Humanure Composting to Enrich the Soil
Returning things back to the soil for fertility and abundant harvests and health
Humanure composting is easy, hygienic, and the right thing to do. Here we tell you how to build your own cheap, inexpensive, economical composting toilet that doesn't require electricity or plumbing. The heated compost pile will destroy all germs and bacteria so that you return only safe, nutrient-rich compost back your garden.
Because we are constantly busy, what with running the website and homesteading full time, we rarely do proper compost piles. We are not scientifically bent and prefer things to be simple. If we had spare time to spend on something such as layering compost, we'd rather sit in a hammock and read a book. So to simplify, simplify, and simplify, we just throw our vegetable and fruit scraps under the mulch hay that's everywhere in the garden. The scraps feed the worms, which bed in the hay. The hay covers the scraps so there's no smell. The worms break down the hay and scraps and turn the pile into beautiful black soil everywhere in our garden where there was none before, thanks to our property having been used at one point as a gravel quarry.
We do not have a septic system either as we subscribe to Jenkins' notions that running sewage into the ground can contaminate nearby water sources for miles. We opted instead, as he does, to compost our wastes using a low-tech saw dust humanure composting toilets.
The photo at the top of the page shows a deluxe version of the humanure sawdust composting potty toilet made with solid Western red cedar and hand oiled with organic hemp, linseed, and tung oil to bring out the deep amber tones in the wood's grain. A scoop of sawdust after each use covers the wastes, preventing smells and insects. When the bucket is full, the contents are thrown into a compost pile, which heats up via biological activity to break down the waste and sawdust. The heating process also kills virtually pathogens. The earthworms then move into digest what's left of the pile. The end result is a rich, dark compost full of worm castings that's perfect for fruit trees and berry bushes
This way of recycling wastes returns nutrients we take from the soil back to the soil and completes the cycle of consumption in an elegant, safe, and natural way.
For more details, how-to's, why's, and wherefore's of the humanure toilet, read Joseph Jenkins' excellent The Guide to Humanure Composting. You might just be inspired by his humorously serious book to take your potty situation to the next level!