Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Humanure

 

He lived without money transactions.

I have lived with barely a couple dollars in my pocket for the last 4 years: I have no income and are out of job.

Irishman Mark Boyle tried to live life with no income too, no bank balance and no spending.

Banoosh. com posted this Oct.12, 2013

If someone told me 7 years ago, in my final year of a business and economics degree, that I’d now be living without money, I’d have probably choked on my microwaved ready meal.

The plan back then was to get a ‘good’ job, make as much money as possible, and buy the stuff that would show society I was successful.

For a while I did it – I had a fantastic job managing a big organic food company; had myself a yacht on the harbour. If it hadn’t been for the chance purchase of a video called Gandhi, I’d still be doing it today.

Instead, for the last 15 months, I haven’t spent or received a single penny. Zilch.

The change in life path came one evening on the yacht whilst philosophising with a friend over a glass of merlot. Whilst I had been significantly influenced by the Mahatma’s quote “be the change you want to see in the world”, I had no idea what that change was up until then.

We began talking about all major issues in the world – environmental destruction, resource wars, factory farms, sweatshop labour – and wondering which of these we would be best devoting our time to. Not that we felt we could make any difference, being two small drops in a highly polluted ocean.

But that evening I had a realisation. These issues weren’t as unrelated as I had previously thought – they had a common root cause. I believe the fact that we no longer see the direct repercussions our purchases have on the people, environment and animals they affect is the factor that unites these problems.

The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that it now means we’re completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in the ‘stuff’ we buy.

Very few people actually want to cause suffering to others; most just don’t have any idea that they directly are. The tool that has enabled this separation is money, especially in its globalised format.

Take this for an example: if we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today.

If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior décor.

If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t shit in it.

So to be the change I wanted to see in the world, it unfortunately meant I was going to have to give up money, which I decided to do for a year initially. So I made a list of the basics I’d need to survive.

I adore food, so it was at the top. There are four legs to the food-for-free table: foraging wild food, growing your own, bartering and using waste grub, of which there far too much.

On my first day I fed 150 people a three course meal with waste and foraged food.

Most of the year I ate my own crops though and waste only made up about five per cent my diet. I cooked outside – rain or shine – on a rocket stove.

Next up was shelter. So I got myself a caravan from Freecycle, parked it on an organic farm I was volunteering with, and kitted it out to be off the electricity grid. I’d use wood I either coppiced or scavenged to heat my humble abode in a wood burner made from an old gas bottle, and I had a compost loo to make ‘humanure’ for my veggies.

I bathed in a river, and for toothpaste I used washed up cuttlefish bone with wild fennel seeds, an oddity for a vegan. For loo roll I’d relieve the local newsagents of its papers (I once wiped my arse with a story about myself); it wasn’t double quilted but it quickly became normal. To get around I had a bike and trailer, and the 55 km commute to the city doubled up as my gym subscription. For lighting I’d use beeswax candles.

Many people label me an anti-capitalist. Whilst I do believe capitalism is fundamentally flawed, requiring infinite growth on a finite planet, I am not anti anything. I am pro-nature, pro-community and pro-happiness.

And that’s the thing I don’t get – if all this consumerism and environmental destruction brought happiness, it would make some sense. But all the key indicators of unhappiness – depression, crime, mental illness, obesity, suicide and so on are on the increase. More money it seems, does not equate to more happiness.

Ironically, I have found this year to be the happiest of my life. I’ve more friends in my community than ever, I haven’t been ill since I began, and I’ve never been fitter. I’ve found that friendship, not money, is real security. That most western poverty is spiritual. And that independence is really interdependence.

Could we all live like this tomorrow? No.

It would be a catastrophe, we are too addicted to both it and cheap energy, and have managed to build an entire global infrastructure around the abundance of both.

But if we devolved decision making and re-localised down to communities of no larger than 150 people, then why not?

For over 90% of our time on this planet, a period when we lived much more ecologically, we lived without money. Now we are the only species to use it, probably because we are the species most out of touch with nature.

People now often ask me what is missing compared to my old world of lucre and business. Stress. Traffic-jams. Bank statements. Utility bills. Oh yeah, and the odd pint of organic ale with my mates down the local.

