I had an idea for how I might improve upon the tree bog concept 1) insuring that as much nitrogen is taken up as possible and 2) spreading that goodness as far as i can. This however would involve intentionally letting the nutrients get into the water which is generally to be avoided at all costs. Tell me what you all think of this.
There is a drainage ditch that runs through the center of my future property. It doesn't really go anywhere it bottoms out on my neighbors property. It not even a "drainage ditch" so much as a low point on the property that water tends to collect in. The drainage of this property is very poor so I otherwise wouldn't worry to much about it polluting groundwater. It doesn't flow reliably. It might have enough water to "flow" a bit in spring but it is generally just a muddy, wet ditch that is begging to have cattails and elderberries planted in it. There are already some alders volunteering there.
My proposition is such: build a tree bog toilet at the top edge of this ditch. All the usual stuff including a double fence with straw between for aesthetics and a scoop of sawdust with each "deposit". The solids ideally should have time to cook in the hot pile and the nutrients, along with broken down hummus will get washed away (probably mostly in spring but i imagine there will be plenty of leeching out year-round). The food forest will be built around this ditch and the entire ditch will be loaded up with cat tails. I expect that the fruittrees and cattails will be enough to handle the nitrogen and will also benefit from the fertilization. The cattails will be washed and thoroughly cooked before consumption.
Besides the general "what do you think?" I have some specific questions that you may be able to answer or speculate on. How likely is this to cause problems? Will this likely be sufficient enough to handle the nutrients or will they wind up as pollutants (4 person house. Few visitors). I assume i will need to do some mucking so slow-growing perennials are not ideal. Is there anything besides cat tails you would put in the ditch? (im in the PNW). The ditch will need to have some medium to keep the run off out of contact with animals and people. What kind of medium is cheap? I have seen yards per gallon for greywater systems but I haven't heard of anyone treating blackwater ("offerings to the porcelain god") this way. Does anyone have any insite? I there anything else I've overlooked?
Sound like a great place to plant some bald cypress. If you would like some seeds that you can start, send me a PM with your address. It's seed collecting time here in Georgia and I have an eye out for trees with lots of seed cones.
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