Our Dry Compost Toilet & the Humanure Method

One of the biggest problems off gridders have to figure out is how to go to the bathroom. After some traumatizing experiences with a camp toilet, we decided to try a dry compost toilet and we love it. This how to video explains our dry compost toilet system and the humanure method. And since this is a video about POOP, I thought I’d better make it goofy and funny. Enjoy!

Control Burning Our Field

For the past three years since we bought our property we’ve battled the mess of a field behind our cabin. When this land was clearcut 15 years ago, loggers piled up unwanted wood in landing areas and a that’s what we look at through our back windows. Mountains of rotting wood have left the field unusable, inaccessible and full of snakes and other varmints. We have slowly whittled away at the wood over the past three years with controlled burns and sweat. This how-to video shows our most recent burn and also includes some great wildlife pics captured on our wildlife camera.

What’s for Dinner Tonight?

Tomato medley (beefsteak, watermelon tomatoes & pear tomatoes), parsley, sage & arugula, all fresh picked from the garden, over organic bacon turkey burgers with balsamic vinegar. Found a perfectly color matching leaf to enjoy as table decoration. Life is so grand!

Summer Hike

After lunch we decide to take a photo walk through the conservation area next to our property. The walk there is a shadeless section of the old log road that runs by our cabin. It is a messy mix of sticky mud, hard red clay, large rocks, and huge gulleys where the rain has washed it away. The road is difficult to walk on; the gravel shifts and slides under our heavy muck boots. The sun beats down on us as we stumble along on the shifting rocks.

But soon enough we are in the beautiful shaded pine forest and the heat is broken by a quiet breeze that smells of musty pine. Now we walk upon a soft pine needle carpeted trail, surrounded on either side by towering old pines. Their tops sway softly in sync to the gentle wind. These woods are magical. Even the buggy weedy heat of summer cannot completely douse the magic of these woods. I love to come here.

We walk slowly, conserving energy, searching our surroundings for photography subject matter… the sun shining through yellowed leaves, trees reflecting in a lilly pad covered pond, a cute little orange spotted turtle crossing the trail. We are encompassed by so much life and beauty here.

We discover some chanterelle mushrooms beside the trail. Their smooth pastel orange bodies are irregular blobs of sherbert dabbled along the forest floor. We gently pull them out of the ground and wrap them in a handkerchief to carry home for dinner. Yum!

We grow tired. Our route is three miles long, not an insignificant distance to traverse in muck boots and heat. We start to slog; put our heads down and just cover the distance. I watch the backs of Craig’s boots in front of me, step, step, step. I match his stride. I have no need to look up at the trail ahead of us. I trust his sure steps to forge the best way around gulleys, and weeds, and mudholes. He is my spiderweb catcher, my hunter and trail forger, the woodland wife’s knight in shining armor.

And on we trudge back toward our cabin. The sunny section of the log road is now uphill. I am covered in sweat, beginning to feel delirious. We haven’t brought any water with us. It is too hot and we’ve hiked too far without water to be comfortable. We never learn.

But we are getting close to home now, close to rest and a cold glass of the good stuff. Craig spots a spray of elusive wild bergamot flowers next to the road. What a lucky find for two photographers. We stop to capture the dainty spikey purple petals. Our thirst and discomfort is temporarily forgotten. We are once again, as always, reminded of what a glorious wondrous world God has created for us.

Read more of Blue’s Writings at bluetapp.com

Chantarelles and Organic Ribeye

Charcoal grilled grass fed organic beef ribeye steak; chanterelles we foraged on our hike today, sautéed in garlic and coconut oil; fresh parsley and sage just picked from the garden; in a whole wheat tortilla. We added shredded Gouda, fresh Parmesan, and sour cream. What a life!!