Cycling and recycling


Introduction

Cycling, recycling, transforming the energy - we are all part of it, after all - is an ongoing priority of Damanhur, as part of supporting regional autonomy of the Federation and its biosphere. 

This is a significant field for development, which applies not only to the physical realm.

This is an integral aspect of Permaculture: how we can maximise positive consequences with the least energetic input, through good design and creating synergetic relationships.

There is a lot of scope for improving on the energy distribution of Tentyris as there has not been a tight integrated design process to the placement of the many elements and functions that make up the community, even while there has been wonderful work on various energy forms themselves. 

Apart from the water, material recycling as compost and re-use, the placement and orientation of building and work structures, the flow of movement, etc. can all benefit from refinement.


Composting

Cindy 25Nov14
Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Since there is a lot of organic matter available in Tentyris (matter that would otherwise be burned), we proposed to create compost piles.

Composting is done by organisms, such as bacteria, fungi and worms. To do so, they require four equally important ingredients to compost effectively:
Carbon — for energy; the microbial oxidation of carbon produces the heat, if included at suggested levels. High carbon materials tend to be brown and dry (e.g. twigs).
Nitrogen — to grow and reproduce more organisms to oxidize the carbon.
High nitrogen materials tend to be green (or colorful, such as fruits and vegetables) and wet.
Oxygen — for oxidizing the carbon, the decomposition process.
Water — in the right amounts to maintain activity without causing anaerobic conditions.

There are different ways to compost organic matter. Below are just a few that could be suitable for Tentyris.

Glenn Gall suggested a way that is cheap, produces low odor and has a short composting time. A Johnson-Su compost reactor. You can find the exact method of setting up this compost pile here.

The twigs, wet logs etc. could also be used to create Hugelkultur raised beds in the wetlands. This might prevent (further) erosion of the soil and is a great substrate to put the flower bulbs in. Furthermore, if placed as part of a pond, these raised beds can strengthen the banks of the pond, which can be very handy in a muddy area. More information about Hugelkultur you can find here.

Vermicompost is the product or process of composting using various worms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast. Vermicast, also called worm castings, worm humus or worm manure, is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by an earthworm.These castings have been shown to contain reduced levels of contaminants and a higher saturation of nutrients than do organic materials before vermicomposting. Containing water-soluble nutrients, vermicompost is an excellent, nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner.
Some info about wormfarms can be found here. Note that Eddie (The husband of Betsy) from Dendera already started creating a wormfarm!

Updates

Cindy 25Nov14 - Added information about composting.






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