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Re: cedar chips OK?
In a message dated 4/29/97 12:03:20 AM, email@example.com wrote:
> Hi there --
> Anyone know about -- or had experience with -- using cedar chips?
>Are they OK to use? We've got access to a free source of cedar chips, and
>are trying out using them in our herb garden as mulching for the aisles.
>(Putting down brown paper bags first, then the chips on top.) Also
>wondering about using cedar chips in a composting outhouse for helping to
>cover up the smell... any advice would be much appreciated...
> Ken Bezilla
> East Wind Community
Well there's nothing wrong with cedar chips unless you have to pay for them.
Since cedar chips are rot-resistant, they are less desirable than other forms
of carbon for litter in compost toilets. The importance of this depends on
the design of your toilet--it would be less inportant in a double-vault home
built model with capacious shit chambers.
Generally, if your toilet stinks (You smell, your toilet stinks--Dr.
Johnson's classic distinktion.), you are running it wrong our you used a
shitty design. I'd guess both. You need sawdust, ground corn cobs, chopped
straw, or other high-surface area high carbon materials to absorb the
moisture. Piss should not go with the faeces but in a separate container to
be used directly on the garden. If you don't do this, your shit pile will
always stink and sweet episodes are just to remind you how bad it usually is.
You can correct the smell over the short term with fresh grass
clippings--probably a half bushel more or less, depending on the size of the
chamber. You don't want too much as it will form a gley. But they do knock
down the stink--don't ask me why. This is not a permanent solution as if you
DEPEND on grass clippings, you will eventually get a gluey mass that is
harder to deal with than the original stink.
1) Air tight design. This means a seal around the shit hole when not in
2) Solar chimney-type vent tall enough to suck fumes over the level that
noses of folks on the ground or in nearby buildings.
3) GENEROUS use of high-carbon materials after each dump.
4) Diversion of urine to a separate barrel for direct use on garden or, if
you MUST, comopost piles. (I have to agree with Mollison here that most
compost piles waste effort and nutrient.)
We have a few publications that may be of interest. I hesitate to metion
them here because I've been flamed for doing so in the past. You have my
For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now correspondence
courses via email. Internships available. Copyright, 1997, Dan & Cynthia
Hemenway, P.O. Box 2052, Ocala FL 34478 USA YankeePerm@aol.com
We don't have time to rush.