Fires?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Fires?
Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 7:11 pm
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Gee, this Humanure topic lends itself to great humour! I had visions of Knothead heating up his tobacco leaves in the humanure pile, without first enclosing them in a plastic bag of some sort.... The final tobacco would certainly have a new effect upon the nose!
But then, some timely advice from Pcinca adds new light to the situation. Benson and Hedges are unlikely to adopt the process as a new line of pipe 'baccy.'

Author: Knothead (Knothead)
Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 12:02 am
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Pcinca,
Thanks, but the tobacco that I am trying to ferment has been drying for about six months.
I read online that usually growers simply pile up the leaves and allow them to compost while closely monitoring the process. Evidently every producer has their own secret procedure.
I, like many small scale growers don't have enough leaves to actually make heat so according to what I read, the same results can be had by maintaining the proper heat and humidity for a period of about four weeks. What I read online suggested using a light bulb for the heat source. I am simply using the compost pile for the heat source instead.

I figure that I haven't got much to lose. I'm only risking a one gallon bag full of leaves. The only reason that I am doing this is because I can't seem to make the tobacco burn well. I've made my own little cigars as well as trying to smoke it in a pipe but the stuff just doesn't want to burn.
I would really appreciate any information that anyone has about how to make homegrown tobacco burn properly if I'm not on the right track.

Author: Pcinca (Pcinca)
Friday, April 16, 2010 - 2:17 pm
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Tom e, spontaneous compost fires do happen, but are very rare. I had one about 50 years ago and it was actually a pile of aging cow manure with little added vegetation in it. I found it smoldering and was able to put it out before it actually ignited. A friend's pile (mountain- it was huge) went up in flames a few years ago and the fire dept. came out to help put it out, but again, this is a very rare occurrence. A good rule of thumb is to keep a modest clearance around the pile so if by remote chance it were to ignite, it wouldn't spread.

Knothead, I don't recommend putting tobacco in a sealed plastic bag to dry. It won't dry out and it will mold and you don't want to smoke anything that has molded- I know, I did that once and had a bad coughing spell for awhile. Tobacco is best air-dried in a cool, shady, well ventilated room hanging from the ceiling so air can circulate all through it to prevent it from getting moldy. When it's ready, it will be slightly leathery with about 1 to 3% moister in it- almost dry. I don't smoke anymore, but when I did, I tried quite a few different blends and drying methods- the trick is to "cure" tobacco so it's not 100% dry or moldy.

Author: Knothead (Knothead)
Friday, April 16, 2010 - 8:13 am
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Well, I for one hope to get something to burn with my compost pile. :-)
I started growing my own tobacco last year and after drying it I discovered that it doesn't burn well at all in my pipe. I find that I have to light it for every puff.
I just discovered that in addition to drying, the tobacco leaves must be fermented as well. Something that I read stated that if I could keep the leaves at around 120 degrees and 75% humidity for four weeks they will be fermented properly. So here's what I'm doing. I moistened the leaves and placed them in a large ziplock bag which I placed in the top layer of the compost pile. That should give me the temperature that I need and I'll just check it every few days to mist and shuffle the leaves around.
How's that for a new use for a compost pile? :-)

Author: Joe (Joe)
Friday, April 16, 2010 - 12:22 am
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No.

Author: Tom_e (Tom_e)
Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 6:26 pm
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I've just moved out to an area with a little land and a very old septic tank. I have been researching doing humanure as a solution to the septic tank AND buying compost (I hope to be gardening quite a bit).
I've been talking to my brother about the idea and he's telling me I'd probably stand a pretty good risk of starting a fire composting manure. Is that something I should be concerned with?

Thanks!

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