Composting Toilets and Other Aids to Sustainable Agriculture & Sustainable Non-toxic Communities




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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison

Honey Flow

Tree of 40 fruits
1, 2

Allan Savory - How to Green the World's Deserts and Reverse Climate Change 1, 2

Small farmer Joel Salatin earns up to $5,000 per acre using Allan Savory's principles. See Joel Salatin YouTube videos:
- eggs
- chicken
- turkey
- rabbit
- pork
- beef

Natural Sequence Farming 1, 2

Beavers vs. Droughts 1

Urban rooftop commercial greenhouse

Back to Eden Film

Grow vegetables indoors

Biofuel from garbage


Geothermal greenhouse 1, 2

Make paper from wheat straw

Trash to fuel - cellulosic ethanol

Inexpensive greenhouse heat 1, 2, 3, 4

New way to grow rice may double yields.

System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

Salt water rice

"Take 100 pounds of dry soil, 12 x 36 x 6 inches deep with 4 to 5% humus, it can hold 165 to 195 pounds of water. That is equal to holding a four to six inch rain. On the other hand, take a similar block of soil, 1.5 to 2% humus, it can hold only 35 to 45 pounds of water, which is equivalent to 0.5 to1.5 inches of rain." - Neil Kinsey, Hands-On Agronomy.

Surface ponds and the ability of humus to absorb water like a sponge, combined with the transpiration of water into the air by trees may provide an alternative to storm drains in many areas.

Violin sonatas by Johann Sebastian Bach broadcast to a Canadian wheat field resulted in a 66% increase in yield.

In India, music called Charukesi raga increased production of paddy rice by 25% - 60% and peanuts by 50%

Bats produce sounds at 50,000 cycles per second (cps) and are the natural enemy of the European corn-borer moth. Broadcast of 50,000 cps sound to corn fields reduced damaged corn ears from 50% to 5%.

The buzzing of certain insects and bird song enhances plant growth.

Certain frequencies of sound unique to each crop can:
- increase the streaming of protoplasm within plant cells
- accelerate enzyme activity
- increase the respiration rate
- increase the thickness of plant cell walls
- increase the size of plant cells by 50%

This results in
- faster germination
- plants grow straighter with tougher and greener stems
- blooms are more abundant with brighter colors and last longer
- harvests increase 25% to 60%

Cows like music 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Paramagnetic rock mixed in the soil will enhance the Earth's magnetism and improve plant growth. Sensitive photometers demonstrate that paramagnetic rock emits light.

Magnetite is iron ore of too low a grade to be commercially mined. Passing magnetite through a strong magnetic field in order to magnetize it and then mixing it with soil has been shown to improve plant growth.

Volcanic ash and seaweed are mineral rich fertilizers. For millennia, coastal forests have been fertilized by the bodies of salmon after the spawning season.

Spraying the soil with certain preparations of soil bacteria can restore life to lifeless soils.

Worms restore soil health

Tree seedlings planted in soil with live earth worms grew four times higher than seedlings in identical soil with dead earthworms.

This sort of agricultural research is of no interest to agrichemical companies. Frequently, government research dollars require matching grants from industry which ensures that only research of benefit to industry gets done.

Regenerative Agriculture

Topsoil is eroding globally. Topsoil is the basis of civilization.

The Hundred Dead Cities

The cedars of Lebanon 

Graveyard of empires

Global warming or new ice age?



This is the final page in our three page mini-series on agriculture to prevent cancer. This page discusses the use of composting toilets and other means to rebuild farm soils, plus we discuss some of the innovations in agriculture that help make the use of toxic chemicals unnecessary. We also briefly examine the construction of healthy homes and communities. 

Composting Toilets Can Help Improve Farm and Garden Soil

Composting toilets may seem an odd topic for a web site devoted to cancer. However, if you read the Better Farms and Refractometer pages on this web site you will see that there is a direct connection between the quality of health we enjoy, the quality of food we eat, and the quality of soil on which the food is grown.

