Excited to hear about humanure. I've used composting toilets before and hope to have one in the future...but I think it's unsanitary to use composted humanure on things that you will eat (like orchard trees and other plants in the garden) is that right? I think aged humanure can be used on willow trees (and from what I remember, they actually thrive). So Joe Jenkins...what else can us "poop in a holers" use aged humanure for? Animal feed crops? Pollinator crops? I really doo doo want to know!
I use humanure in my orchard, but I don't top dress with it. Humanure is buried in trenches or pits. Plus importantly, my orchard doesn't flood even in the heaviest rains, and the nearest water well is 10 miles away. Around here, people don't use wells for household water.
I also use it in my flowerbeds. I don't have enough to even think about how to use it in garden areas.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
I would highly recommend that you get the Humanure Handbook and read it, because it addresses this exact question in a lot of detail. If humanure is composted as described in the book there is little to no chance of pathogens still being in it when it is transferred to the soil. (Even if there were, plants don't take them up into their tissues and deposit them out in the fruits on the branches). Though if you personally feel uncomfortable with using humanure on food plants, you can easily use it on ornamentals and mulch producing plants etc. But in terms of hygiene that's not necessary, and all the details and references are the Humanure Handbook.
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
The material coming out of a Jenkins system will not have any harmful pathogens, so is perfect for the food garden. Using it on your food garden will close the nutrient cycle, instead of always taking nutrients out of the soil. I used a Jenkins humanure system for a couple of years in Minnesota. When I saw the amazing compost that came out, I would have been crazy to not use it on the food garden.
Joseph Jenkins has used it for exactly that purpose for decades on his home garden.
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
Joe offers teh book for free in a web based version at https://humanurehandbook.com/ and yes if you use thermophilic composting as described in the book, you will kill off all pathogens usually within the first 24 hours or less (he has charts showing the time-to-live based on temps). As the typically 5'x5' compost pile can handle a family for 1 year (his use was 2 adults, 3 girls), you also are letting it sit for a full year after you stop adding to it, so it is more than ready to put anywhere including the vegetable garden.
This system is definitely not "night soil" as seen in use in some countries, the output from Humanure is pure composted soil and totally safe if you followed his instructions. Even if you cut some corners, the extra year of sitting will be the insurance there. The only thing that I can think of is some medications which might not break down from hot composting and time. You'd have to look up what you take and what if anything breaks it down. City water all over is showing higher and higher levels of medication contamination as municipal water systems can't process it either.
I'm not quite a lumberjack, but that's OK, I sleep all night and I dream all day; I'll coppice trees, I'll grow my food, and compost poo and pee! With a well and off-grid solar, it's a permies life for me! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FshU58nI0Ts
Upcycle Goods wrote:Excited to hear about humanure. I've used composting toilets before and hope to have one in the future...but I think it's unsanitary to use composted humanure on things that you will eat (like orchard trees and other plants in the garden) is that right? I think aged humanure can be used on willow trees (and from what I remember, they actually thrive). So Joe Jenkins...what else can us "poop in a holers" use aged humanure for? Animal feed crops? Pollinator crops? I really doo doo want to know!
First off, I don't know what "aged humanure" would be. Humanure is a feedstock in making compost, so the finished product is compost, not aged humanure, or aged banana peels, or aged dead animals, or whatever else went into the compost. Compost can be used for human food production, house plants, gardens, etc. I have used compost in such a manner for 43 years, all of which had humanure as a feedstock for the compost pile. A lot of other things go into my compost, including dead animals. You can see a dead animal video here: https://youtu.be/QjnMV31WBew
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