- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Joseph Jenkins, Inc.; 3 edition (September 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0964425831
- ISBN-13: 978-0964425835
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Third Edition 3rd Edition
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"This is a cult classic which might strike those without an outhouse as disgusting. But the methods outlined within have the potential to change the ecological fate of the world." New Yorker Magazine
"Despite all the books on manure and how to use it, human manure composting is not covered elsewhere, making the Humanure Handbook a fine reference for any who would learn these basics. If you're an avid composter, there's nothing like this on the market." Midwest Book Review
"Finally we have a comprehensive book on recycling human excrement without chemicals, high technology, or pollution. Well written, practical, and thoroughly researched . . ."--Whole Earth Review
"Almost certain to become a classic in its field. This book should be required reading. . . ."--Countryside Journal
"We think The Humanure Handbook ranks right up there with Rachel Carson's Silent Spring . . ."--HortIdeas
From the Publisher
This is the 3rd edition of a self-published book. No respectable publisher would touch it with a ten foot shovel. The 1st edition of Humanure was published in 1994 with a print run of 660 copies, which the author fully expected would last the rest of his life.
Now, 22 years later, the book has sold over 60,000 copies in at least 59 countries worldwide and has been published in numerous foreign editions on four continents. The 2nd Edition was a 2000 Independent Publisher Outstanding Book of the Year, deemed the book "Most Likely to Save the Planet," a 2000 Finalist in ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Awards, and a Finalist in the 2000 Benjamin Franklin Awards for Excellence in Publishing. It was an Amazon.com #1 bestseller in its category for several years, and has been reviewed by Mother Earth News, Whole Earth Review, Countryside Journal, The Journal of Environmental Quality, Natural Health, and many other popular print media. It has been talked about on NPR, BBC, CBC, Howard Stern, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy Magazine, Organic Gardening Magazine and many other national and international venues.
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Top customer reviews
I've just started the great humanure experiment with my newly made compost bin, so I'll have to wait a couple of years to see how it all shakes out. I've already been composting #1 for a few months and I'm working up the nerve to progress to #2! I can say that #1 is no problem; I've been doing it inside the house with no odor problems at all, and taking it outside is not the disgusting chore I feared it might be.
I do find it hilarious that there's a little star on the cover saying "Amazon.com Category Bestseller". What category is that?
We get the sawdust for free from a local sawmill. We get most of our cover material in the form of spent grains from a local craft brewery. All free.
After the first week it already started feeling barbaric to use perfectly good fresh water in toilets. Our state-mandated septic system (required for greywater treatment) will never need pumping because no solids will ever go into it. Plus in a couple of years we'll have nice compost to add to the sandy soil here...
A friend was visiting recently and remarked that our house didn't smell like cats, although we have three of them - he asked where the litter box was. "Just behind that curtain, 6 feet from us," we answered. "Right next to our OWN litter box - our sawdust buckets." He was stunned and couldn't believe he couldn't smell either of them. Another friend suggested that it helps that our sawdust is from fresh pine logs, and I suspect he may be right. The cat litter, by the way, is Tractor Supply horse bedding pellets, which we just toss into the same compost pile as our own sawdust.
I also have found compostable tampons Veeda Applicator Free Super Plus Tampons 100% Natural Cotton, which is one more thing I can remove from the waste stream that feeds the landfill.
Once you get past that, and all the chemistry lessons, this handbook is a "must have" for any backyard composter.
It explodes many conventional composting myths, but gives sound scientific evidence of why they are myths.
Having composted for years, my only cautionary statement would be that most backyard composters cannot maintain a "healthy" (in Mr. Jenkin's words) compost pile that will oxidize/process harmful bacteria.
That said, the book is worth the price alone for the information on composting toilets, and DIY techniques. Most people wouldn't be able to dig an outhouse hole in their backyard should the need arise. But just about anyone could construct a composting toilet, and no one would be the wiser.