Just as there is a hydrological cycle involving water evaporating from the ocean, raining down on the land and flowing back into the ocean, so there is also a mineral cycle. The minerals erode from rock and become the rock dust which, together with decayed organic matter (humus), form the basis of soil. The minerals are removed from the soil in the harvest and are washed out of the soil by rain. The rain carries them into the ocean. To maintain the fertility of the soil, what is needed is a way to close the loop and return the minerals to the soil.

The most fertile soils in the world are flood plains. During the periodic flooding, minerals in the form of silt are deposited onto the flood plain rebuilding the soil. However, with the damming of rivers, building of dikes and other flood control programs, flood plains around the world are losing the benefit of periodic renewal and, like farmlands elsewhere, are in need of an alternative means of remineralization.

"...our modern agriculture decreased potassium and iodine in our nutrition, precisely the minerals essential for prevention of cancer." - Max Gerson, M.D. page 142.

Do-It-Yourself Thyroid Cure

If you have an under active thyroid, it may be partly due to an iodine deficiency. Reason: your body needs iodine in order to manufacture thyroxin, the thyroid hormone.

Luckily, there's an excellent test you can do at home to check your iodine levels. Simply take a Q-tip, dip it into a 2% tincture of iodine (available at the drug store or supermarket), and paint an area the size of a silver dollar on your thigh or belly. This will leave a yellowish stain that should disappear in about 24 hours if your iodine levels are normal.

If the stain disappears in under 24 hours, it means your body is deficient in iodine and has thirstily sucked it up. If that's the case, keep applying the iodine every 24 hours, at different sites, until the stain lasts a full 24 hours.

Not only will you have diagnosed your iodine deficiency, but you will have treated that deficiency and improved your thyroid function. Indeed, if you're on thyroid medication and you use this treatment, you'll find that you can cut back on the dosage - or possibly discontinue the drug altogether! - Dr. William Campbell Douglass

See Lugol's Iodine. Lugol's iodine (also known as Lugol's solution) is a mix of potassium iodide and elemental iodine. Some doctors recommend 2 drops daily for internal consumption. Iodoral and iThroid are Lugol's iodine in tablet form.


Read more about iodine here SSKI, Iodine: Bring Back the Universal Nutrient and Iodine and Chelation.


Under active thyroid (hypothyroidism) causes the lymph fluid becomes "thicker" and other tissues also thicken. This makes it more difficult for the fluid to flow, resulting in cellular oxygen starvation, nutrient starvation, buildup of acidic waste products, and edema (swelling). Some doctors suggest that increased viscosity of the lymph due to hypothyroidism is a factor in all chronic illness. See Solved: The Riddle of Illness, by Stephen Langer, MD et al. Read also about thicker bile and coagulated blood.


Arteriosclerosis accompanies hypothyroidism and if thyroid function is normal arteriosclerosis does not appear. - Dr. Broda Barnes, MD, PhD who wrote the book Hypothyroidism, the Unsuspected Illness. Arteriosclerosis was not a common problem until after the beginning of water chlorination in 1904. Chlorine displaces iodine in the body.


Vegetable oils such as corn oil, soy oil, etc. depress thyroid functioning, resulting in a lower metabolic rate. The result is weight gain. This is why animals are fattened on corn and soy. Coconut oil stimulates metabolism. Animals fed coconut products lose weight.


Hemorrhoids? Try rubbing a mixture of iodine and vitamin E or flax oil on them. Pulse test for allergies may offer relief from hemorrhoids. The squatting position for elimination is very helpful for most people who try it. 

How does the commode contribute to hemorrhoids?

The rectum has a built-in "kink" designed to maintain continence. It only straightens out when squatting. Sitting on the toilet, one has to strain against the kink, which damages the delicate tissues and causes the veins to become distended. Clinical research published in the Israel Journal of Medical Science in 1987 showed a 90% cure rate achieved by switching to the squatting position.


Squatting Is Better

The squatting position may help  the following: appendicitis, bladder incontinence, colitis and Crohn's disease, colon cancer, constipation, contamination of the small intestine, diverticulosis, endometriosis, heart attacks, hemorrhoids, hysterectomy, pelvic floor prolapse, pregnancy and childbirth issues, prostate disorders, rectoceles, sexual dysfunction, uterine fibroids.  

