The Water Closet
This was designed so that human "waste" could be carried "safely" away. There is a water trap to contain the smell, with a high pipe outside to carry any smell away. Thus wo/man was free of seeing the result of their motions. In the 1850's Henry Moule (1801-1880), invented the Earth Closet where fine dry earth was used to cover the output. He then became the champion of the earth closet. In 1849 a cholera epidemic struck Fordington just outside the walls of the ancient city of Dorchester. He had a family of seven or eight paying guests who used a water closet with a cesspool.
Finding the smell intolerable he got his family to fill it in and showed them how to use a bucket for output, dug a hole in his garden, poured in the contents and covered it. 3 weeks later he accidentally dug into the output and found there was no trace of it, neither was there any smell. Next he took some dry earth, put it into a bucket which contain output and within 10 minutes the smell was gone. He was so amazed that he took a bucket of earth into the house and showed his guests how to cover tne output with earth. When the bucket was full he buried it in the garden where he had an amazing growth of vegetables!
The Best Invention?
At the time of his new invention the earth closet became almost as popular as the w.c., but the convenience of the w.c. made it the favourite but like inventions, nobody could look ahead and see the result of flushing away such a valuable fertiliser. By flushing every time you waste several gallons of drinking water, inevitably you contribute to the water shortage. Try it yourself and see how by covering the output with soil it neutralises the smell.
In Donaldson's 'British Agriculture' (1860) "the liquid and solid excrement of a person amount to 1½ pounds daily, viz 1¼ pound urine, and ¼ pound of faeces, and both contain 3% of nitrogen. In one year this amounts to 547 pounds, containing 16.4 pounds of nitrogen which is a quantity sufficient to yield the nitrogen of 800 pounds of wheat, rye and oats or of 900 pounds of barley.
A pound of urine contains all the necessary ingredients for the production of a pound of wheat. One hundred parts of the urine of a healthy person are equal to 1300 parts of horse dung and to 600 parts of fresh cow dung". A further quote: "land manured with human urine gives the wheat 3 times the gluten". As this book is over 130 years old maybe things have been found out since, or suppressed.
The Carrot Question
I was interviewed by Dylan Winter from the programme 'Costing the Earth' and performed what I called the "burying ceremony" to show how within seconds there was no smell. We then went into the centre of Manchester, purchased carrots from a stall and asked people "if you knew this carrot came from a farm that used artificial fertiliser and this one from a farm grown organically, which would you choose?". They chose the organic one. Then he said, "if you found out that this one was grown using human manure, what would you do?".
Apart from some hilarious backing off from some people, their choice was slightly in favour of the chemicals. Except for a woman who preferred having food grown from her own output to that of any animal! A reporter from G.M. radio managed to make it so funny in a bizarre way that people listening to 'pick of the week' were given a treat: "what do you do when you are away from home, do you take a doggy bag!"
Do it Yourself
If you do not wish to make one, all you need is a chemical toilet and without using the chemicals and have a bucket of earth nearby. The drier the more it can absorb. Every time you output into the bucket cover it with earth. It is up to you how thick it is. When the bucket is full, dig a hole in your garden, empty the contents and cover. When planting potatoes, I dig a trench a bit deeper than normal. The output is poured in and covered, the potato is placed on top.
You can do this in the autumn and mark where the line is
so you can make a hole for the potato in the spring. With root crops leave
for six months before planting or sowing. By contrast carnivores would have
to wait at least 18 months. Another plant that relishes this is the marrow.
Dig a large shallow hole, put your output in, cover and place the plant on
top, build up with inverted open plastic bottle next to it for watering with
pee. Use a little dolomite for certain plants that prefer a more alkaline