From Humanure to Hawthorns

The worm should never be doubted for its ability to turn waste into want.

And yet I did.

When we mixed our first load of humanure with a handful of red worms, I thought we had given them the death sentence.  Only months later did I witness the true abilities of the red worm, the master decomposer.  Lifting the lid from their home, I discovered the most beautiful compost,  dark and crumbly.

The perfect home for my hawthorn seeds.   So, I planted them this morning  amongst the worms, hoping that a few will germinate by spring.  I am interested in planting hawthorns for several reasons:  Their thorny branches make a useful hedge; the berries are edible for both people and animals; and it has medicinal properties.  ( is a good resource for learning more).

Planting hawthorns was only the beginning of my day.  I made sweet bread in the solar cooker and packed away some peppers using lacto-fermentation techniques described by Sally Fallon in “Nurishing Traditions”.  Then, the three of us deligently collaborated to finish the walls of a cordwood vestibule to our earthbag home.   Earthbag construction was time-consuming and tiring for two people; we thought cordwood would be a welcome change: no tamping, no barbed wire to fool with.  However, the details of cordwood are no easier to overcome than those of stacking sandbags.  Marcin believes the holy grail of natural building will be Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB).

If the worms can transform humanure into earth, then I cannot doubt that earth can be turned into housing. ~Beezie

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