Humunure

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by daileyjoy, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

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    I just got my "Where there is no doctor" Thanks Sheryn :) and I was reading up on cleanliness and was surprised to see that the book promotes lantrines and outhouses VS humunure. Why when it is obivious that humunure is cleaner and safer. Why are countries that lack the sewer systems of the western world do they not go with the safest route. Is it because it has always been done that way or is the pratice of humunure not known? But the civilization of the Hunzas has been composting humunaure for thousands of years and is proven to the one of the healthiest cultures to date. Not to mention the longest lived it is not uncommon to live to be over 110. This has just got me wondering.

    In Christ
    Jennifer


    http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/humanure.html

    here is a like to the website for those that dont have the book, I think you can also view it online.
     
  2. William

    William Member

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    Jenkins is an original.
    It really is a curiosity how we tend to develop complicated methods and lose complete site of Nature's design on things.
    William
    "Look at the birds of the air..., etc."
     

  3. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of people (actually, 99% of people) think composting human manure is dangerous. But what they're actually thinking of is 1) human waste contaminating the water supply or 2) using the waste as fertilizer. Both are obviously dangerous since many diseases can be spread that way. They don't even think that the 'composting' is the part that makes the whole process work.
     
  4. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Does not the term itself "hu-manure" indicate a usage?? I. E. on plants? I wouldn't do it! I read somewhere years back that this was not safe. *shrug* ?????
     
  5. limhyl

    limhyl Well-Known Member

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    You need to read the Humanure Handbook. It explains how to use it safely ie, composting it first to kill micoorganisms.
     
  6. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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  7. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    Read the Humanure Handbook. Not only is it safe, it is preferable over outhouses and leachfields. We used a swadust toilet at home and will do so again when we get to our own place. It makes wonderful compost that your plants will love.
     
  8. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    aerobic bacteria (composting with air/oxygen) are far safer than anaerobic bactieria (septic tanks, outhouses no air/oxygen)

    May so many don't stop and think about, I mean really think and learn, to spread a disease there has to be a source, if every one composted their own waste how would there would be means to spread disease?

    In the "modern" waste systems hundreds of thousands of people combine their waste, some people who are ill and maybe don't know it, are as well shareing their germs with the mass collected waste, so then the total mass is innoculated with the disease, in an enviroment that is prime for the culture and growth of the disease.

    and all it takes is a flood or other problem, to then spread it across the area and give opportunity to infect more people.

    If everyone kept their germs at home, epidemics wouldn't happen.
     
  9. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Ah Ha!! Found it!! In Rodale's Book of Composting:

    Pg. 78 under "Materials to Avoid" paragraph 2:
    "Human feces should not be used unless they have been propertly treated and permitted to age sufficiently."

    Which, I suppose is what you all are saying... BUT.. Rodale does go on:

    "" Even then, concerns about disease pathogens make the use of such material dubious at best for the home gardner. Urine alone can be used quite safely, however.
    Wastes from pet dogs, cats, and birds should not be used on the compost pile. Although dog manure is as rich in nutrients as other manures, it is more difficult and less pleasant to handle than the mixed bedding and manure of cattle and horses. In addition, it may carry organisms parasitic to humans. Special composters designed exclusively for dog droppings offer pet owners a safe alternative.
    Cat manure is even more hazardous, especially to pregnant women and small children. Cat droppings may contain Toxoplazsma gondii, a one-celled organism that, when transmitted to a pregnant woman, may infect her unborn child, causing brain and eye disease. Toxocara cati is a roundworm, also common in cat feces, that causes similar problems in children. Keep the contents of the litter box away from children and the compost piles."

    Then under "Nitrogen Activiator" on pg. 82 he states:

    "Human urine, which contains about 1 percent nitrogen, also makes an excellent compost activator. Just how much you should add to the heap depends on the nature of the material you are composting. Low-nitrogen materials such as straw, sawdust, corncobs, and old weeds should have at least 2 or 3 pounds of nitrogen supplement added per 100 pounds of raw material."

    Okay.. so I'll read your stuff when I can!! This book is actually so detailed, it has prevented me from having a compost pile cause it made it look so HARD!! LOL!! :rolleyes: Guess we can't all be a geniuses in EVERY topic!!! :eek:
     
  10. William

    William Member

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    Jenkins is probably more current on the subject.
    In general, I agree that composting is made confusing by people who write books.
    Just stack it! If you're in a hurry, you didn't start stacking soon enough.
    If you are using leaves, put them directly into the garden (no weed seeds to kill, no need to compost) :)
     
  11. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

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  12. Tater'sPa

    Tater'sPa Well-Known Member

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    :eek: I rekon it's "mind over matter"...or in this case "mind over fecal matter" :haha:
     
  13. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    Rodale's techinque's are intended for fast working compost, slow working compost is a different sort of animal, study the science behind it, the humanure book explains it extremely well, disease and parasites must have a source to develop from, they do not spontaneously generate.

    I built a compost frame to let ours work for at least 2 years, far longer than is even needed. and as shown above even Rodale, concedes that when "permited to age sufficiently" human waste can be safely used.
     
  14. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I thought I'd chime in on this. We use a humanure composting sawdust bucklet system at our homestead. We put everyting in the pile- paper, table scraps- and lots of cover between layers. Tip to any newbees: be sure to keep the sides of your bin built up the sides to hold the contents.

    To Chickflick and any other skeptics: I was skeptical too. Keep the livestock manure in separate piles so you still have short term compost ready quick. Our buckets and humanure piles do not stink, and they have just burnt awayto half pile min-mounds. We started the oldest humanure pile in the Fall of 2001. We have never used it, but we could have it tested for pathogens if it is not too expensive.

    Regards
     
  15. Gayle in LA

    Gayle in LA Well-Known Member

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    I have a degree in microbiology and took a course in Microbiology of Water and Sewage, so I do understand human waste treatment processes. I still would have no problem with using a sawdust bucket toilet if I needed to, with a 1-2 year composting of waste. Pathogens in feces cannot survive composting for that long. People need to understand that human waste is a tremendously rich source of nutrients for the plants we use to provide food. Common sense dictates that we use it! But since when did the government have any common sense? They want us to have to do the sewer/septic thing because that is what is most profitable for corporations that make all the necessary equipment and provide the services. Does it really make sense to treat water to drinking standards and then **** in it??????? I think it's a waste of precious energy and resources to do so.
     
  16. doohap

    doohap Another American Patriot

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    It's so wonderful to realize how many people are aware of the wonderful process of humanure composting! We've just begun doing so on our place in East Texas. Hubby wavers back and forth between agreeing that we will use a composting system in our house and then saying, "No, it would be fine for us, but what about our visitors?" I send him the link to all forum threads I find that deal with the subject ... He's read some of the book but not all of it. He's a very smart man and I'm sure that by the time he finishes the book he'll be an advocate of the system.

    May I ask, please, if any of ya'll have a problem with your composting system and visitors?

    chickflick, I'm sure once you've read the book you, too, will understand.

    Peace and smiles,
    doohap
     
  17. Adrie&Ben

    Adrie&Ben New Member

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    Just wanted to add that the practice of using human waste as compost is an old practice in Japan, where they have limited soil. They used to (and probably still do) collect all the waste from public toilets to use as compost - it was called "night soil."

    Adrie
     
  18. doohap

    doohap Another American Patriot

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    There's been some recent bad public information about "night soil." It may have been in China ... I don't remember. But the basic info was that the "night soil" they are using on the fields has not been composted or at least not composted for very long and there is disease being spread because of it.

    Seems to me the answer is in time ... it takes time to compost. In the end ... it works!

    Peace and smiles,
    doohap