August 2013 Astor, Florida – Amid a quiet hurricane season (so far) with what seems like an inordinate amount

of rain, the C-Head/BoonJon saga continues!
Much has happened since I last posted a newsletter, all of it very exciting for me and my wife. First, I have designed and created a new model at the request of two Macgregor owners. Both were seeking a way to replace their porta-potty setups with something that had more capacity and was easier to handle. The upshot of it was the “Cut Away Base” model which is fast becoming the second most popular design of the four models.

As you can see, the cut away base is adapted for installation on a narrow pedestal, something that is often found on sailboats due to the shape of the hull. It allows the user to sit lower to the floor. It uses the 3.5gallon collection container inside, but I reiterate that both the 3.5-gallon and the 5-gallon collection containers have the same capacity; it’s just that the 5-gallon collection container, because it is deeper, hides your handy work better from view until it can be churned under. So far, I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews on this model, and it is suitable for a number of smaller production boats, from Hunters to Hirondelles. I may wind up replacing the “angled back” model with this one since it could be used just as well with the construction of a small pedestal against the sloping hull. We will see. For a look at an installation by Robert B, as well as a great discussion, go to the Macgregor owner’s forum to the bottom of page 8 for photos. _____________________________________________________________________________________________

I have recently turned my attention to land based use of the C-Head (or BoonJon as I call it), and to using black soldier flies to process the waste. It is something that boaters could use just as well to dispose of their waste, since many are uncomfortable putting their waste in the trash. Scattering it around your flower beds is also not as simple as it sounds, nor may it be very desirable. If you haven’t heard of black soldier flies, you are not alone. Most likely you haven’t seen any because they don’t like hanging around humans or human habitats. There are few creatures on this earth that are as useful to man as the black soldier fly. They rival the honey bee and bear some resemblance to a small black wasp. They do not sting or bite or eat anything in the “fly” stage. They live for 5 -8 days, just long enough to mate and lay eggs, before they starve to death. Because they don’t eat in the fly stage, they do not land on other waste or your food and consequently they do not transmit disease. It is in the larva stage that they truly shine. These remarkable creatures can and do eat anything and everything they come across accept bone and cellulose. The female lays 500-900 eggs above a source of rotting waste which fall into the waste when they hatch. They can tolerate the heat of a composting heap up to 115 degrees which will aid in sterilizing the waste of bacteria and parasites. Within two weeks, they will dominate the waste, eating all the larva of competing insects including house flies, thereby significantly and noticeably reducing the house fly population in the area. They can go dormant for up to six months waiting for more food. They harvest themselves by exiting the waste pool to pupate. The larva are 35% fat and 50% protein making them a superior source of feed for chickens and fish. There are several videos on YouTube that demonstrate how they are utilized by people for converting waste into animal feed.

With that knowledge, we can make getting rid of the waste that our toilets generate a simple task. In our garden, we have three composting towers or bins that we use to convert our garden and lawn waste into usable compost. I built a black soldier fly larva harvester along the lines of one that I saw on YouTube to experiment with growing the larva. It ultimately led to a process for managing the waste that is simple and convenient. My compost towers are four feet wide, four feet high and three feet deep from front to back. They have six inch washboards in the front that can be removed much like the companionways on a boat.