The man who lives without money? I have been doing it for the last 4 years too

Irishman Mark Boyle tried to live life with no income, no bank balance and no spending. Here’s how he finds it.

Banoosh. com posted this Oct.12, 2013

If someone told me 7 years ago, in my final year of a business and economics degree, that I’d now be living without money, I’d have probably choked on my microwaved ready meal.

The plan back then was to get a ‘good’ job, make as much money as possible, and buy the stuff that would show society I was successful.

For a while I did it – I had a fantastic job managing a big organic food company; had myself a yacht on the harbour.

If it hadn’t been for the chance purchase of a video called Gandhi, I’d still be doing it today. Instead, for the last 15 months, I haven’t spent or received a single penny. Zilch.

The change in life path came one evening on the yacht whilst philosophising with a friend over a glass of merlot. Whilst I had been significantly influenced by the Mahatma’s quote “be the change you want to see in the world”, I had no idea what that change was up until then.

We began talking about all major issues in the world – environmental destruction, resource wars, factory farms, sweatshop labour – and wondering which of these we would be best devoting our time to. Not that we felt we could make any difference, being two small drops in a highly polluted ocean.

But that evening I had a realization. These issues weren’t as unrelated as I had previously thought – they had a common root cause.

I believe the fact that we no longer see the direct repercussions our purchases have on the people, environment and animals they affect is the factor that unites these problems.

The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that it now means we’re completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in the ‘stuff’ we buy.

Very few people actually want to cause suffering to others; most just don’t have any idea that they directly are.

The tool that has enabled this separation is money, especially in its globalised format.

Take this for an example: if we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today.

If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior décor.

If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t shit in it.

So to be the change I wanted to see in the world, it unfortunately meant I was going to have to give up money, which I decided to do for a year initially.

I made a list of the basics I’d need to survive. I adore food, so it was at the top. There are 4 legs to the food-for-free table: foraging wild food, growing your own, bartering and using waste grub, of which there are far too much.

On my first day I fed 150 people a 3-course meal with waste and foraged food.

Most of the year I ate my own crops though, and the waste made up only about 5% of my diet. I cooked outside – rain or shine – on a rocket stove.

Next up was shelter. So I got myself a caravan from Freecycle, parked it on an organic farm I was volunteering with, and kitted it out to be off the electricity grid.

I’d use wood either coppiced or scavenged to heat my humble abode in a wood burner made from an old gas bottle, and I had a compost loo to make ‘humanure’ for my veggies.

I bathed in a river, and for toothpaste I used washed up cuttlefish bone with wild fennel seeds, an oddity for a vegan.

For loo roll I’d relieve the local newsagents of its papers (I once wiped my arse with a story about myself); it wasn’t double quilted but it quickly became normal.

To get around I had a bike and trailer, and the 55 km commute to the city doubled up as my gym subscription. For lighting I’d use beeswax candles.

Many people label me an anti-capitalist. Whilst I do believe capitalism is fundamentally flawed, requiring infinite growth on a finite planet, I am not anti anything.

I am pro-nature, pro-community and pro-happiness.

And that’s the thing I don’t get – if all this consumerism and environmental destruction brought happiness, it would make some sense. But all the key indicators of unhappiness – depression, crime, mental illness, obesity, suicide and so on are on the increase.

More money it seems, does not equate to more happiness.

Ironically, I have found this year to be the happiest of my life. I’ve more friends in my community than ever, I haven’t been ill since I began, and I’ve never been fitter.

I’ve found that friendship, not money, is real security. That most western poverty is spiritual. And that independence is really interdependence.

Could we all live like this tomorrow? No.

It would be a catastrophe, we are too addicted to both money and cheap energy, and have managed to build an entire global infrastructure around the abundance of both.

But if we devolved decision making and re-localised down to communities of no larger than 150 people, then why not?

For over 90% of our time on this planet, a period when we lived much more ecologically, we lived without money.

Now we are the only species to use it, probably because we are the species most out of touch with nature.

People now often ask me what is missing compared to my old world of lucre and business. Stress. Traffic-jams. Bank statements. Utility bills.

