Outhouses. The Nauglers are experts. They’ve built three of them, at least by my count, maybe more.
Only they aren’t what you think.
This is what you’re thinking. Toilet positioned over a deep hole. Fill the hole. Move the little building and the toilet to a new hole and fill in the old hole.
That’s not what the Nauglers are doing.
Look at the photograph of their “outhouse” carefully. There is no hole. Digging a hole deep enough for an outhouse is hard work. The Nauglers do not do hard work of any kind. If children cannot do this stuff, it isn’t going to be done.
Instead Nicole tells us the photo at the top is a “composting toilet.”
Only it isn’t.
This is a composting toilet. They are typically installed in remote places that simply aren’t conducive to having a septic system. We had a friend who had one in a cabin that was too close to a river to have a septic tank.
Composting toilets actually compost the waste right there in the bottom part of the toilet. They do require 12 volt power, generally supplied by a battery. They are also pretty pricey. This particular one is almost $1000.
They require regular and careful maintenance or they get pretty stinky pretty fast.
But this isn’t what the Nauglers have.
Instead, the Nauglers are pretending that they are doing what Joe Jenkins wrote about in his really good book The Humanure Handbook. If you look about with Google, you can get a PDF of the book for free. If you are even considering anything like the Naugler setup, you need to get this book and heed it.
The problem with the Naugler’s setup is that they appear to only being doing part of it. The easy part. They are shitting in a bucket.
Yes, Lori, they do.
But they had great plans.
I’ll have more to say about Jacqueline’s comment in a minute, but notice that she thinks that Nicole is talking about an actual composting toilet. She is not.
Here’s the second incarnation of the “outhouse.”
And Nicole had this to say about it.
Oh, this one was gonna be nice. A bathhouse as well as an outhouse, complete with an on demand hot water heater. Wow. Notice this was last October. Just a few months ago.
You know, like this:
They’re really nice, actually. We own two of them. They work great and give you lovely instant hot water in the barn, for example. But not in the dead of winter. You cannot let one of these freeze.
But of course, we never saw completion of the magnificent structure that was pictured in its beginning stages above. I wonder if it had something to do with the fact that floor was never, ever going to be level.
Anyway, scrap the whole shower-with-instant-hot-water thing, and move on to Outhouse Incarnation #3.
Does everything she photographs have to be so. . . filthy dirty?
This great mighty structure is the current one. She mentions with the photo that they actually purchased new plywood for this. I’m not sure where they intend to use it since I see none pictured (maybe the roof?) Those walls are particle board, and will last, oh, maybe a few months. The floor, of course, consists of the ever-present pallets.
And there is no hole.
There will be a bucket.
And this raises a question. A really big question. One I’ve been asking now for months and waiting to see if anyone else would ever think of it, or if Nicole would think maybe there is an issue here that needs to be addressed.
What happens to the contents of the bucket when it’s full?
She’s really big on showing us photos of the great outhouses during their construction phase. She blithely tosses out expressions like “composting toilet” as though that’s what they are actually doing. But there doesn’t seem to be any actual composting being done anywhere.
What are they doing with all the shit?
This, course, is not a Naugler creation. This is a real humanure compost bin setup. The way it works is this: The straw in the middle, under the roof, is used to cover the bucket of waste after it is deposited in the bin. Most people who do this also have a bucket of lime nearby to sprinkle over the top as well. You work on one bin at a time. When the first bin is full, you move to the second bin.
In addition, most people who do this also have some sort of setup to clean the bucket, to rinse it out (and put the rinse water on the compost bin, not just willy nilly on the ground) and then put it out in the sun to disinfect for a while. And maybe have two or three buckets to cycle through.
The compost heats up as compost will do if it’s well made, and that destroys any pathogens in the human waste. When the compost is complete (it looks like dark dirt), you can use it around non-edible plants.
The humanure system is actually a pretty good one when implemented carefully and maintained with meticulous cleanliness, especially in regions with little rainfall because it does save water. (That’s not Kentucky.)
I’ve seen nothing to indicate that the Nauglers are doing anything even resembling this anywhere.
They are just relieving themselves in a white bucket.
And then they. . . what? Empty it where? Do they dig a hole? Do they toss it in the pond? What?
Imagine what is happening to their property. There are 12 human beings on that property depositing their human waste. . . where? Would you want to even put a foot on the place, ever? What in the world do the people who actually hold deed to that land (it’s not the Nauglers) think about this?
Figuring out how to deal with human waste was one of the biggest advancements people have ever made. Epidemics were rampant until we learned that the stuff has to be handled correctly.
I have never believed for a single second that this happened because of bad pancakes. It might have been the pancakes that carried the pathogen, yes. But I suspect the pathogen came from the non-existent sanitation that these people live with.
The most common cause of this sort of gastrointestinal disorder is popularly called the “noro virus.” It is spread by fecal contamination and it is highly contagious.
Since Nicole and Joe don’t seek medical attention typically, we have no idea what sort of bug those children had, but her description is sure consistent with noro virus.
Of course, it’s all the fault of the children, though.
Here is how it’s done properly.