Permaculture Literacy – HHA

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4 Comments

  • Angela Martin says:

    Is there a real worry (like is commonly shared) of using human waste in gardens? How about over a septic drain field (not a fear of damage to the actual system)?

    Reply
    • Bret James says:

      Most people say that humanure should be kept out of the garden or any plants that come into contact with the ground. This is because of concern for pathogens that did not die in the composting process because it is often a cold compost. This is what I follow as well – I use humane on fruit trees and ornamentals in the landscape. That said, in other countries human manure is composted and used in gardens. Now urine is different, most suggest that it is safe to use on garden beds because it is sterile. I personally do use urine in our garden beds.

      Regarding a septic, ideally no plants should be planted there because it will damage the system. In a drain field all of the human wastes are below the soil surface so the issue becomes a non-issue.

      Reply
  • Xochitl Coronado says:

    Is there a compilation of everything you know of that would work as fertilizer that may be considered waste?

    Reply
    • Bret James says:

      Xochitl – not that I am aware of. But what I can say is that if it was once living and hasn’t been turned into something toxic then it likely can be used to add nutrients to the soil, feed soil life etc. Around the house kitchen scraps, paper, newspaper, egg cartons, urine, humanure, woodash, any organic material from the landscape can be turned into compost or fertilizer. Industrial by-products are sometimes turned into fertilizers as well, such as bone meal, feather meal, blood meal etc.

      Reply

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