Oh yeah, and the odd pint of organic ale with my mates down the local.” End of post

More reading on this nemesis of currency exchange evolution and consequences https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/specie-of-beggars-civilized-mendicants/

Note 1: How would you proceed if you lacked seed money to begin a life without money? How would you feed if you lacked enough land to grow produce?  How would you manage if you had no river close by?

What would you do if the community you live within refuse to cooperate with your life-style?

Note 2: I have been living for 5 years now without earning a dime, or being paid any money for the work I do, or having a bank account, or having money. The only needed money is for the medical treatment and medicine for my very old parents that other relatives extend in monetary currency.

I have no car, no bicycle, no computer, no internet connection, no land to grow anything to barter with… And I visit people to post two articles on my blog every day, borrow books… I maintain a small parcel around the house and grow salad ingredients for the daily dish, gather fruits from the trees…

And the community refuses to barter, and has no public facilities, and never gives you a ride when walking to a close-by destination, and I have no heath coverage…

I am living on a tight rope, but it is feasible. And still healthy and do not need any kinds of medication.

You might be living under the impression that having a bank account will provide you with a sense of security. Facts are that you might be exposing yourself to a wider array of dangers and high anxiety levels because you have money, or people believe that you do have money…

If you have no intention of using money to help other people learn how to survive on their own and with little money… money is liable to be a dangerous nemesis for your peace of mind and acquiring true friendships…

And I live in a stuck-up community that refuses to barter, and a community that lack public facilities for the members

And I posted many articles on that topic in my diaries, autobiography and essays…

 

Has the time come to do Epic Shit? Permaculture, Humanure, Sober Happiness

What would you do if you were in charge with protecting thousand of acres of woodland from fire? Like these recurring wild-fire in Australia, California, Spain, Portugal…?

 posted on May 20, 2010 in Activism

The Methane Midden: Epic Shit & Jean Pain Composting

Jean Pain was a visionary in the Provence region of  France during the 1970′s.

He was charged with protecting over a thousand of acres of woodland from fire, but his quick and able mind, love of life long learning, and a deep concern for the future of our Earth led him to accomplish something much more indeed.

Jean Pain spent a decade working through the techniques of a fantastic system to use the ever renewable waste brush from his woods into life-giving humus.

And Jean took it to an entirely new level – he began to heat water in his compost piles, enough that he heated greenhouses and his own home. He also began studying up on methane production and he put a batch “methane digester” into his piles to use the “waste” heat from the bio-reactions to provide the ideal environment for methane production.

Before he died, his techniques had reached a level that he was able to produce methane and hot water for up to 18 months – enough for two winters – while also powering his truck, cooking, and producing electricity with the methane gas.

And No special machines, just a deep understanding of Permaculture before the word was even coined.  Partner with Nature to meet your needs.

Jean Pain was a visionary, but his techniques, if anything, are too simple.  They are not sexy at all.

Try writing for a grant to heat water with rotting garbage while going up against a Solar Hot Water array or a wind turbine, let alone algal bio-diesel or whatever comes next.

Compost heat doesn’t create jobs; doesn’t need research studies and cannot be outsourced so it has no place in the Global Economy.

Know what?  Neither do I .  Jean Pain is a hero of mine for doing something that no one cared about because he knew it was just so very right and would be necessary to help save us from ourselves.  I read an awesome quote this week that pushed me over.

“The time has come to do Epic Shit.” Larry Santoyo, Permaculturist

Last week I scored a dump truck load of VERY green chipped mulch.  The rest is now history.

This project is going from drawing board to reality far quicker than I typically work, in fact the next step is typically being formulated as I am driving the wheelbarrow on the step I am currently on.  I knew I was going to do it at my home – that meant keeping it tight on space, visually acceptable, and must fit into the current plan.

Finally, it was to be a temporary structure – 6 months at most.  So I ended up with a 12×10 foot print using straw bales to contain the mulch. Why Straw?

It has structural rigidity, is a great insulator, but also breathes.  The 16″ thick bales would contain the pile into tight angular dimensions and keep the dogs and kids from knocking the pile down.  The insulation would help me get away with only a 2′ thick compost layer around rather than the 3′ I would have preferred if I had more space and material.

The following with be a pictorial journey through the afternoon today – with the help of my friend Kevin, we completed this in about 4 hours.

