Friday, December 05, 2008

Humanure Update
A lot of people are surprised/freakedout by our composting toilet set up, and I enjoy showing folks how well it works. I've recently started to add a lot more green to the active pile, as I'm learning more about how to manage compost.

Here you can see the active pile, with a layer of green Madrone leaves chopped up and put on top, before I empty a bucket on it.

I get the green leaves from my 'timberland management area'... I had an epiphany a while ago and realized that I can 'manage' all these saplings growing out of old madrone stumps throughout our property. Probably 4 years ago, someone came through and took a ton of madrone trees out for firewood. The stumps are still there, and have been shooting up saplings.

Here's a photo on one patch. The stump is in the middle of those handful of young trees.

I cut one (or more, depending on where and how I want to manage the shade and sunlight situation) and drag it over to the compost area.

I then pull or cut off all the green leaves for the layers in the compost pile,

and after that's done, I chop up all the small branches into fireplace sized sticks. (see the finished pile on the left?)

Then the big trunk gets cut up, then split,

Then stacked by the hot tub for future soaking pleasure. Here you can see the young stuff stacked on the left.

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Starting anti-fire prep

Well, we never really stop.  But, took a picture of today's raking below the yurt.  Every year I work to get a bit wider swath cleared....