Compost chickens

I’ve been thinking about feeding chickens with the compost pile, that’s why I got the chickens, and have a pretty compact layout that could be used in a small space. Instead of a tractor, as in Geoff Lawton’s video, it’d be a fixed thing, where the food scraps go in on one side and compost comes out the other.

Compost Chickens

The drawing shows the food coming in to the first area, where the compost pile is first made, and the chickens could roost above it, manuring it through the first week when they sleep. After a week it’d go to the next area, then the next, then the next, and then out of the enclosure.

So the procedure would be: get out the 4-week compost, move the 3-week one there, move the 2-week one, then the 1-week one, then build a new pile.

The whole thing could be enclosed properly to protect the chickens, but the divisions inside would only be about half a meter tall. Those divisions would keep the piles more or less separated, but the chickens would easily move between them.

Each division could be around 2×2 meters, so the whole thing would be 4×4 meters, plus access space on one side. It could be made smaller too, but this sounds decent enough for many, and good enough to start a conversation about it here.

Super simple grey water system

 

I hate to waste water, my wife does too. She grew up in a town where water was really scarce during the dry season. Every drop counted.

Today the town has most of the water it needs, but waste is not good in any way. And every drop still counts, here and anywhere on the planet.

One way to save water is water reuse.

Grey water is waste water that doesn’t come from the toilet. It can be water from the shower, bath tub, dishwashing or laundry.

This can be used to flush the toilet. If the soap or detergent used is biodegradable, which it should be anyway to not contaminate, it can also be used to water the plants and lawn.

Grey water systems are usually a bit sophisticated because they may have some filtration and traps, and tubing and drip irrigation systems installed, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Some toilet makers have models where the cistern’s cover is a washing basin, so you wash your hands with the water that fills de cistern after you flush, and that grey water will be used in the next flush. There are kits to convert a normal toilet to this system, too.

A big source of grey water, and wasted water if not used, is the laundry machine. And it can really be a lot of water, even if you have a very efficient model. Well, I had an idea to stop wasting it and it didn’t require a big expense in tubing and plumbing or other devices.

I had a big plastic waste bin in a corner, which we weren’t using anymore, and put it to good use in this project. I placed it next to the laundry machine and stuck the draining hose into it. That’s it!

Now, after its wash or rinse cycles, the bin fills up with the water and we use small buckets to empty it, watering the plants around the house. We can also leave the water in the bin and use it to flush the toilet if we want to.

This same thing could be done with dish washing machines too. This is not complicated stuff at all.

We don’t feel so guilty about doing laundry now. :)

Feeding nature with plastic and other petro-stuff

 

Here’s an idea I’ve had for a while, but haven’t talked about much with anyone, although some time ago I wrote about how the oil spill could be cleaned leaving no chemical residues behind and actually enriching the soil. Now I’d like to talk about cleaning up plastic waste as well as other petrochemicals.

The approach mentioned for the spill could be used to clean up rivers where factories dump their stuff, and this could be aided introducing plants and clams that’d help the process too. Lands contaminated by machinery with stuff like fuels or oils, could be cleaned up with the mushroom as well.

Mr. Paul Stamets participated in a test to clean a land contaminated with fuels and oils and in this video he briefly explains what happened:

Now, how to apply that to plastics is what seems to be the problem. I don’t know if mushroom would grow on plastic, that’s doubtful, so it would need to be turned into something else to facilitate it, and I found a good simple way.

It involves heating the plastic to melt and boil it without burning it, apparently. I’ve seen other machines to process tyres and plastics in such a way before using pyrolysis, but were way bigger, the machine in the above video is more portable.

He’s obviously making it simpler to operate and usable inside closed spaces, but the technology is as old as coal making from wood, so you don’t need computers to control it, especially if you don’t care to get very refined results as he is. It’s basically a pressure cooker with a bubbler. Implementing this techonology doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Plastics don’t even need to be pre-sorted.

