Saturday, 14 May 2016

The Humanure Project : Completing the Cycle

The human nutrient cycle is an endless natural cycle and in order to keep the cycle intact, crops should be grown on soil enriched by continuous addition and application of  manure which can be made from human excreta, cow-dung, vegetable peels, rotten vegetables etc. By repeating this cycle of nature, humans can maintain the fertility of the soil indefinitely instead of depleting it of nutrients.

Therefore to conclude the Humanure Experiment, the compost so prepared was used in the lawns of the National Institute of Design on 10 May 2016. The head gardener of NID was a huge help.

The compost buckets were emptied. The buckets in which composting had been done with grass clippings and leaves was not completely dry therefore it had to be spread out to dry as can be seen in the pictures above. When it was in the bucket, it didn't smell at all but when the buckets were emptied and spread out, the unprepared compost smelled bad.

The bucket that was layered with sawdust and human excreta was completely composted within a month. The colour of the compost changed from light brown to dark brown gradually. It was mixed with soil. The prepared compost was devoid of any unpleasant odours and was touched by ungloved hands.

The soil mixed with humanure made from sawdust was used to fill a pot and a plant was planted. Another pot was planted with the same plant but this time, without the addition of humanure to it. The growth and other  differences in the plants will be observed after two months now. Fortunately / unfortunately, I have summer vacations now and I am away from my plants.

References: The Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins
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