To facilitate the squatting position there is a device to adapt the western toilet.  Two thirds of the people in the world use the squatting position. In these populations there is a remarkable absence of many problems that westerners experience in the pelvic and abdominal areas.

How to use a bidet 1, 2, 3. Simple, easy to install "bidet" devices can be retrofitted to the western toilet. This reduces or eliminates the need for toilet paper and improves hygiene.

In China and other far eastern countries soil fertility has been maintained for centuries through recycling of night soil. Local merchants bid (with payment going to the city government) for the privilege of collecting night soil in cities and then sell it to farmers. Traditionally, farmers have placed night soil directly onto farmland. However, a consequence of this was the spread of parasites from night soil onto food grown on the soil. More recently it has become the custom to compost night soil before spreading it on the farmland, because composting destroys the harmful life-forms (bacteria, viruses, parasites) in night soil. Composting is the natural means of purification and recycling of human waste. So long as human waste is not mixed with industrial chemicals, then the resulting compost is entirely safe for gardens and farms. The result is that a significant portion of the minerals removed from the soil are returned.

Composted biological material becomes humus. Humus is black in color, like coal, due to its carbon content (plants breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, incorporating the carbon into their own structure). You can judge the humus content of soil just by looking at the color and texture. Rich black soil has abundant humus. Long biological molecules in humus give structure to the soil, binding it together. Without the humus, soil would be dust. Humus acts as a sponge soaking up water and holding it. In this manner the humus reduces flooding, prevents erosion, and gives drought resistance to crops. (This is the real answer to prairie flooding - not dams, dykes and spillways.) Humic acid from the humus dissolves rock dust, helping to make minerals available to plants. 

The fact that the natural nitrogen cycle in high humus soils (5% humus) can provide sufficient nitrogen for crops is not a favorite topic for fertilizer sales people. Prairie soils across North America were once 4 1/2% humus. Now they are down to 1 1/2% humus. The inevitable result is increased flooding and erosion. In the United States, 4 million acres of cropland (an area the size of Connecticut) are lost each year due to soil erosion (US Soil Conservation Service). In the past 50 years half of the topsoil in the US has been lost. All waste plant and animal material must be constantly returned to the soil to be turned into humus.

Six Inches From Starvation

Two hundred years ago, most of America's croplands had at least 21 inches of topsoil. Today, most of it is down to around six inches of topsoil, and the rate of topsoil loss is accelerating. We have already lost 75 percent of what may well be our most precious natural resource. The annual topsoil loss in the United States amounts to 7,000,000,000 tons. Of this staggering topsoil loss, 85 percent is directly associated with livestock raising. - Robbins, pages 357-358.

Healthy soil consists of an abundance of minerals, soil bacteria, earthworms, and humus. Earthworms loosen the soil as they tunnel through. Air and water penetrate the soil via the earthworm tunnels. Earthworms emerge onto the surface of the soil at night and grasp a piece of plant material which they take into their tunnel to eat, thereby fertilizing all levels of the soil. Soil bacteria live in the gut of the earthworm and assist the digestion of the plant material. Plant material that has been fully digested by bacteria is humus. Humus is essentially the dead bodies of bacteria. Earthworms spread both the humus and bacteria throughout the soil and play an important role in the creation of healthy soil. Healthy soil will contain more than a thousand earthworms per square meter. 

"Actually the earthworm eats of the humus and of the soil and passes them through its body, leaving behind the casts which are really enriched earth--perfectly conditioned for the use of plants. Analyses of these casts show that they are some 40 per cent richer in humus than the surface soil, but very much richer in such essential food materials as combined nitrogen, phosphate, and potash. Recent results obtained by Lunt and Jacobson of the Connecticut Experiment Station show that the casts of earthworms are five times richer in combined nitrogen, seven times richer in available phosphate, and eleven times richer in potash than the upper six inches of soil. It is estimated that on each acre of fertile land no less than twenty-five tons of fresh worm casts are deposited each year." -Sir Albert Howard, Farming and Gardening for Health or Disease. Read this book online for free. Highly recommended!

