“A stitch in time saves nine”
Waste not want not was the theme for today in principle 6, as what others fail to value can be a great gift to you in permaculture, we need to use what we have and look to the waste stream for resources, as waste is onnly stuff in the wrong place! and we looked into the many ways we can use and re-use the many items that society throws away.
one of the subjects we covered was using and processing human waste safely, how to make composting toilets, reed bed processing systems and how to use humanure and urine as fertilizer for our plants and trees rather than treating it as a waste product, humanure from composting toilets makes great fertilizer for trees and non edible plants while urine is essentially 70% of the nutrients that your body takes in and therefore in the right dilution makes a fantastic no cost fertilizer for your garden! this is important as commercial nitrates are causing huge perblems with our water tables – eutrophication, wich is basically hige algae blooms that kill all the life in the affected water area – nutrients in the wrong place is pollution and we cannot sustain the use of these chemicals!.
we also had a look at Hugelkultur beds that use waste wood and material as the centre ofier construction and are highly fertile environments in which to grow plants and vegetables.
As class we also looked at high efficiancy stoves, that not only burn cleanly producing less smoke and pollutants but are hotter and therefore better for cooking and as an added bonus using them also produces Biochar, one of the most useful and valuable resources in permaculture! to produe it the stove has to burning at a temperature of 550 degrees or more and unlike normal charcoal that still contains volatiles and is very dusty, the biochar is so clean you can use it to filter water.
We looked at ‘wild stoves’ small efficient stoves that are easy to travel with and Dan also led a group to make an Estuffe Finke stove with elements that we had procured locally, this was a great experience for the class and once the stove was complete, Dan gave a demnstration of how it worked, everyone was very inspired to take this information home and make one for thier families or community esecially as it produces a lot of biochar and is pretty easy to make with basic materials and tools – well done Dan and class!