Friday, March 28, 2008

Shitstorm @ The Farm

And by shit I mean poop....YES DOOKIE

Sanitation: taking care of our shit, is one of the biggest issues facing the world today. As Stephen Turner, Policy Director of the NGO Water Aid says "We need to put the word shit into people's mouths.
The importance of how we take care of our waste and our water is essential to the health, safty, and happiness of us all.
This issue is hitting home here on The Farm:

There is a new neighborhood in the works here at The off the grid, permaculture neighborhood to help model sustainable living and provide a new magnet for progressive and conscious people to come live in this experiment in right livelihood.

The Farm has a long history of progressive thinking, but even in a hippie commune there are conservatives.

Although the Farm Board (The Democratically elected Governing Body) is behind the development of the new community, there are some people with reservations in the greater Farm community who have been making their voices heard. These vocal people are concerned about the planned use of composting toilets: humanure systems, a dry alternative to septic and sewage systems. If done right composting systems can kill more pathogens than a septic system, and recycle “waste” into the permaculture being established to provide fertility for fruit trees and gardens...the catch is IF DONE CORRECTLY.

unfortunately communication has not always been clear, and politics has begun to supersede heart felt communication. Feelings have been hurt and there is tension, fear and frustration in the air...

What a time for change!, what an opportunity for healing and growth.
Synchronistically as the Shit his the fan here on the Farm about the composting in new neighborhood, a representative of the Natural Building Network is here to offer support and guidance. Phone trees and emails go out, posters are printed...time for community outreach!

We are hoping to turn manure into compost, just like The Families involved in planing the new neighborhood...the metaphor runs deep.

With this kind of community strife comes the opportunity for deep transformation and healing, the opportunity for change...all we need to do is stay centered and take the small steps to assure that people are heard, educated and organized and let democracy that its course.

What Better Place Than Here?

What Better Time Than Now?

As Chris McClellan of the Natural Building Network says: its time to put on the conservative code loving inspector’s shoes, and instead of arguing or forcing things, just add moral criteria to the existing codes (put there to protect the health and safety of the community)
This is an opportunity for us to come together as a community to hear everyones needs. If we can create a space where everyone can be heard, and the people who have the knowledge and wisdom are allowed to share, the positive solutions of natural building will be embraced, and dry composting toilets can become an integral part of the Farm and serve as a model for the rest of the region, country and world as we all look for simple, low cost, low energy solutions.

Now that the state of Tennessee has become involved and inspectors are coming to inspect and assure health and safety, we have an opportunity to come forth with integrity and power, showing the cleanliness and meticulous design that has gone into the dry composting systems planned.
As a community we at The ETC along with the Natural Building Network and our friends on the Farm are ready to listen, and to share. I for one am optimistic that we can turn this shitstorm into a beautiful bed of roses...
all we need is the patience to compost.

For more information on composting toilets/humanure or buy the Humanure Handbook

For more information about The Natural Building Network

For more information about us at the ETC

For more information about The Farm Community

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