No farmer can afford to purchase and spread the quantity of fertilizer that earthworms provide for free. This makes the care and feeding of earthworms essential to successful farming. The earthworms need to eat, and fresh mulch is just what they need. One approach is to use seedbeds instead of rows. Each seedbed is about one meter or 3 feet across, so from each side you can easily reach to the middle of the bed. The seedbeds are heavily mulched in the fall, which prevents weeds from sprouting in the spring. The aisles between the seedbeds are grass that is mowed regularly, with the clippings scattered about for the worms to eat. These aisles are about 2 feet wide, just wide enough to kneel on when working on the seedbeds. Seeds are planted in the rotting mulch of the seedbeds, so no plowing is ever required. Never is bare soil left exposed to the elements, a situation that starves the earthworms and contributes to erosion. This no-till organic farming is economical because little machinery is required, and it is possible for such small farms to be productive virtually year round.

Earthworms are easily killed by toxic agricultural chemicals. Agricultural chemicals are like stimulants. In the short run they seem to produce more. In the long run they destroy the soil, produce weak plants vulnerable to pests and disease, create inferior foods deficient in trace minerals, and damage the health of the community. 

Access to genetic materials from around the world has led to some useful "green revolution" victories. Hybrid plant varieties used today generally have a much higher yield than varieties previously used. However, many over-bred hybrid crops are now sterile, unable to reproduce themselves, and their increased bulk is associated with reduced protein and deficiencies in seven to nine minerals. Farmers grow these crops because they are paid by volume, not by nutritional content. However, why would consumers want to eat such nutritionally poor food? The answer is, they wouldn't, not if they knew.

Now there is a new danger. Through horizontal gene transference, the reckless introduction of genetically modified crops threatens to change unpredictably both our food crops and life in the soil on which it is grown. The long term consequences of genetic modification of food crops is not known because no long term safety testing has been done. Most plant life on Earth is inedible by humans. The few plants we use as food are now being changed in unpredictable ways through the inclusion of DNA from viruses, bacteria, etc. Once released into the planetary ecosystem, these altered genes cannot be recalled. If there is an accident, the companies involved will simply go bankrupt. It is all of humanity that is taking the risk. Moreover, there is no benefit promised by the proponents of genetic engineering that cannot be safely accomplished by other means

71% of genetically engineered crops planted in 1998 are designed to be resistant to herbicides such as glyphosate, marketed by Monsanto as "Roundup".  A recent study has revealed clear links between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer. -  Journal of American Cancer Society, 15 March 1999.

Lymphoma is cancer that afflicts the lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has increased 80% since the early 1970's.

Monsanto sells more than 50 million pounds of Roundup annually, valued at more than a billion dollars. Roundup contains other ingredients besides glyphosate, and these other ingredients are even more toxic than glyphosate. The Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that these other ingredients are "trade secrets" that do not need to be disclosed.  

The Environmental Protection Agency recently increased the permitted residue level of Roundup on food from 6 parts per million to 20 parts per million. Rats that drink trace amounts of Roundup have 200% to 300% more tumors.

Both glyphosate and "Roundup Ready Soybeans" are manufactured by the "Life Science Company" Monsanto. Read about Monsanto's criminal record.

Roundup was designed to kill plants, but it is now found to kill amphibians. Human placental cells are found to be very sensitive to Roundup, resulting in premature births and miscarriages. Used worldwide, Roundup is polluting rivers and other bodies of water. Dangers of glyphosate. Catastrophic birth defects. Kidney Disease. Cancer. Male infertility. Glyphosate and autism. Glyphosate and liver cancer. Widespread glyphosate contamination in USA. Glyphosate articles. Roundup toxicity.

Watch this 10 minute video "The Future of Food".

The World According to Monsanto 1 hour 49 minutes. Monsanto's Darth Vader Chemical

Make your own week killer with a mixture of Dawn dish soap, vinegar, epsom salt and water.


Glyphosate and Autism










 Independent Scientists Manifesto on Glyphosate.

By improving the mineral and humus content of the soil, plants and trees have increased resistance to frost, drought, disease and insects, better storage characteristics, and they are more nutritious. Composting toilets have an important role to play in returning minerals to the soil and increasing the soil's humus content.

