Gardening with humanure

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What is humanure?

Humanure (human manure) is human fecal matter and urine recycled for thermophilic composting, which is used for gardens and agricultural uses. Humanure contains rich nutrients that improve plant growth! For this reason, humanure should be recycled anytime possible. Humanure can be a source of disease organisms but if composted right, they can all be eliminated. A composting practice called, “thermophilic” is a way of breaking down biological waste. To kill all the harmful bacteria and viruses, your compost pile must get hot. In order to make your compost pile get hot , you must add weeds, wood chips, sawdust and kitchen scraps to the thermophilic compost stack. By adding all that to your compost box/bin, it can produce enough heat to eliminate human pathogen and compost the matter which is then turned into rich organic fertilizer! The thermophilic compost stack must be large, about 1m3 or larger.

According to opensourceecology.org

The key advantage of thermophilic composting is that the high temperatures kill diseases. Human faeces composted by worms is not safe to use on food-plants, but several months of thermophilic composting will render it quite harmless. All the organisms that cause human diseases are adapted to live around human body temperature. Higher temperatures kill them. Compost that stays at 50°C (122°F) for 24 hours will be safe to use to grow food. A temperature of 46°C (115°F) will kill pathogens within a week. 62°C (143.6°F) will kill pathogens in one hour.

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Human pathogens cannot survive very long outside a human body. Human pathogens are eliminated in a hot compost pile in just minutes. The microorganisms will convert the human manure into safe soil when organic matter is added such as grass, leaves, sawdust, hay, sugar cane dormora, straw and rice hulls. Compost organisms don’t like raw human manure because it’s too wet and very high in nitrogen. Compost organisms like to eat humanure. If flies hang around your compost bins, then you do not have enough cover on your compost pile. That is easy to fix, just add more cover. Always cover the humanure after you dump your compost pile, cover it enough where it doesn’t show or smell.

Humanure has been used for many years, the Chinese especially, used humanure. In 1908, a contractor paid the city of Shanghai $31,000 in gold for the right to collect 78,000 tons of humanure just to spread it on their fields. Humanure is sometimes called,”night soil” because the collecting of the humanure was done in the dark.

You should have two compost bins, once box one is filled about three feet deep with humanure, you start filling your second compost bin. Once box 1 has set for two years, you can haul it to your garden and fill your raised beds or add straight to the ground. After box two is filled you let that set for two years and start filling box 1 again after it has been emptied into your garden. Your boxes should be large. You can use pallets to build your compost boxes/bins.

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After two years of sitting, the compost should look and smell like rich, dark and moist potting soil. The humanure can be used to grow garden plants, trees, shrubs, vines and flowers. The humanure can be added to the soil for plants that need better access for their roots such as potatoes and carrots. It can also be used on top of the soil like a type of mulch. You can add humanure to the holes of trees before planting them or transplanting them since humanure improves the health and growth of plants.

Make sure to check out part two of the video!

Sources:

http://humanurehandbook.com/

http://opensourceecology.org/

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/

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