Facility Sanitation Improvement (by a factor of ‘e’)

To our colonic relief, we added a second composting toilet, a public outhouse with privacy. Now no one needs to wonder who is going to enter the vestibule while performing defecation maneuvers. Albeit temporary, it satisfies our immediate needs. Thanks to Orin for helping construct it!

We also moved the humanure compost to south-west of the hexacubes, across from and downstream of the last stream on the west most side of the property. It’s the blue barrel in the picture below:


  1. Edward

    Great job on quickly responding to the public. This should help with some of the more immediate concerns. Still room for improvement though.

  2. Geoff

    Fantastic job guys! I realise it must be hard to have so many armchair critics, I guess to an extent that’s the nature of the beast. The one thing you can take heart in is that people care enough about the project to watch and comment from the sidelines.

  3. Lost Chief

    Hey i dont see any scented TP in there:+) But seriously great job on the quick fix. Naw when i send a few first aid kit bucks i wont think its going down the toilet hahaha

    Ok am i going to get banned for the bad jokes?

    Off Subject..
    So whats the deal with planting out all that stuff in the greenhouse? There going to be hands down there or not a focus?

  4. Brittany

    Dear all,

    I generally do not keep abreast on news from Factor E Farm since my departure in November 2008. As a co-founder and co-owner of the farm, it is too painful to engage in discussions or review “progress” of the work.

    Painful because much more happens there than meets the public eye. I am acutely aware of the larger implications behind words, thoughts, pictures and actions. I know the types of discussions that occurred; I know what impact actions will have on the land, on the neighboring community and the people Marcin is working with.

    This is why I have steered clear of Factor E/OSE discussions. Every time I read a post or a comment, I have a desire to explain my perspective on the situation. This would cause debate and ultimately distract me from where I really want to put my energy.

    However, I was recently informed of the sanitation debate as well as Matthew and Molly’s disappointing visit to Factor E. After both talking for many hours with Matthew and Molly and reading these postings and the ensuing comments, I am compelled to reply.

    Yes. Congratulations on a private toilet.

    For those of you who don’t know the outhouse was actually put up by Ronny– please see the very first blog post. We later moved the toilet inside for warmth. Who wants to run outside on an early cold morning to sit on a cold toilet seat?

    The spot we chose for the initial human waste compost bin was when we had 2-3 people. Emptying the waste was nearly always my chore– mostly because every time I tried to encourage Marcin to alternate with me, the bucket became too full for my comfort zone. So, I simply took it on as my chore. Because emptying a bucket full of human waste is THE most unpleasant chore, we opted for a site that was close to the toilet. For two people that was fine. For a community it is not.

    So, yes hurrah! A better, more sanitary waste system.

    But is that the real issue? My “final post” was mainly concerning the unsanitary conditions at the farm: the mice, the dirt, the water… Matthew’s (edited) final post was also mainly concerning the unsanitary conditions.

    Having had a chance to talk with both Molly and Matthew, I discovered that our concerns were very similar– and sanitation was not the core issue.

    Before I even considered leaving permanently, I was fixing the walls of the cordwood so that we would have a more pleasant winter indoor habitat. I told Marcin early on that this was important to me. So important in fact that I was not going to help make CEBs. He agreed. Unfortunately, when autumn started approaching and Marcin still had not gone into brick production, he became anxious. He begged me to help. And I did.

    When I helped, he complained that I did not help enough. His frustration at being unable to produce bricks by his timeline was taken out on me in a manipulatively abusive way.

    Not willing to take the verbal misuse any longer, I left.

    Many people have discussed the bathroom situation with us at Factor E. This is not the first time. It took a public blog posting AND many negative comments for Marcin to change his priorities. And the change is a “temporary” fix. What will it take to convince Marcin that living conditions are a priority and that he does have time and resources to do make them a priority?

    His unwillingness to compromise on truly useful projects is one common concern I believe I share with Matthew and Molly. Another is Marcin’s lack of appreciation, gratitude and thanksgiving. These are the foundations of love and community and I believe that they are near absent from the farm.

    I was “scolded” for “wasting my time” planting garlic last fall. Then, I see a few weeks later on a video, Marcin sharing the joy of garlic planted. Molly made 30 raised beds for the Farm– and claims not one word of thanks. THese are just two small examples.

