Monday, May 24, 2010

House Plans and Pottys

A few months ago we announced that we had purchased house plans. Well...true to just about everything we do, we think we changed our minds. A friend at church directed us to some easy to build homes utilizing a dry stack block method of building.

Since we're doing this on our own (no mortgage, no contractors, no laborers other than ourselves) it makes sense to do this efficiently both in cost and time. A dry stack house can be done by one person or two and you can leave off without worry about weather damage to what you have gotten built. Sounds good, now we just need a new houseplan!

The other order or business is doing our business. We've been planning on heading up to the shabin for a few weeks now but there is only one problem: How to potty? With five little ones (3.75 of which are potty trained) we need a way for them to go to the bathroom without having to trek across almost the entire property in the middle of the night to the privacy of the woods. I'm not really quite scrappy enough to chance the darkness and the animals for this kind of adventure. At least not yet. Also, we don't want to risk contaminating our land with human waste either by just randomly digging holes.

A composting toilet was our first thought but the only size we'd be able to use in the shabin won't be functional in our regular house. At a price tag over $1500, it's not an option to throw that money away on a short term potty solution. Though I do like the overall idea of a waterless composting toilet for the house's long term solution.

Last week, while I was perusing Hobby Farm Home magazine at Girl Scouts, I saw an ad for an incinerating toilet. Hmmm, could this work?

The price tag is about the same for the electric model as the seasonal use composting toilet and it would be able to be moved and used in the main house without any changes. The only issue we have is the safety factor during a burn cycle and the cost of the specialized liners it requires. Overall, this seems the best bet and we've been doing a lot of research into it. The price tag is steep for something that just is for one specific function but if we can't go up to stay to build, no building will get done.

Other than that, we're itching to go back up and start working on the shabin to make it livable for building. I long for that peaceful surrender that overtakes me when we visit our own little slice of Earth.


  1. Question for ya.....just asking.....I mean no offense. How does human waste contaminate land more than deer waste, coyote waste, or any other animal waste out there? I'm asking because right now the toilet on OUR farm consists of a roll of toilet paper on the end of a shovel!!!! Our neighbors are into the 20th century.....they dug an outhouse!!!
    You can always use a 5 gal. bucket like a chamber pot for night time use and bury the contents in the morning......until you get a real toilet. At least then you will be able to visit the land!!!!

  2. Incinerating toilet!!! That created quite the visual...of course, I envisioned one sitting on the pot while the flames started doing their business! Sometimes I need to turn my brain off!

  3. Hey Dayle, no offense taken! Basically, our water comes from the watershed. In that area it is strictly overseen. Our water table is high and digging and dumping in the wrong place...well, it could really mess up our well placement if where we want it gets contaminated with raw sewage. I would probably not want any poo waste in our water.

    Anne - it gets up to 1200 degrees...