Jan 1, 2012 Astor, Florida – Well Happy New Year to everyone!

Hope this year is one of fulfilled dreams and pleasant memories, be they sailing, hunting, camping or whatever.
Updates: Medium testing – This month, I have been experimenting with cypress sawdust and shavings. Here in the Ocala National Forest, saw mills abound. Cypress, as all wooden boat builders and deck builders know is a wonderful wood for working with in a wet environment since it literally grows in the water. Northern and Central Florida are full of what are called cypress domes (clusters of cypress trees that form a dome in profile). The St Johns River is lined with beautiful cypress trees streaming with Spanish moss and chock full of Osprey and Bald Eagles’ nests. Cypress almost rivals teak for its resistance to rot, and its strength and beauty, but the downside is that it absorbs a tremendous amount of water which makes it very heavy when waterlogged and therefore not suitable for use in lightweight boats. That same feature makes it great for a composting medium, if you are trying to extract the moisture from solid waste as the C-Head does. It also has an earthy smell, the same as peat moss which also developed in a watery environment. Unlike peat moss, it is relatively rapidly renewable, and harvesting is much more closely controlled. In addition, it can be mixed (shavings and sawdust) for a better effect, the sawdust coats while the shavings aerate the mixture for increased composting. So far, I have been very happy with the results using this mixture. However, cypress sawdust and shavings are more difficult to come by. But for those fortunate enough to live where it is available, I recommend it highly. If there is sufficient interest, I may begin selling cypress mix medium by the bag or bucket from the website. Some interested parties have expressed a concern over depleting peat moss stocks worldwide. Let me know if you are interested. _____________________________ A Few Notes on Additives – While on the topic of medium, I thought I would pass on a little information regarding things that you can add to your medium that may help with either putting the composting on hold or preventing pests, etc. It sounds weird, but if you were trying to explain how a C-Head works in as few words as possible, it is a “dehydrating, anabiotic, solid waste conglobator”. Say that three times real fast! But it is important to note that the C-Head can be used in two ways; one, as pre-composter for further composting of waste, or as a treatment system for waste that is to be discarded. Perlite – A mineral resembling small kernels of popcorn that aerates soil and causes it to dry out (as opposed to Vermiculite which retains water in the soil. To put composting on hold, use Perlite. To activate composting, use Vermiculite. Laundry detergent – El Cheapo brand will work fine. Use laundry detergent to kill bacteria and effectively end the composting process if you plan on discarding the solid waste. A quarter cup after each use and prior to churning will suffice. Diatomaceous earth – Available at nurseries, adding a small amount of DE to your medium will kill any larva of any kind and it is harmless to humans (courtesy of Bob Wendling). If you are emptying your collection container on a five to seven day cycle and keeping your ventilation hood tightly closed, insects should not be a problem.

Chlorine bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide – Both can be added to the disposable bucket just prior to sealing to effectively treat it against pathogens. Use a bottle of HP or a half cup of bleach, then seal the container and discard. _______________________________________ Making a Cardboard Template of the C-Head – I try to always ask, right off the bat, if a potential owner has measured to see if the C-Head box model or bucket model will fit where it is desired. I can imagine how frustrating it would be to order one and then find out that it won’t fit without a lot of modification, or possibly not at all. Doors and drawers and thru-hull fittings can get in the way. As promised in the last newsletter, here is a schematic for a cardboard template that anyone can make.

Elongated Toilet Seats – I had promised Carl Huffman, a very successful homesteader and charter CHead owner, that I would research the possibility of using an elongated seat with the C-Head but filling orders has kept me busy. But yesterday, I did finally get to play around with adapting one to my R&D head (the Jolly Roger!) (who names their toilet??!) to see if it would work. It was easier to do and turned out better than I had expected. Very little adaptation was needed at all. Holes for the churn handle and some possible reinforcement around the seat and it seems to work fine. I am sending the seat to Carl to test out and will keep you apprised of his comments. In the mean time, anyone wanting an elongated seat can order one from the website or with their new order.

He also wrote me with the following suggestions for reading by prospective and active homesteaders considering gray water disposal. Thanks for the info, Carl. 1. Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins ISBN 0-9644258-9-0, link www.jenkinspublishing.com 2. Liquid Gold by Carol Steinfeld ISBN 978-0-9666783-1-4, link www.ecowaters.org 3. Create an Oasis with Greywater by Art Ludwig ISBN 0-9643433-9-8, link Oasisdesign.net ____________________________________ Ventilation – Finally, I managed to finish the ventilation system for my R&D toilet. It is pretty straight forward and should serve as a good basic system for many applications. I used a “Day/Night Nicro solar vent” that we used on the boat, 3” PVC sewer pipe, 1 ¼” PVC pipe, an electric cover plate, a concrete block and some cement. A picture is worth a thousand words. Be sure to use a good battery, NiCad 1.2V 3600 mAh (C battery).For more details go to the group site “Photo” page. http://tinyurl.com/7ywlrvy

Don’t forget the Seattle Boat Show composting toilet seminars. Juli Tallino will have a C-Head on display and will answer questions about cruising and composting toilets. Here are the dates and times: Sunday 1/29 at 5pm as well as Monday 1/30 @ 4pm Also, we are running an ad in the classifieds of “Cappers” and “Grit” magazines for homesteaders, etc. Look under the Composting Toilet heading. ___________________________________ Next edition of the newsletter will include: A simple and easy way to make a seat warmer for those cold-ass days. That was supposed to be this time, but heh! The beauty of a wood grain Boondocks Johnny! And a cabinet for the toilet stuff. ____________________________________ As always, please forward this to anyone that you think would be interested. Low advertising costs for me keeps the price down. Please send us any comments, ideas or articles for publishing that you think might be of interest. Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Sandy Graves The C-Head Newsletter Publisher, Owner and overall Big Cheese.

Copyright 2012. All content. All rights reserved.