Sunday, July 20, 2008

your soils' vacation spot

this was the cache until end of june. there is more now, and with the project wrapping up with an bonus month of collection, these remote woodlands will be peppered with bins of your soil transforming itself into what else? soil.

a full bin getting picked up!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

a farewell, of sorts

Sadly, it had to be done. Or, perhaps it didn’t.

A choice needed to be made about my involvement with Humboldt Pile Chicago. I decided that I could no longer participate. Instead of talking about the rational for this decision, I’d like to share what this experience has contributed to my awareness of my self and my connection with the earth.

That’s just it “connection with the earth”; a phrase that is utilized profusely these days as we’re scrambling to find solutions to the complete mess we have made of our home. I have been sensing this loss, my deep loss of connection, but I couldn’t even begin to identify what that “connection” looked like, felt like. Well, my time with Test Hole definitely brought all that crap to light.

In the past few months, my perception of this loss has narrowed. Luckily, I have met new folks with a wealth of knowledge who have shown me that the earth is more powerful than I had ever imagined. Even under all of this urban toxicity, its rhythm is strong and generous. And the best part, your own body – no matter what size, color, scent or flavor – carries and creates an ingredient of that generosity everyday. How absolutely freakin beautiful is that!

My decision to quit was purely logistical. The honest conclusion: do I miss the Test Hole, not really. Do I miss my connection, yes. I would say that if I built a composting toilet outhouse in my backyard I’d definitely say adios to the indoor one. Also, if you’re going to poop in a bucket with multiple folks, it’s important to be on the same page about cleaning methods. It takes a lot of trust (and work) to share shit chores with a housemate.

This doesn’t mean that I’m through with composting my poop and piss; I’ll just have to find out what works for me as I reside in this system of a city. Gotta run and pee, maybe I’ll reach for a jar…

Monday, July 7, 2008

make friends with maggots

just an update :

i have been hearing about maggots in some of your bins - it is fly season afterall. houseflies seem to be everywhere. since i haven't run into this with my toilet or storage bin, i would suggest using more sawdust and dumping more often.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


So in June I was in Missouri for a week in a rustic setting that included outhouses. It was really nice to continue to not poop in water, but honestly I missed the intimacy of a bucket. The outhouses there were the traditional 'long, dark drop' type which made pooping a very anonymous deposit. I like being able to see my poop in the bucket. It's an important indicator of how different foods and I get along and how my body is doing. Before CT scans and other fancy medical gizmos, poop, sorry, stool was a really important way of diagnosing various afflictions.

While looking at my poo, I notice all sorts of things like undigested seeds from serviceberries I foraged. I picked some seeds out of my poo with a stick and am doing an experiment to see if there is a difference in germination rates between serviceberry seeds that are digested away from the fruit and seeds that have been mechanically separated from the fruit. Stay tuned as the moon waxes...