Compost!

I don’t know much about composting (I’ve always composted – having lived in collectives/communes most of my life so far – but don’t know the science behind it per-se), but I’m about to learn. Because I know I will have a composting toilet in The COMET, I have been looking into more information about composting food waste and humanure.

I’ve been reading The Humanure Handbook (third edition) which you can find here for free download: http://humanurehandbook.com/

Now that I’ve decided to build my own composting toilet for The Comet camper and opted not to purchase a very expensive one, I really look forward to reading this book. I’m hoping to make the most out of a composting toilet/other compost situation on the road by having a “bumper” garden…I’m working on a design for a little greenhouse that mounts onto the back of The COMET.

I’ve also been reading about worm farms and worm bin composting…there are some great DIY guides out there for making your own cheap worm bin. This may not be ideal for the mobile lifestyle, but I plan on living in The COMET in some places for extended amounts of time at some point, and it’s pretty interesting anyway. Maybe I can get my parents to get a worm bin!

Another composting situation that REALLY appeals to me (and is not perfect for mobile living either, but hey!) is a bunny rabbit compost set-up. Apparently rabbit poop is really good for compost, and can even be used raw (without going through a composting process at all!). I was reading about a set-up where there is a compost bin directly underneath the rabbit’s coop/dwelling, and the poop just goes right into the compost! I’m not exactly sure how well this works in practice, but it seems like a great idea. I’d be really excited about a bunny or two…of course they are adorable and I love little animals!

Coming up later today: PART 2 of “Advice for Buying Your First Vintage Camper”, where I go into detail about what to look for and what to avoid when looking at a potential camper project. Lots of pictures! Stay tuned!

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4 thoughts on “Compost!

  1. Hey there! I just got my very first piece of real, adult-status property… a ’74 camper! We’ve moved into it (today, actually!) and will be living in it for the foreseeable future. We’re planning on remodeling a bit, fixing the cosmetic damage and small issues with dry rot and water damage, and turning it into our dream home – a Gypsy wagon! The septic’s never been used, so we don’t really plan on using it. We’ll put our water in glass jars (who wants water out of a chemically-treated, very old plastic tank anyways?), and we are also planning on making a composting toilet! (Right now, our solution is simply a chamberpot) We’ll hopefully figure out how to remove the toilet so as to put the composter there. We’re also starting a worm bin 🙂

    So I guess, now the problem is… where do we take this stuff if we’re in a parking lot in a city?

    • Congratulations on moving into your camper! That’s wonderful! 70’s campers are great…will you send me pictures of yours? I would love to do a little post about it if that’s okay…or just see it! Gypsy wagons are great and campers are a great platform to start from. Glass jars sounds like a better idea than old plastic for sure. I’ll be making my own composting toilet especially designed for RVs, so let’s keep in touch about that. Removing the toilet shouldn’t be too hard…but let me know if you have any advice when you try it. They do make RV-sized composting toilet (Nature’s Head toilets..have you heard of them?) but they are expensive! I figured I could make one. Your worm farm sounds fantastic. I’d love to start doing that in the spring.
      And that’s a good question…where do you compost in the city? Do you have your own garden? A bumper garden maybe?
      What city are you parked in? I’m always interested in what cities are good for campers and which ones aren’t…I have a friend living in NYC in a trailer…don’t know how he does it!
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Stephan says:

    Hello, its great to know that there are people that care for the environment.
    If you want to make yourself a budget worm farm I do have several designs that
    work very well at home and anyone can make in no time.

    Below I show you how you can make the possibly cheapest worm farms in the world!
    Maybe that’s something for you.

    Worms are not fussy! If you make sure their basic requirements are met they will live, breed and multiply just about anywhere.

    They even live in ordinary plastic bags hanging on a tree!!

    The bags are a compost worm experiment we started a while ago!

    We added safe worm bedding, different kinds of food and some compost worms to 3 worm bins.

    Actually more accurately we should call them worm bags!

    A few holes in the bottom of the bags to ensure proper drainage, and some air holes at the top for enough air circulation and ready where our Budget worm farms!

    They have been hanging in the tree since the 15th of May 2012.

    I am checking out all three bags regularly and the worms are fine and seem to be enjoying themselves.

    They have survived several cold weather fronts with loads of rain and are safe from moles which are amongst their worst enemies.

    In addition the worms have a shady place in case the sun decides to burn down on us one of these days!

    I will continue the experiment and will tell you more

    about the worms well being and the speed of the recycling in the near future.

    Our worm bags are obviously not the prettiest worm farms around but certainly amongst the more unusual and cheapest worm farms and living prove that worms can grow on trees 🙂 !!

    • That’s great that you’re experimenting Stephan. Are the bags opaque? Sounds like an interesting set up. I have a regular old two plastic bins nesting worm bin set up, so no moles to worry about. I feed them once a week and they seem happy 🙂 It’s kind of like having a pet that is one functioning organism made up of many thousands of tiny individuals. It’s great. Good luck,
      Mariah

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