Composting toilets were invented in Scandinavia in 1939 for use in national parks where permafrost prevents any "in-ground" system of sewage disposal. The waste remains in the composting bin beneath the toilet for about a year during which time it decomposes and turns to humus. No uncomposted material enters the environment. Flushing in "effluent" societies creates a false sense of cleanliness.

Composting is an aerobic process during which the material being composted is consumed by aerobic bacteria. During composting, the volume of the material is reduced by about 90%. The 10% that remains is humus, filled with the minerals that were withdrawn from the soil where the food was grown. Animal manure in large quantity from dairy farms and factory farms should also be composted before being returned to the soil. This humus is a valuable resource and if it is properly recycled onto farmlands the quality of food will improve and the health of the entire population will benefit.

Benefits of widespread use of composting toilets include:

  • Prevention of ground water pollution by septic tanks (septic tanks are the largest source of ground water pollution in the United States)

  • Prevention of pollution of rivers, lakes and coastal waters by partially treated urban sewage

  • Elimination of the problem of disposal of the toxic waste that comes from urban sewage treatment plants, which mostly ends up in landfills and incinerators (industrial waste dumped into urban sewage collection systems makes the resulting sludge too toxic for farmlands)

  • 50% reduction of household water usage, up to 75% reduction in household water usage if "gray water" from sinks and showers is used on gardens and lawns (Ground water depletion and falling aquifers are a global problem. Nearly every home in Bermuda has a large tank under the home for storage of rain water captured from the roof. This is the home's only water supply.)

  • Elimination of billions of dollars of urban infrastructure capital and maintenance costs (here is a starting point for affordable housing and economical cities)

  • Food waste can go directly into the composting toilet, reducing organic matter going to landfills

  • Improved farmlands, improved food, healthier population.

The waterless composting toilet by Sun-Mar has a heater that evaporates liquids. The composter rotates automatically and finished compost drops into a container at the end of the drum. There is a constant flow of air from the bathroom, through the composter and out a ventilation pipe. Why not pass this outgoing air through a heat exchanger to moderate the temperature of fresh air coming into the home? There are many YouTube videos regarding composting toilets, plus much information on the Internet.

For more information see:
Humanure Compost Toilet System Condensed Instruction Manual PDF
Humanure Handbook Third Edition PDF

Clean the bowl of a composting toilet with a brush just like a regular toilet, but with hot water mixed with baking soda.

"Agrihoods" bring the farm to table movement one step closer to home. Learn more on the Internet and then start your own agrihood wherever you live.

Bottle wall garden 1, 2, 3, 4

"Although our towns are fed from the countryside, little or no return of urban wastes to the land takes place. The towns are, therefore, parasitic on the country. This will have to stop. The wastes of these areas must go back to the soil." -Sir Albert Howard

You can place your kitchen waste into an extra Vitamix container, add water, and blend it. Then pour the mix at the base of garden plants. Plant material composts faster when it is in smaller pieces, and the blended kitchen waste composts very quickly. Grass clippings can be spread around the garden as mulch every time you mow the lawn.

The Problem of Washed Manure

Factory farms wash manure off the floor. The washed manure goes into a holding tank and is then sprayed onto fields. The intention is that the manure will compost in the soil, but there is no guarantee of this. Being a liquid, it can flow down into the groundwater, or rain can wash it from the surface of the soil into neighboring streams and lakes. Problems with the new disease pfiesteria in North Carolina are directly due to washed manure from factory hog farms getting into the local waterways. The sewage bacteria e-coli is increasingly being found in community drinking water. In winter when the ground is frozen, washed manure must be stored in enormous tanks or lagoons, so that in spring there is a huge backlog of washed manure to be sprayed on the land. Alternatively, the washed manure can be sprayed on frozen land where it will sit until spring runoff, when it is carried away with the snowmelt.

Factory farms are making a mistake when they wash manure off the floor. Composting bacteria are aerobic, which means they cannot live in water that is devoid of oxygen. (Farmers who plow fields when they are wet destroy air pockets in the soil and the soil bacteria quickly die.) If the manure in the factory farms was scraped dry from the floor, then it could be piled up in a properly designed composting facility. After a few months the fully composted humus would be a saleable product. No longer would there be the terrible smell that disrupts community life in the neighborhood of factory farms (anaerobic bacteria growing in washed manure create an incredible smell), and the danger to community drinking water and the environment would be eliminated. At the very least, these sewage gases (methane) should be collected and used for fuel.

