Using finished compost for food produ...

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure: Using finished compost for food production
Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 8:15 pm
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Thermal death points are indicated in the table below. 50 degrees C is about 120 degrees F.

thermal death points for pathogens - humanure handbook

Author: Rich (Richard_w)
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 12:52 pm
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Two things make humanure compost finished. Time and heat. Less heat, more time. More heat, less time. Not all of the pile needs to be exposed to the highest temps. In fact, I can't think of a system that would actually guarantee accomplishing this. That's why we let it age. I would think that after 1 year atagonistic bacterial competition would render the small amounts of compost not exposed to very high heat safe. Ninety percent of the dangerous critters that CAN be found in humanure are dead within 3 months at 140 F. Letting the pile sit will let "good" bacteria lower the numbers of any possible "bad" bacteria to safe levels.
I use humanure on my garden. Not as long as others though.

Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Friday, February 01, 2008 - 7:34 pm
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Hi Scott,
I can't say that I have used my compost for food production yet as I've only been Humanure composting since Nov 2006 and then we moved Feb 2007. I still have to wait for the first "full" pile here to age.

Anyway, as to your worry that not every speck in the compost pile has heated to the really high temp, well that is why the method usually recommends putting the contents of the buckets into the hot top center of the pile. What remains around the outside and doesn't heat is usually just cover materials anyway. The heat is good at doing in pathogens quickly but time will usually take care of the ones that might escape the hot center. This is why people who are worried about it are often told to then age it longer than the year.

One thing we did with our first pile here was to "cap it off" with alternating layers of leaves and grass clippings to give it an nice hot hat if you will before proclaiming it full and in aging. I don't know if that will have much if any effect but we had the baggs of other peoples leaves and grass clippings so we layered them on.

Good luck with it all. I know Joe has been using his compost in the family veggie garden for a long time.

Author: Scott (Tickridgescott)
Sunday, December 23, 2007 - 10:03 am
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just to update here on dec 23rd. 3 days ago I added the final buckets of humanure to our first bin which will now sit for 12 to 15 months (till Spring, 2009). I checked the temps this morning and the pile is again up in temp again to 151 degrees.

Author: Scott (Tickridgescott)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007 - 5:30 pm
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We are just about done filling our first compost bin. I have just finished building our next bin. I have been observing consistent temps of the current pile of 120 to 140 degrees for the last 6 months. Right now, even with winter temps here in ohio, it is at 135 degrees. After a year of aging the compost pile will be ready. I really want to use for food production because our soil is really bad and we are going to need consistent compost for our garden, and this humanure compost will be readily available right next to the garden. My only concern is that some of the pile not having been exposed to the higher temps. Should I have any concerns about this at all? How many people on here have been consistently using their compost for food production? Thanks

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