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Peat Sources

 
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We are developing a completely off the grid property and are planning on using composting toilets. I understand peat is the common starter/activator for these toilets. My question is about sourcing the peat. The southern half of our property (20 acres) is the northern tip of a 200+ acre Tamarac swamp. I'm thinking I have a 100 lifetimes supply of peat literally in my back yard. But I'm not sure if that's usable, if I have to do anything special to it to use it in the toilet, or what my options are. I'm hoping the answer is "just dig up a shovel full and throw it in". Any thoughts/suggestions?
 
Posts: 236
Location: Seattle, WA
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The only reason people suggest peat, as far as I can tell, is due to it having massive amounts of carbon to absorb nitrogen. Most peat, is not biologically active, so you still need a compost starter of some sort. I personally wouldn't choose to use peat due to the fact that it isn't a renewable resource (although you have a lot of it from what it sounds like). Sawdust or leaf mulch work just as well as a carbon sink, and a cup or two out of a recent compost pile in your yard is more than enough to get things going. If you don't have a compost pile yet, some good old organic material rich soil from your yard will work almost as well.
 
Garth Engwall
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That's great - I should have plenty of all of that. I also have plenty of rotting tree stumps and fallen trees on the property that are decomposed to almost the state of mulch. It seems like any of that would work.
 
Posts: 131
Location: McMinnville Oregon
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What is your location? What makes you think what you have is peat? Got a pic of something fresh and maybe a handful of the layer after a week of drying and draining?
 
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