Humanure in Haiti and in your locale: (The Indigenous Knowledge Series)

treesThis article is in reference and testimonial toward a Heroic woman’s success in Haiti and its relevance elsewhere: (See the Tedx:  )

A potentially-fictional story for consideration 😉

Local Testimonial:

This heroic woman is describing a system exactly like the system our local DEQ refused to consider in 2011 called locally “the bucket potty”. It was the non-mixing of liquid and solid with immediate cover with Asplundh chips on the non-liquid side. There was no smell. There were no flies. The solids were composted and the liquids fertilized high bench depleted fir forests. The people in question were told to dig a pit latrine. A pit latrine would have contaminated ground water so after digging, they opted not to complete it. After several go-arounds the strategic dig and direct deposit method was implemented with an understanding that the “bucket potty” would be relevant to lower funded households in the future. This was the strategy to avoid the infamous “chem-toilet” and to get the nutrition instead to where it never becomes waste in the first place, but rather stays a valued resource.

Washwater sidenote:

Household sinks produce one of three classifications of products: 1 & 2 greywater and blackwater termed black or grey according to the presence of certain food wastes, or 3. compost tea designated when the washing and running of the water is primarily to produce a nutrient rich solution for growing plants and secondarily to wash up. Anyone who farms can produce compost tea and at the same time why not get the double benefit of washing clothes, hands, food, or self 😉 Conversely, you can produce waste and then have to handle it as such from that point on. Oregon did pass a greywater re-use law, but it has several hurdles that make it overly cumbersome in many situations. For that reason it is often better to start with a product production system and use it to accomplish the washing needs as a secondary deliverable. Legalese you know…

Back to humanure:

In Haiti, under a severe situation, the quicker and shorter cycle direct to food production is implemented while in more rural and specious situations near depleted forests a longer cycle can be chosen. Solid waste can be composted not for a year as with food production, but for 3 months with biochar and hogfuel chips before strategic forest deposition. The liquid fraction which is high in Nitrogen can be used to directly fertilize Douglass fir trees for timber production as long as it is spread around the base and root line and not repeated on any individual tree in the same year. The high nitrogen has direct benefit to the tree production and the symbiotic fungal connections but is less helpful to the random forest floor where it can cause more rapid organic matter degradation (short term gain, long term depletion).

Whether it is for timber production or diverse forest re-establishment, the cycling of nutrients from humanure back to the mountain forests surrounding communities keeps the nutrition in the local system for greater and healthier biology and increasingly diverse ecosystems. Water ways including any gullies, valleys, or the tiniest seasonal streams are as we know a cultural taboo, as are the slopes leading down to them.

This has been a potentially-fictional futuristic account of how things might be in a more perfect and equitable world 😉

clatsk from mt


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