Sunday, September 6, 2009

Poop Station

Here is our homemade poo composter, compooster? It's really a pretty simple system. We have Humanure style toilets inside the skycastle, basically 5 gallon buckets, we poo in these (we urinate in separate containers), we line the buckets with newspaper, in the bottom of the bucket is a paper plate, and after each sitting/deposit, we put a layer of newspaper on top, it helps to flatten the deposit a bit too. When the buckets are full enough, usually about half full is sufficient, we take them outside and it goes into the poo composter.

The outside component consists of 2-55 gallon plastic barrels mounted on a wooden a-frame. The barrels have a door cut into the side. The top barrel has a shaft that contains metal tines that chop up the poo and paper. Mountain Man Bob mounted a large, heavy flywheel on the outside of the top barrel, it is attached to the shaft, that makes turning the shaft much easier, this flywheel is the wheel from a heavy wire spool.

You will notice the "brake" around the top barrel, it is a couple of rubber bungie cords that stop the barrel from rotating, only the shaft and tines inside it rotate. When it is sufficiently chopped up, we dump the top barrel into the bottom barrel to finish composting, it doesn't take very long to get finished compost this way.

Bob built a makeshift shelter around it, for a bit of shade, he also took some of the long grasses we have growing around and wove them into the sides of the shelter, mostly for aesthetic purposes.

The top barrel contains fresh poo so it smells but only when the door is open, the bottom barrel does not smell at all, the ants have found their way in to the bottom barrel, they don't seem to be hurting anything so we have left them alone for now. There is also a colony of dung beetles living under the barrels, they seem happy enough, I suppose they will clean up what ever might accidentally spill out.

Here is a video of the poo composter, enjoy. Warning, there is a bit of "colorful" language in this video, it is appropriate for the subject matter being discussed.
I edited the video to make the sound louder.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I have found a great place to host all of my pix, I can also add slideshows of the images here. Look to the right and you will see the latest pictures.

You can go here to view all of my pix.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Videos

I added more videos to the video list on the top of the page, just click play, if you have already seen the first few, click to video #8, 8-13 are the new ones.



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Amazon pressure cooker link

Matt, here is your link, thanks so much for doing this for me, every little bit helps.

pressure cooker amazon link

Monday, May 11, 2009

Videos and Concrete (Soilcrete)

You asked for them, now you got them! Check out the videos in the upper right corner of this blog, you might notice, these are my videos! Right now the videos are of a tarantula that was strolling around my property. The other videos are of the front of the cabin (Bob hates it when I call it a cabin, I'm going to have to start calling it something else, maybe sky castle?). The concrete now goes all the way to the top of the sky castle, Bob took the forms off this morning, this is a big milestone for us. :) Woo Hoo!

Anyhoo, watch the videos, and enjoy, let me know what you think.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Josh & April

I am very proud of you Josh! Be safe in Iraq, come home soon. :)

Hi April, I love all of you very much!

Pre-Grand Opening

This is a pre-grand opening message, I've worked on this blog for the last couple of days trying to get things set up the way I want it to be. I'm pretty satisfied with the layout and look, the colors look great, the picture at the top is an actual picture from my property, the sky looked spectacular and I was able to capture it on (digital) film.

I appreciate the folks who have started following this blog long before it has become active, all of you have waited patiently for me to finish designing this blog and start writing some real content. I would like to acknowledge each of you here:



Aaron Thorne



M.D. Creekmore

Thanks to each and every one of you. :)


Sunday, February 1, 2009


Hello, I have been blogging for a little over a year now about living off grid, I decided it was time to create a separate blog where I can discuss the more technical aspects of living off grid, the how to's and DIY of living off grid as opposed to the more personal, day to day living aspects of my other blog.

I will have lots more input from my mountain man Bob. Stay tuned, I'll be tweaking this site, improving the appearance and functionality.