Composting Toilets and Camp Showers
We have become champions of the humble composting toilet. If there was only one thing we could all do to make this world a better place, I think converting every flushing toilet to a composting toilet would be a good start.
We have two different designs and anyone interested can examine them and ask us how we built them, how we maintain them and what we do with the extremely precious humanure that results from them. So if you think you could become passionate about composting toilets, you'll find good friends on this farm.
We also ask for volunteers (generally men as it is quite heavy) to check the buckets and if necessary change them over every hour on the hour during the weekend. This keeps the toilets pleasant when there are a lot of people using them.
I have a confession to make. I have used toilets around the world, all methods and shapes, yet the simple bucket composting toilet is my standout favourite. I find it the most hygienic, easiest to clean, lowest maintenance, and odour free toilet that exists. The flush toilet comes nowhere near it.
The first two photos shows the women's bucket composting toilet and the humanure hacienda. The next two photos shows our wheely bin composting toilet.
Workshop after workshop people used to ask us if there were showers. We kept putting it in the too hard basket. But finally we bit the bullet and built a couple of camp showers - and we love them. In summer we use them instead of the inside shower. Nicki even had a little fire finch fly through when she was having a shower one day. We find at the workshops that most people choose not to shower, but some, such as the blacksmiths, are in desperate need of a shower at the end of a day's dirty work.
Half a bucket of hot water, cooled down to a comfortable temperature with cold water. The hot water you have to carry up from the rocket hot water heater. For the cold there is a tap in each shower. We have a pulley system to pull the canvas bucket up to shower height. The grey water goes into a ditch which is the entrance to the eventual Food Forest. Grey water friendly shampoos and conditioners are preferred. Nicki now uses hand made soap to wash her hair and conditions it with apple cider vinegar. Her hair has never been as soft and manageable as it is now!
The showers are fantastic as a teaching aid to conserve water. "Wet yourself down then turn the water off. Soap up, then turn the water on to rinse off." At a time when we were very concerned about our water levels, a young Wwoofer told us that she loved to stand under the shower for an hour or so. We shuddered and were very thankful we had already built the camp showers! All Wwoofers use our camp showers Summer and Winter.
Here are the two showers with the buckets outside that you use to collect the hot water. Here is an photo of inside one of the shower rooms.