First I prepped the ground by removing a perennial bed that had succumbed to quack grass.  I chopped the ground up with a mattock as much because the quack needed punishing, but also because a mattock is possibly my favorite tool to use of all time.   Then leveled it with some old wood chips to make it look pretty.

10×12 – in the background you can see the chips soaking in their bins.

Next up was to lay down some temporary weed barrier for the quack, and start building the sides.  Gods do I love to build with straw – so fast!

Bales are on end to save space and stitched together with 2′ pieces of rebar for some rigidity.

Next up was to throw some mulch down to hold the cardboard pallet slips down, and then put the two steel 55 gallon drums in place.  The drums will act as the batch digesters.

Now the Methane Midden is really taking shape – Woot!

With the digesters in place, it was time to put in the heat exchanger.  Compost will heat up ALOT.  The material for this project was at 140 degrees 3 days ago before we broke down the pile to soak it.  Methane production occurs between 85 and about 103 degree.  Over about 105 the bacteria start to die off, 101 is about peak production.

Jean Pain figured out that you needed to cool the digerster tanks, so he pumped water through a hose wrapped around the tanks.

So I bought 240′ to augment the one hose I could spare.  After cooling the tanks, the hose is then laid out throughout the pile to absorb some of the heat from the composting, so the exit water is up to pile temp, typically 130-150 degrees!

290′ of hose wrapping the two barrels, then we threw in 8″ of soaked mulch and laid on our first row of heat exchanger.

The hose is essential to pull the heat from the pile, and it takes a 60′ hose laid out like this to make one lap of the composting layout.

I did absolutely no math on this point, the hoses come in 60′ chunks and we laid them out to make one fit per layer.

I figured 6-8″ between layers should be enough to both heat the water in the hoses, but not too little that the water pulls so much heat that the bio-reaction is slowed.  Time will tell is my intuition was off.

Here we are about 75% done, laying the fourth and final “rung” of heat exchanger:

Isn’t it GORGEOUS?! This project just feels so right!

That is about as far as we got today.  I ran out of mulch about half way through the next layer.  I will finish the pile alternating leaves and grass clippings.  Would like it to be mounded over the top of the digesters about 8″ and will then cap the entire pile with either straw or mulch for insulation and to prevent evaporation.

Some items that may not be evident in the photos.  The heat exchanger is set up counterflow.  That means that the coldest water enters at the top of the barrels, which is where the slurry should be warmest, and then runs through the 290′ of hose around the digesters.

At that point it is at the bottom of the pile, at which point it climbs 4 “rungs” of 60′ hose laid out about every 8″ through the pile.  Total hose length is 530′  for no reason other than that was what it took to do the above and “make it look right” – no fancy math here, just intuition.

Still have some very serious issues to overcome on how to store the methane, and some minor ones on plumbing the tubing.  I am good friends with the head of our village’s waste treatment plant and he is keen to see this project work.  Had him over for a beer as I put the last of the mulch on, we have some ideas that appear workable.

We do have some time – it will take about a week for the pile to hit peak temp and a few more days to heat the water in the drums.  Then we add the slurry, plumb in some tubing to take away the methane, start taking temp readings, and put up the “No Smoking!” signs.

“The time has come to do Epic Shit!”

Note: I watched a documentary on a French TV channel on this pragmatic philosophy of “Sober Happiness“.

There is this 75-year-old French/Algerian “peasant/philosopher Pierre Rabih. This guy has been living in one of the harshest land in France, the Ardesh.

At the age of 25, he married the French Michelle and purchased a run down cottage in this remote area of France. For 15 years, this couple raised their children from the produce of the harsh land that they transformed into a green field. The neighboring community would not come to aid on the premises of not encouraging this family to live under this “survival environment

In the last decade,  Pierre Rabih has been a frequent host on TV interviews, seminars and talk shows exposing his philosophy.

Pierre Rabih has also his own one-week practical sessions for people flocking from around the world to learn how to live this Sober Happiness concept.

The basic idea is that earth cannot sustain increased production in order to satisfy people who want to enjoy this consumerism habit. What is needed is for people to learn how to live soberly and feel happy satisfying their daily needs.

If everyone on this planet wants to live the life-style of the developed nations elite classes, billion will die of famine and live in misery.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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