• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

Vermicomposting Outhouse?

 
Posts: 155
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So i like the idea of a composting outhouse....one where excrement collects in a chamber mixed with sawdust and can be collected at a later time. I would like to take it one step further and add a pound or so of red wiggler worms to improve the quality of the compost. I will also be providing with worms with leaves and weeds from my garden since they can't just survive on manure/sawdust alone. Also the worms would help mix the contents inside the chamber, leaving me with less work. I am also thinking about using some of the worms as chicken feed. The only thing I am concerned about is winter, how will the worms react to the colder temperatures?
 
Posts: 60
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recently came across a website for a commercial product for just this purpose. I can't find it now but a quick Google shows plenty of hits. The only thing I can remember is that it had a very tall breather pipe.

I guess the lower you dig the more stable the temperature is through the year. Plus if there is any composting going on it might generate its own heat.
 
Posts: 148
Location: Houston, Tesas
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sean Banks wrote:So i like the idea of a composting outhouse....one where excrement collects in a chamber mixed with sawdust and can be collected at a later time. I would like to take it one step further and add a pound or so of red wiggler worms to improve the quality of the compost. I will also be providing with worms with leaves and weeds from my garden since they can't just survive on manure/sawdust alone. Also the worms would help mix the contents inside the chamber, leaving me with less work. I am also thinking about using some of the worms as chicken feed. The only thing I am concerned about is winter, how will the worms react to the colder temperatures?



I would wonder, if the worms would have difficulty in that envirnoment. Unless, you are too far north where, perhaps, Black Soldier Fly (BSF) larvae would work better or a combination of BSF and Bokashi. Concerns with the BSF would be that they don't do very well with high-cellulose materials and would you have enough volume to keep up with them? Both will slow activity as the weather cools and winter settles in. You can certainly feed your chickens the BSF larvae which is a high-protien feed. And the BSF are much more tolerant to less than ideal conditions of temp and moisture than worms.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3113
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
318
forest garden solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would not feed the worms to the chickens, at 31F the worms die and at 45F they go dormant. They also need alot of oxygen and they mainly live in the top 6-12 inches. They actually only aerobic (oxygen loving) microbes/bacteria and not the actual leaves/feces. So if anaerobic microbes/bacteria takes over they will die. A vermicomposting is a low temperature compost so it will not kill "bad bacteria" at best it will just out compete them and keep their numbers low, so personally if I was going to directly use human shit vermicompost once the worms are finish with it I would run it they a hot compost, that way the bad bacteria/microbes would be killed.
 
Ollie Puddlemaker
Posts: 148
Location: Houston, Tesas
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

S Bengi wrote:A vermicomposting is a low temperature compost so it will not kill "bad bacteria" at best it will just out compete them and keep their numbers low, so personally if I was going to directly use human shit vermicompost once the worms are finish with it I would run it they a hot compost, that way the bad bacteria/microbes would be killed.



Then, the BSF would also not have a high enough 'hot compost' envirnoment to kill the 'bad bacteria' either. So, you could still, in my thinking, use the Bokashi method, shouldn't the lacto-bacteria kill any E-coli, etc., I've been told that it does. Then, perhaps, feed to the BSF and then feed the BSF to the chickens. Extra steps, I know, but you get more value than just putting into a 'hot compost' bin for 1-2 years and following the Humanure protocol. Please, correct my thinking, if I am under the wrong assumption.
 
Sean Banks
Posts: 155
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read somewhere that worms have an enzyme in their gut that kills bad bacteria like E.coli.....My plan is to use the compost at the base of fruit trees/grape vines so it will have little interaction with the actual fruit...... If worms are killed at 31 degrees F then perhaps an earth sheltered chamber would work to keep the temperature stable....I am also going to need some vents and fans most likely to keep the oxygen flowing.
 
S Bengi
pollinator
Posts: 3113
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
318
forest garden solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Grey water from the shower, kitchen and even laundry contains e.coli but at low level, however black water contains too much e.coli.
I suppose that if you bury the verimicompost or BSF-compost>vermicompost or Bokashi>vermicompost under mulch or dirt and only do it in small amount less than 1/2 gallon size volume per tree.
Then nature should take care of it.

I like the idea of using it only under trees that are have fruits that are more than 10ft above the ground.
Personally I think that I would only use it for plants that I was going to use for green mulch/, dry leaf litter, woodchip etc.
Between all the pharmaceutical, bad microbes and toxins that my body is getting rid of, I would like another level of purification before I close the cycle.
Me>verimicompost>hot compost>plant>mulch/vermicompost/biochar>food>me vs just me>compost>plant/food>me

As for BSF. What happens when it flys away with the e.coli and then lands on my plate of stew peas.


