Category Archives: Off-grid living

Vermicomposting human feces

I started this experiment today 4-23-14 because unlike organic composting, I want to find out if there is a way to rid of me poop a natural way. I’ve read a lot of articles that say human poop is the ideal food for red wiggler worms. Please keep in mind, I’m not going to do this on a large scale, one poop a week is plenty for the worms to play with. I added about 50 worms from the original compost pile along with the soil from it too. I’m using a 20 gallon container with a sealed lid to keep odors at bay. I did drill a few small holes for air to the worms. I lined the container with sawdust and will soon be adding coffee grounds. This is a good idea because of odor control and gives the worms some roughage for their digestive system. I’m pretty sure this container will get hot enough in the Phoenix, Az summers for microbes to help with the breakdown process. Poop is pure nitrogen, carbon materials need to be added to the pile for proper carbon/nitrogen ratios of 30 to 1. Sawdust is a very high carbon material.

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This will be our off grid house…………..someday. Wind generation is next, I want to try all the ways to generating power. You can see that I designed the house small, with features like the metal roof that will direct water the easiest way. OOps I forgot the second floor deck.

showlowhousefinal

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Ongoing progress

I am now nearing the completion of my plans for permit. Reading a lot of info about special systems like a compost toilet. Fortunately I have had years of experience with vermicomposting. This is regular composting accept you add red wiggler worms that help the waste breakdown process. My system will also use solar to add heat to the pile for quicker microbe action.

composttoilet

I have also completed my basic 100 watt solar system and have three halogen lights connected. Soon those power hungry lights will be replaced with led lights soon. If you think about it why would anyone want to use a 20 watt light when led lights only use 4 watts with the same lumen output! I want to light up my house with led lights throughout. I wanted to experiment with this so when I build in Show Low I will have a better understanding of solar and its limitations. All the reading I have done so far, they say that going to 48 volts works best for a number of reasons. It prevents you from using thicker cables for your battery bank and it seems to run more efficiently. Soon I hope to create a small wind generator too.

batterybox solarpanel

I got this system from Amazon and has been working great, $175.00. I bought a deep cycle battery from Costco for $80.00. I mounted the solar panel at an angle of 33 degrees because that is the longitude for Phoenix, Az. so that is where the most collection takes place.