PORTUGAL

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: PORTUGAL
Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Monday, August 18, 2008 - 6:51 pm
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Nice.

Author: Burra (Burra)
Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 9:18 am
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Here it is!

our heap

We are going to build another one next to it, then a 'little house' for a toilet (it's just a lidded bucket with sawdust at the moment...), and then maybe one or two more the other side as we seem to be filling this one up pretty quickly.

We are watering the heap as it's really hot and dry here in the summer, and we have a compost thermometer on order. I've also treated myself to a copy of 'Teaming with microbes', 'Life in the soil' and 'Gaias Garden'. Today we emptied out the old camping toilet (no chemicals added) for the last time, tipping it into a big hole in the middle of the heap. We used to bury it in trenches dug in the garden and then grow sweet peas (commonly called 'smelly poos' in this family) on top for the first year, but it was a disgusting smelly job emptying and cleaning the casette each time - a bucket of sawdust is much, much nicer to use and handle.

Next job is to find some nice bits of wood to make a loveable loo to upgrade the bucket...

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Friday, August 08, 2008 - 1:16 pm
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Hi Esther,

A brick compost bin should work. If you build it, please do post a photo!

Author: Burra (Burra)
Friday, August 08, 2008 - 8:59 am
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Well, we built the first compost area!

It's being used for composting everything we can lay our hands on, donkey poop and humanure included, so it's building up at quite a rate, which is just as well as our soil is really poor so we'll be needing as much compost as we can get.

So far we're timing things so that we can put the humanure in the middle of the heap and use weeds, leaves and donkey poop as a cover material, which seems to be working well and the donkey is much happier when she's allowed to do the initial composting of the straw herself by eating it rather than 'wasting' it by putting it straight on the heap.

We live in quite a rural area and the farm has no close neighbours, but even within the village some of the inhabited houses have no toilet systems. You just have to watch where you step if the locals see you and invite you into their fields to pick figs or pears. A bucket with sawdust seems a bit high-tec after that!

Author: Esther Allerton (Burra)
Sunday, July 27, 2008 - 5:13 am
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I've been interested in the idea of compost toilets for a while, and when some fellow expats bought a piece of land in the forest with no toilet facilities, I took the opportunity to order a copy of the Humanure Handbook to lend them. It seems to have started something, and is quickly developing rather a cult following among our friends!

Here's a photo of their composting area.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v186/estherwilliams/quinta/PICT0019.jpg?t=1217149457

The entire construction was built out of wood found on their own land and the only cost was for the nails.

They tried to use the local giant pine-needles as a cover material, but these turned out to be a bit too big and let a little smell out, so they are using straw now.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v186/estherwilliams/quinta/PICT0024.jpg?t=1217149546

Other friends of ours, currently using a septic tank, were fascinated and eagerly took the Humanure book home with them when they visited, and yesterday I decided it was time to take action and went out and bought a supply of buckets and am happily planning the next stage of the venture. My other half wants the compost area to be made from bricks (so he never has to rebuild!). Is this suitable? And how far does the heap have to be from the garden? Is it really necessary to have it far away or can it be close?

None of us has a compost thermometer yet, but we found this one for sale at a reasonable price from the UK so no doubt at least one will be making it's way over here soon.

http://www.weather-station-products.co.uk/item--Compost-thermometer--19-2008.html

Anyway, thanks for the writing the book Joe, and for providing this forum so I can keep in touch with you all! I'll let you know how we all get on...

(Message edited by burra on July 27, 2008)

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