 
Ollie Puddlemaker
Posts: 148
Location: Houston, Tesas
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

In some respects, just by the many things in Nature and how they work, that has already happend to you, me and many others and will continue to do so. But, the BSF that would fly away have given up their mouth appendage when they left the larvae stage, so they are not foraging anymore, but looking to mate, lay their eggs and die.
 
pollinator
Posts: 11799
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1044
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anna Edey made an insulated box for her humanure vermicomposting flush toilet system, and it functioned through New England winters.

http://www.solviva.com/wastewater.htm

http://humanurehandbook.com/
 
Posts: 10
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Without having read the solviva.com link I can say that once the worms are done with anything, it won't work in a hot compost. Also, urine would cause problems because the salts and probable build up of ammonia (through anaerobic digestion) would kill the worms pretty much straight away.

What may work would be: me > hot composting > worms > food plants/trees. Add an extra mulch step depending on your exposure to environmental toxins over the past few months/years or as desired. I think I'd probably trust that process if the hot composting step got hot enough for long enough. According to this site batch composting would provide the oomph required to reach the higher temperatures (60 C/140 F). Not sure how that would work in an outhouse situation...

I did read somewhere that worms are good at removing heavy metals from compost materials (waste food in that case) but I'm not sure what happened to the heavy metals... If they ended up in the worms then they'll either end up in the chickens or the compost if they die there.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11799
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1044
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

David Bennett wrote:Also, urine would cause problems because the salts and probable build up of ammonia (through anaerobic digestion) would kill the worms pretty much straight away.



Apparently it doesn't as worm composting toilet systems are not uncommon: http://www.wormfarm.com.au/

http://www.compostguy.com/worm-composting/composting-toilets-dont-traumatize-worms/
 
David Bennett
Posts: 10
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ah good find. I was citing Bentley "the compost guy" Christie from memory. The systems linked to in this thread are all (I think) water flushing systems which would dilute the waste. I wouldn't put undilute urine in my worm compost.
 
Posts: 288
Location: SW Michigan
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Out house. Dig hole. Drag structure over it. Plant bushes or trees around it. Fill with poo. Dig new hole, move structure, Fill old hole and harvest your plantings. WE often put them in the hedge row or such. The apple trees loved the out house area too.
 
Daniel Morse
Posts: 288
Location: SW Michigan
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just a note. Human waste is just that. Human. I would never let my chickens or anyone harvest larva off of human waste. It is waste that is full of a lot of stuff like meat and toxins. Let the trees and worms have a field day and let nature do her thing. Break it down into the parts and biodegrade the stuff. There are a lot of better ways to get wat you need. I would never use worms from human waste. It is not safe in my opinion. Unless composted for a couple of years at least. I would still be weary of it. This is my granddad talking here.

By the way, it is 5:50 am. Good morning.
 
Posts: 79
Location: Austin Texas
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
http://mtbest.net/worm_farm.html

Yes, you can! Mount best has a system in what appears to be a 2500 gallon tank.
 
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
does anyone use humanure to grow algae for use as compost or animal food? I had a teacher who read to us in the 60s about how algae could be a source of all kinds of things. ill check for other threads...
 
kathy browning
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
oh, and I had a pot behind my garden shed where id poop on a bed of leaves and humus and cover it with another handful or two and a heavy lid. I'd bury it when it was full. it was never stinky, except dirt smell. I forgot about it for about 2 months this summer and thought id have a nasty surprise but instead it was nice looking soil! I still buried it deep around the base of an oak im trying to save, that is showing signs of wilt, but was really surprised, and I already know the power of even leaf worms!
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
670
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

kathy browning wrote:oh, and I had a pot behind my garden shed where id poop on a bed of leaves and humus and cover it with another handful or two and a heavy lid. I'd bury it when it was full. it was never stinky, except dirt smell. I forgot about it for about 2 months this summer and thought id have a nasty surprise but instead it was nice looking soil! I still buried it deep around the base of an oak im trying to save, that is showing signs of wilt, but was really surprised, and I already know the power of even leaf worms!



Hi Kathy and welcome. When adding something, we're supposed to hit the edit icon which is at the top, far right of the post. This extends the original post. This is preferred to a whole lot of little additions. I did the same thing when I first joined and was told to quit it.
 
Posts: 21
Location: Texas
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nathan Wrzesinski wrote:http://mtbest.net/worm_farm.html

Yes, you can! Mount best has a system in what appears to be a 2500 gallon tank.



Hey Nathan..I searched the Mt Best homepage pretty good and couldn't find any way to contact any one....any idea/help ?
 
Every snowflake is perfect and unique. And every snowflake contains a very tiny ad.
Call for Instructors for the 2021 RMH Jamboree!
https://permies.com/wiki/149908/Call-Instructors-RMH-Jamboree
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic