Friday, October 6, 2017

Beautiful inside and out- my compost toilet!

I have made no secret of the fact that right now, the prettiest spot in my garden is the entrance to the toilet. Let me show you a picture again:

Here I sniff marigolds, listen to the hum of the bees, and look at what the autumn light does to my plants.

But today I went around to the back and looked inside.

When I first saw these toilets in Bihar, I was told that it takes a year for a small family to fill one compartment. Then you switch over to the next. By the time that fills, the first pit has been slowly composting for two years and is ready for use. For the two of us, I thought, it would take two years to fill, so we would have four-year old compost. Gold, my friends. Pure gold. February 2021 would be the year of the Great Reveal, I told everyone.

I didn't reckon on my impatience.

I have just returned from nearly two weeks out, and thought it would be as good a time as any to check on the compost*. And so I did.

It's beautiful!

It's already decomposed- there is no raw waste at all.  The thing that has not decomposed well is the leaf 'bed' that I had laid down at the beginning, and some toilet paper that wafted to the corners. But the rest is clean, dry, powdery compost.

Here's a picture

And here's a closeup

How does it smell? Like the very best gill ittar available in Lucknow.

Forget February 2021. My roses are getting the compost the coming spring.

What would I do differently now that I have seen the compost? By the way, this might be TMI for sensitive folks..

  • I would still lay down the leaf bed..somehow it gives me some comfort. 
  • I would be less anxious about not peeing inside the bin. From what I see, because we use leaf-litter and toilet paper instead of ash, we have a lot of carbon and need extra nitrogen-rich moisture. 
  • I would not be too lazy to gather leaves and use pine shavings instead. They take forever to decompose
  • I might give a small spraying with water once in a while.

*  Why yes, I do shake the presents I receive before I am allowed to open them. How did you ever guess?

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