All I’ve seen so far had the intention of making more fuel off the waste, not food. You’ll notice when he sets the oil on fire to prove it is oil, how dirty it burns. It doesn’t solve contamination, it’s just in another form. We need to work with nature.

Oyster mushroom in compost

Oyster mushroom in compost

I haven’t seen someone make the connection between this technology and composting the product with mushrooms yet. It is very likely that the mushrooms can take care of the solids resulting from this process too, so the oil and solids could be mixed before inoculation.

This is a solution that could help clean up water and land. Landfills could be turned from a waste heap into several feet of rich top soil. The plastic trash in the oceans could be collected into large ships with this technology on board, processing the waste as it sails, going back to land only to empty its bowels to enrich the soil in the coasts.

We can clean up all this mess in a short time with some good willing people and organizations.

The best oil spill cleanup solution

 

If you weren’t hibernating underground these past days, you most probably heard about the oil spill. You can count on the oil idiots to screw up the world a little more. And then you have other people trying all these hard, expensive, and ineffective “solutions”! Looks like they’re more into making spending money with all the expensive stuff, than actually putting an end to the nightmare.

Gulf oil spill from orbit

Gulf oil spill from orbit

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably wanted to see that mess cleaned up soon… I’ve read up on this and have found what I consider to be the best solution yet!

Why? Because it’d be cheap to deploy, effective to get the oil off the water without messing up the coast or killing the sea life and it’d also take care of the oil composting it!

A couple or so years ago I read a post that talked about a cleanup project that used hair mats to pick up the oil. “This is great” I thought, because it worked well to pick it up. Problem was, it’d not scale well. You’d need a hell lot of hair to clean that black shit spreading in the Gulf. And a lot of work to actually do the cleanup.

Enter these guys who recently demonstrated a similar solution to the above, but with a much more abundant material: hay!

Now, that’s a nice solution right there! Simple, cheap, effective. Gather all the hay you can (watch the needles!) and throw it to the wind off the shore! Load ships with it and scatter it offshore. Spread it between the coast and the blot. Do it around it as well. Let the hay pick up the thing, the oil sticks to surfaces fast. Hay provides lots of surface to stick to. And hay floats, as does the oil. Let the waves do the rest.

Now, what do you do with that oily hay afterward? Some would say “burn it”… yeah, as if we needed more of that crap up in the air. Others would say “recover the oil” and have it burnt later, too. I say enrich the earth with it. That way, instead of a half-solution, you’d have a complete one in the eyes of nature, albeit not so much in those of the oil pushers.

How can you turn that thing into food for nature, though? Mushrooms. No, not that kind! No, I didn’t have any before writing this post, either.

Remember the hair mats thing mentioned earlier? Well, what they did after picking up the oil was grow mushrooms on them. Oyster mushrooms, it said. Have them absorb all the oil and after about 12 weeks, compost them!

Oyster mushroom

Oyster mushroom

Actually, I read that these mushrooms have even been found growing on the dry skull of a dead whale in the 19th century. That seems to prove that those mushrooms wouldn’t have much problem growing on that oily hay even if it came from salt water.

I wonder if the hay could be sprayed some spores before deployment. The mushroom may even start growing on them while still floating!

I can’t think of a better solution for this mess right now. What about you? Share your thoughts leaving a comment. But if nothing else, spread the word, share this post. We need as many as possible aware of this solution, especially near the coastline close to the problem.

Lots of great men and women with land and tons of hay would be overly glad to give trucks of the stuff to fix this. Hell, their coasts will be a damn mess if they don’t, and I’m sure they don’t want to just sit waiting for others to spend their taxes and still not solve it!

And it’s not just them, it’ll affect us all if this isn’t fixed. It’s all the one same planet we live on, and what happens in one place, will have an effect somewhere else. And if this is fixed there, it’ll also have an effect elsewhere with this problem. Have this solution spread through the web like that oil on the water.

Click the share button of your choice and lets solve this mess! :D