As the pile grows, boards are added to contain the material. They were simple to build and look very garden appropriate. So, using one of the towers, here is the process for riding yourself of your C-Head solid waste. To see the video go here; Build a composting tower in some area of your yard that is away from the house and away from any wells or bodies of water. Fence corners work well. Allow the bin to fill to about a foot deep with grass clippings and dried leaves or just use straw, and then take a five gallon bucket and cut out the bottom. Place the bucket in the center of the pile and add more composting material around it to secure it in place. Make a cover that will cover the entire area of the top of the mound inside the tower and resting on the top of the bucket. Lay a narrow board across the top of the bucket under the cover to keep the top of the bucket open for the flies to enter the “pit” as I call it. Drill about twenty ¼-inch holes in the board over the pit to give the female soldier flies a place to lay their eggs. To start the process, pour food waste, especially sweet materials like melon rind, corn cobs, banana peels, rotten fruit, etc to attract the soldier flies. At first you will have a swarm of every kind of fly you can imagine inside the bucket but within a couple of weeks, the soldier flies will dominate the pit and the other flies will disappear from the area. At this point, you can begin to add the contents from your C-Head. Simply dump the contents of the collection container into the bucket and the BSF larva will reduce the feces to about a tenth of their volume in less than two days. They prefer to work out of sight so the peat moss will serve to hide them and cover the waste. Do not use diatomaceous earth in your peat moss if you are going to use this method as it may kill the larva. I am currently using this system and I empty my BoonJon about once a week. At the current rate, it looks like one tower will hold about 6 months worth of waste. At the end of that time, I will simply let the material compost further for 6 months and let the earthworms do their thing. At the end of a year, I will mix the compost and use it or let it sit until I need it. If you are homesteading or prepping, you will want to have a BSF harvester as well to control house flies, remove vegetable waste and feed your fish or chickens. A harvester will produce a liquid waste that you can use to attract other BSF or add to your compost as a compost tea.

More on that in the next newsletter! As it stands now, we will have a booth at the National Preppers & Survivalists Expo in Atlanta on Oct 19-20 and I will be giving a half hour seminar on domestic waste management. If you find yourself at the event, come by and say hi. I would be glad to answer any questions about the system. Here is the link to the NPS Expo:

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ As those of you who have visited the “factory” know, I have been working out of my shop in my back yard. It has been wonderful. Anytime I feel a sinking spell coming on, I simply amble up to the house and take a nap, or get a snack or tea or something. Life is good! But business is growing and we have rented a couple of buildings here in Astor on State Road 40 which should get us a lot of exposure. And being located on the edge of the second largest national forest in the continental USA, there is probably some

demand for an outhouse system that you can have “in your house.” The learning curve is steep and I will be having monthly or even weekly classes on domestic waste management at my new facility. There will be static displays for people to see how it all works. I hope if you are in Florida anytime soon that you can come by and see firsthand how it all works. I will be experimenting with growing ponds of duck weed (we have tons of duckweed on the river) to feed the fish for aquaponics and to feed the BSF. It should all be very interesting. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ There has been some discussion on the forums about the need or lack of need to ventilate the C-Head. It has been firmly fixed in people’s minds that ventilation is a necessity and on the f ace of it, it would seem to be common sense. After all we all know that s#*t stinks and just getting people to believe that a composting toilet doesn’t smell like a sewage plant is a hurdle itself, forget trying to convince them that you don’t even need to ventilate it. I installed a semi-elaborate ventilation system in my home (that included cutting a hole through the wall of the house) that incorporated both active and passive ventilation for purposes of research. I disconnected it over a year ago and guess what? The C-Head doesn’t smell without it. I have been advising my customers not to ventilate their C-Head until they find out if they need to or not and what reports I am getting show that it is working fine without ventilation. With “active” composting ventilation is good because the compost needs to be aerated, but why would anybody want to actively compost waste on their boat or inside their home? That can all be done outside once the waste gets home. I don’t believe that anybody is actively composting their waste onboard to a point where it is pathogen-free compost, so why not just let it molder and store it until you can bring it ashore (or dump it off shore) and compost it completely at your leisure? Point is, don’t go cutting holes in your boat and installing an expensive ventilation system if you don’t need to. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Richard Woods, the renowned catamaran designer, is showing his newest boat at the Vancouver Wooden Boat Show as I write. He has a C-Head onboard so it would be an excellent time to see both a great boat and the C-Head too. He will be going to the Annual Wooden Boat Festival at Port Townsend, Washington on September 6-8. If you are near, take this opportunity to check them out. They can answer questions about the C-Head. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ I hope this edition has been helpful and insightful. There is much more to come, especially with regards to homesteading and other uses for a toilet system. Please feel free to call or email me with questions and come by if you can. A parting thought.

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