I’ve been curious about the book “Holy Shit, Managing Manure to Save Mankind”, for several years now. Mostly because I want to build a composting toilet. I finally ordered it from our library. It is funny, insightful, hopeful, and scientific. It’s taken a lot of years for me to understand the significance of manure as a resource. Having a kitchen garden was my initiation. We used a lot of alpaca manure in our California garden. According to Gene it’s likely that chemical fertilizers will reach a point when they are too expensive. Manure will then be regarded in a different light. Reading this book made me feel that everything comes full circle even the waste cycle of animals and people. Imagine that.
It would be nice to build a composting toilet. Many progressive farms and homes have composting toilets. I still cannot understand why we are flushing in clean potable water. It’s just bad design that we’ve become addicted to. It’s also a drag being sweaty, hot, dusty, and dirty, and dismantling clothes just to get to a bathroom, inside. Composting toilets on a farm are just practical. I’ve been in some composting toilets that are simply lovely. They can be clean, comfortable, beautiful, safe, and non-invasive. In other words, they can be done quite tastefully.
Here’s a little insight into something that I learned from this book. I discovered this insight in the first chapter of the book.
“We all need to read again “Farmers of Forty Centuries, by F.H. King, published in 1911 about Asian agriculture at that time. In Japan, Korea, and China, manure was treated like a precious gem because it “was” a precious gem. Every scrap of animal waste, human waste, and plant residue was scrupulously collected and reapplied to the land. So precious was manure that Chinese farmers stored it in burglarproof containers. The polite thing to do after enjoying a meal at a friend’s house was to go to the bathroom before you departed. As a result, for hundreds of years the Asian farmers maintained an unbelievably productive agriculture. The food harvested per acre was at the very least five times the amount that American farmers were producing in 1907.” Holy S@#!. My first thought when I read this was that cancer was probably rare or even unheard of in those days. Wouldn’t that be nice?
The cows are back at Buxton, all 300 of them! There are some young frisky ones that are already testing fence boundaries. They will eventually get up to speed with the rules! The cows bring another element to the farm. They have tremendous energy. You have to be on your toes around these guys. This beautiful herd crossed the river for the first time this season yesterday without any confusion. That’s always a relief to us. I’ve already harvested some of their manure for “compost tea.” Ou seedlings will benefit from the tea.