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The Humanure Handbook; A Guide to Composting Human Manure based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
To anyone who believes that once flushed the contents of the toilet are ¿safe¿ and ¿away¿, I recommend reading this book. To those more informed who are looking at an expensive commercial composting toilet ¿ I recommend reading this book before you make your decision. K.I.S.S. ¿ Keep It Simple Stupid! Joe Jenkins offers an inspiring, humorous, well-researched and well-written book. He makes what should be a very obvious point ¿ flushed ¿away¿ or thrown ¿away¿ doesn¿t mean gone ¿ it merely means ¿someplace else¿, and worse ¿ someone else¿s problem. We live in rural AZ where, as far as I am concerned, deliberate water wastage should be considered a crime. Defecating and urinating into our rapidly diminishing, precious water supply is the true definition of madness! It is time for the world to wake up and remember what Nature has always taught ¿ the function of all organic matter is to enrich and replenish the soil. For those worried about contamination and their health ¿ I offer these words (coincidentally from another composting toilet book that, other than this quote, isn¿t worth the paper it¿s printed on!): ¿Healthy humans excrete healthy E. coli (only some strains of this bacteria can make you ill) and other healthy bacteria. If you are healthy, and you compost your excrement, then you use this on food crops, you will not infect yourself with any diseases that you did not have before¿ Regardless, a properly designed and maintained thermophilic compost pile, as per Jenkins¿ instructions, will reach temperatures in excess of 160 F (71 C) and this is proven to kill all known pathogens (disease causing organisms) in 24 hours. He recommends that the capped (i.e. no new additions) pile stands for at least a year before use, absolutely ensuring its safety. I simply do not understand how people can blithely trust commercial manure (from cows and chickens known to carry the most dangerous forms of fecal organisms) and yet are afraid of their own humanure? Yes ¿ at times the book is a little repetitive ¿ but perhaps like many teachers Joe knows that many people have to hear the facts several times before they truly listen and understand. We¿ve been living on our homestead for just over a year now ¿ and our first ¿Joe Jenkins Method¿ humanure compost pile is capped and waiting for us to harvest its bounty next spring. Using his method ensures there are NO odors, NO flies, NO problem with marauding animals, and best of all ¿ NO WASTED WATER! THANK YOU JOE!
This book inspires by its unmistakable and much-needed message and awes by its honesty, research, intellectual integrity, and uncompromising vision. You get the feeling that you have something extraordinary in your hands from the very first page when Jenkins explains why he self-pulished the book (so that he can control production--recycled, acid free paper, soy ink, no stockpiling, censorship bypass--amazing how bookstores will sell the book (because it's hot!) but not allow you to write the word in the review). As a recent city-slicker-turned-homesteader, I have to say I'm more than grateful to Jenkins for putting out such a book. He takes stances which are against the tide of what passes for accepted wisdom and offers commonsensical and proven reasons why he does so (did you know you DIDN'T have to turn your compost pile or add lime when using sawdust?). It's really so much more than the how-to's of humanure composting and composting in general (although it is that), and as a bonus it's hilarious without being facetious. Being a bit of a prude, I was amazed and impressed how someone could be so elegant and sensible and at the same time so compelling about feces (I can't use the other word here: censorship: which goes to prove Jenkins' point about fecophobia). I highly recommend it.