as part of my Omigoddontpanicitwillbealright preparations, and cannot see why not.
Norfolk In Chance
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Post by Norfolk In Chance »

If it ever did become accepted practice, I could see a lot of newsagents moving their outlets next to farms!
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Keela
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Post by Keela »

So when are you starting greg? This summer? Next? Or is it just a good idea sometime?

I'm gearing the family up to starting this summer.... just giving them a little more time to digest the idea! And me time to get set up.

Liquid gold has already been employed - although not all of it! Far too much still goes to the septic tank!
fifthcolumn
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Post by fifthcolumn »

On a more philosophical note it may turn out that the sewage system we inherited from the Romans and the WC may turn out to have been the worst inventions of all time.

If we recycled our phosphate (i.e. our pee and poo) then we probably wouldn't have a soil depletion problem and the peak soil doomers wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

It would be ironic if we solved the peak oil problem and then starved to death because our soil is washing away into the sea by us eating it and then peeing and pooing it down the WC.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

We've got about a year to go before we start emptying our Clivus onto the garden/forest garden. I've got to install a couple of urinals to divert the male pee, and that of any females who can pee standing up, into the grey water system that waters the polytunnel.

I'll probably bury the compost in bean trenches and put it around fruit bushes first, then mulch the forest garden. I'm not sure how far it will go as I think it is fairly compacted in the Clivus and will bulk up a bit when dug out.

The liquid from the Clivus goes onto our grass.
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
contadino
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Post by contadino »

I think our compost loo project is due for this autumn, but I'm doing it more to save water than for the manure. Any of our manure will go onto plots for animals fodder, and animal manure onto plots for our consumption. Funny, but when I write it down like that it seems a little bizarre.
eatyourveg
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Post by eatyourveg »

Sally wrote:So when are you starting greg? This summer? Next? Or is it just a good idea sometime?

I'm gearing the family up to starting this summer.... just giving them a little more time to digest the idea! And me time to get set up.

Liquid gold has already been employed - although not all of it! Far too much still goes to the septic tank!
Next year, busy with raised beds, 22 acres woods to coppice (not all at once), greenhouse, installing woodburner stove with range built in plus hot water, plus shedloads more inc stable, clearing the kill zone etc.
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Shira
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Post by Shira »

I would absolutely do it; if we owned our own place we'd have a composting loo, no question about it. I don't really understand the squick people have about it - it's not nice stuff, no, but it's necessary, and no different (to my mind) than handling horse manure. Life isn't meant to be sweetly fragrant all the time, and humans are washable!
"If you can't beat them...BEAT THEM! They will have expected you to join them by this point, and so you will have the element of surprise." - Simon Munnery
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Keela
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Post by Keela »

Shira wrote: no different (to my mind) than handling horse manure. Life isn't meant to be sweetly fragrant all the time, and humans are washable!
Yup my thoughts too!
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