Friday, June 20, 2008

satellite pooper from michigan!

Oh! And poop~ okay I am joining the group as an outpost of the outpost. Here are my current habits/functions.

5 gallon poop-n-pee ala heather

I am on bucket #3 and think I have something workable. I do have the luxury of keeping and using everything outside on lots of land. So smell is not an issue or detectable but system is working. I am putting about 3-4” of sawdust on the bottom of the bucket and begin pooping after awhile (doesn’t take too long as I’ve been following a high-fiber diet). It gets so high that I can’t poop freely. (I sit on the rim.) at that point, top it off (fully) with sawdust and move it to a pee only location. Then I pee into it (no t.p. anymore) until the sawdust is moist (sponge damp like good compost – usually determined! Hee hee! or is its feeling appropriately heavy. At this point, I am just letting the bucket sit in the forest but soon I’ll run out of buckets and have to dump. How long will it take to be less/non stinky, messy, recognizable? I was thinking of introducing worms that I find in the local soil to help speed things along.

Honestly my motivation here is really to process and breakdown sawdust. We have and use a sawmill here and have PILES! Of it and nowhere to put it as we can’t put it in the soil or NOTHING WILL GROW THERE. Hey, do you know if that quality of being able to grow anything totally transformed after composting? Presumably yes, but I always eave room for my ignorance.

I am very curious about the characteristics and suitability of consequent soil/compost.

Is there a good/better/best thing to plant in such a soil?


frankvague said...

Hey Heather, I was just in Missouri and talked to some folks who store their composting poo in barrels. They found that the barrels that were open to the soil so that worms and other critters could access it composted much more thoroughly and had a lighter loam than the barrels that stayed sealed. So I'd say you were on the right track with adding soil/worms to the mix.

SpeedEBikes said...

We use wood chips all around our garden beds to create paths and typically put them down about 3 to 4 inches thick. They are great at blocking weeds out for the first year. During the second year we tend to see a lot of small mushrooms/fungus which start breaking the chips down. In the third year weeds start growing and in four or five years the chips are fairly well integrated into the soil. The resulting soil is very rich, light and productive.

I imagine sawdust would behave somewhat similarly, except that it would pack down more densely at first. But even more densely packed and caked I'd expect it would still break down a little more quickly.

When I was growing up we had horses kept in a barn with sawdust used for bedding. We pile the soiled sawdust and let it sit for a couple years before spreading on the fields.

When piled more than four feet deep it would sometimes spontaneously catch fire from the internal heat of decomposition. Even at a depth of only 3 feet it would frequently have large pockets that were completely ashed over inside. We had heard cases of others who piled their waste bedding too close to their barns and burnt them down.

btw, the city of Chicago offers free woodchips, freely delivered too. The only catch is you have to take a truck full, about 7 cubic yards. We're back on the waiting list for a delivery likely to be in July. If anybody wants some, send a note to speedebikes at gmail dot com.