    Perhaps you are sure of the worthiness of this project. You are certain that it is worth your time and effort. For 5 years, I too believed that it was worth my time. If this is your position, then, by all means, contribute.

    But remember, there are many projects and many leaders. I believe that a future civilization cannot be built on the type of “governance” found at OSE. Make your own choice. But do your research. I would be glad to talk with you. As would many others who have put considerable energy into Factor E Farm and have left. Feel free to contact me at brittany [dot] gill [at] gmail [dot] com

    Thank you for lending your ear and your wise consideration.



  5. Lost Chief

    My gift to OSE. Im not writer and still got this done.

    Nothing like free press.

    Not a huge deal but something that may give you keygoard gardeners ideas.

    Also i posted in thier forums under WOOFING so it would be nice for one of you to comment on that post in thier forums to bring it back to the top.

  6. Jeremy

    Thanks Lost Chief!

  7. Michael Koch

    In response to Brittany’s post, is there discussion at Factor e about such issues? They seem very serious, and as an outsider who has visited Factor e on several occasions, I’m wondering if these issues are being tackled.

    If not, you are going to see alot of people jump ship (if they havent already), and possible demise of Factor e. Its not hard to bring new people on, but without a base of experienced individuals that are willing to stick around and help, the project is going to dead in the water…

  8. Lost Chief

    Its going to take the right person or 2 to stop in and kick things into shape with better group usage buildings but i feel marcin understands this and is looking for someone to help with that. If a large kitchen/shower/restroom building is made this will deal with a huge part of the listed issues.

    To be honest the issues are minimal in my eyes. We are talking a 2 week project or so to build this building even with the somewhat unstable CEB bricks. And to be honest if you take the time before building to seperate bricks of the same size the buildings will look much better when built.

    This project could really jump along with just a few key changes. And i think the permaculture designer is a huge step. Having ample food to offer visitors is a great way to get people to stay long enough to get projects like we have spoken of done.

    And on another note. Anyone thinking of heading to Factore should buy an RV or travel trailer if they can so they have thier own comfy place. You can get a good condition 70s/80s travel trailer for 200-1500 bucks. 1500 will get you one thats 35 feet long and in nice shape where im at. 200 will get you a 20 foot in decent shape that if cleaned and painted on the inside would be in nice shape.

    Take it from me i have owned around 8 RVs and a few trailers. I buy them and clean them up and after i get bored with it i sell it and at minimal double or tripple my investment.

    And maybe you might want to keep a steady eye on craigslist in the area for free travel trailers to go grab and bring to factore. you can never have to many living spaces and there are tons of usable materials in a rv or travel trailer like steele or ovens ect ect..


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  10. Amatul

    I agree that large kitchen/shower/sinks/restroom building or infrastructure make me want to return and live there and work on things!!

    community building
    building community
    via building the buildings, too!

    Food, Family, and baseline Fun of the work done as a team are how the Amish (the ol school Resilient Community frontrunners fo’ sho’, mad respect to their tribe!) KEEP em down on the farm.
    Not only with a fierce angry and heavy God that everyone stands in awe and fear and trembling before… having goals and getting em done, with some good food,( and bathrooms) and Social FUN built in is key.

    Clowns, Host/essess and chiefs.. is that what I told you a good community needs, J & M…?

    Nate and I liked it at Factor-e Farm, but we didnt slave away on the CEB press prototype, so we dont know what that was like, and I feel for folks who build shelters in the winter in the cold cold cold – even working when we did on that black box building hex-a-cube thingy thang was fun but damn cold, I must say. When it is cold outside, we must be warm.. in our souls.

    Love and Love and yes, LOVE once more
    many blessings and all will be well –

    I feel that good work done well and *making beauty*, not only speed or hypables, thats the value of it all, and – thats the rub.. no christmas tree ornaments, right? “oohhh, speedy speed!” is a sort of christmas tree ornament, and within an empty community center there can be no community.

    I always think that community is drawn in by our Common Unity.

    Believe. It can be done! we _can_ live free and in peace.
    we can end all Wars, even personal ones, via apology, therapy, and forgiveness of each other.

    think about who we might need to apoligise to, and who we might need to forgive.
    hmmm now, who might be long over due a call.

    Mammatul loves y’all
    this thread means a lot
    because scientist farmers dont have to live in a vacum without feelings and,

    !hearts healed work harder for the love of it all!

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