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Humanure Finished Compost

 
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We have been doing humanure for many years and we still aren’t certain of the quality of the compost. We just broke into a 1.5 year old pile and the compost is a brown, not black and looks pretty much like the sawdust we use to cover. It feels very dry. We cover with hardwood sawdust from a local saw mill and our piles always heat up. I’m curious what other’s experience with their humanure finished compost and how it should look.
In more recent piles I’ve been adding biochar and azomite every other time that we emptied our buckets and those piles look a little better.
The color of the compost is more accurately portrayed in the picture with the wheel barrow. The picture of it in my hand looks a little darker than it actually is.
CE6D18A3-4B15-435B-BE01-0C564D22C320.jpeg
[Thumbnail for CE6D18A3-4B15-435B-BE01-0C564D22C320.jpeg]
 
Lindsay Morris
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Wheel barrow
FC9C4E27-2569-4617-A0EB-341951BF6E45.jpeg
[Thumbnail for FC9C4E27-2569-4617-A0EB-341951BF6E45.jpeg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 339
Location: Dry mountains Eastern WA
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Poop is what you eat.  Most manure producing animals that we obtain poop from are herbivores.  Bunnies, cows, horses. If you eat meat, eggs etc that dramatically changes the character of your poop. Even if you are vegetarians your body does not manufacture poop like a cow, horse or bunny does.  And most of use do not have a pure diet.  

There’s a big difference between using say, dog poop as opposed to rabbit poop based on how their bodies make the poop and more importantly what they eat. You can smell and see the difference.  Same with human poop.  Cow manure to me smells nice.  Human poop To me generally does not.

Community sewer systems can produce good usable fertilizer from human waste but their is a process.

Generally you can compost just about anything organic but that doesn’t necessarily mean the compost is rich and wonderful.

If you are intent on making compost With your poop I would be adding the personal poop to other forms of compost and other manures for the quality of the compost.

I would also want to know that I had heated my poop at a temperature hot enough that I was killing bacteria. God forbid you get sick from handling it.
 
Lindsay Morris
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We follow the humanure handbook which has lots of great information about all this. We incorporate our kitchen scraps at a significant amount and it is much more stinky than the humanure buckets. We don’t use other animal manures, but sometimes add some garden clippings. Straw is of course added per the handbook guidelines. We have made successful compost in the past. I’m hoping someone that has used the humanure system can shes some light on how the finished product looks for them. This compost has no odor, it is very light, it seems like the sawdust just isn’t breaking down. We use red and white oak sawdust and wondering if we need a different cover material.
 
Janet Reed
pollinator
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Location: Dry mountains Eastern WA
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Lindsay Morris wrote:We follow the humanure handbook which has lots of great information about all this. We incorporate our kitchen scraps at a significant amount and it is much more stinky than the humanure buckets. We don’t use other animal manures, but sometimes add some garden clippings. Straw is of course added per the handbook guidelines. We have made successful compost in the past. I’m hoping someone that has used the humanure system can shes some light on how the finished product looks for them. This compost has no odor, it is very light, it seems like the sawdust just isn’t breaking down. We use red and white oak sawdust and wondering if we need a different cover material.



Just curious..do you know how hot it gets?
 
Lindsay Morris
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I’ve never measured with a thermometer. It’s steaming when we open it, summer or winter, and it’s never frozen in the winter. We live in zone 6 and have cold winters.
 
pollinator
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I would e-mail the pictures and questions to Joseph Jenkins, the author of The Humanure Handbook, and see what he says. He seems quite dedicated to the humanure cause and has been composting human waste for a very long time.
 
Lindsay Morris
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Thank you for that excellent recommendation, funny coincidence, as I was reading your response my husband was doing just that!
 
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Location: Pacific Northwest, West of the Cascades. United States
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I am reading the Humanure Handbook right now. I, too, would love to see pictures of member's finished humanure compost!
 
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