The factory farm Pure Lean Hogs in Alberta, Canada uses sawdust on the floor of its hog barn, composts the sawdust and manure right in the barn, uses the heat from the compost to keep the barn warm in winter, and bags and sells the composted humus to gardeners. Pure Lean Hogs is an example of responsible management of manure and by their example they show it can be done.

Freund's Farm Inc. in Connecticut makes pots from composted cow manure and sell the pots to plant nurseries. Customers plant the pot with the plant, and the decomposing pot fertilizes the plant.

Note: If you are a farmer and are already using a slurry tank, adding 15 gallons of 35% hydrogen peroxide to 350,000 gallons of slurry and agitating it will remove the odor and improve the fertilizer value of the liquid. - Donsbach, page 58. See also 1, 2, 3

Drying Up the Ogallala Aquifer

The Ogallala Aquifer is a heritage from the last ice age and underlies central United States. 13 trillion gallons of water are pumped from the Ogallala Aquifer annually. Most of this water is used to produce meat. At the present rate of consumption, the Ogallala Aquifer will be dry in 35 years. If this happens, the High Plains of the United States (Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico) will be completely uninhabitable to human beings.  - Robbins, pages 370-371.

Water has moved from being an endless commodity that may be taken for granted to a rationed necessity that may be taken by force. - Global Water Corp.

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution of a vegetarian diet."

- Albert Einstein


Circular integrated farming is "an integrated, 'zero-emission', 'zero-waste' highly productive farm that maximises the use of renewable energies and turns 'wastes' into food and energy resources, thereby completely obviating the need for fossil fuels. It is indeed a solution to the energy and food crisis that is capable of mitigating climate change, and more. It is a microcosm of a different way of being and becoming in the world, and in that respect, nothing short of a social revolution." 

By means of rotary hydroponic, vertical gardening and other systems, cities could grow much of the fresh vegetables they need.

The breast milk of vegetarian women contains only 1 or 2% of the pesticides found in the breast milk of the average American woman.

It can take as much as 21 pounds of plant protein to create one pound of animal protein. Using animals for food is a protein factory in reverse and leads to a concentration of toxic chemicals in higher levels of the food chain.

Most food grown in the United States is fed to animals. If the food grown was fed only to humans, we would need only 30% of the present production. 

Over half the total amount of water consumed in the Untied States goes to irrigate land growing feed and fodder for livestock. 

Prey provide food for predators. Insects provide food for bats, birds and other insects. What is needed is balance in nature.

Deforestation is occurring in the United States to make room for meat production. More than 3 times as much meat is derived from formerly-forested land as is derived from range land.

 Ex-forestland begins to lose topsoil rapidly due to erosion.

At the present rate of deforestation, the US will have no forests left in 50 years. 

"We don't inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." Pennsylvania Dutch Saying

"I equate the survival of our humanity with the survival of the natural world; and the recovery of humanity with the recovery of organic, sustainable and socially just agriculture and agriforestry."
- Michael W. Fox, D.V.M.

For information on sustainable communities, do an Internet search for "eco village" and "Global Ecovillage Network".

A difference between organic agriculture and Vedic agriculture is that Vedic agriculture harnesses the consciousness of the farmer to influence the weather, the seasons and other aspects of nature that are critical to the success of the farmer. Plus, Vedic recitations are performed during the different growth stages of the plants.

The global fresh water supply is increasingly controlled by transnational corporations.

The World Bank and multinational corporations seek to privatize water. - Project Censored 1, 2

"In their support for large scale infrastructure projects, the World Bank and others underwrite giant corporations with public money, and often incur the risk, while the company reaps the profit." - Maude Barlow, Chairperson,
The Council of Canadians

People sometimes ask me, "Wouldn't exports of Canadian water help people in poor, drought-stricken nations" Unfortunately the water exports contemplated by the big corporations have nothing to do with helping poor people; the water would only be sold to the affluent. - Maude Barlow

Cuba leads the world in organic farming.

Organic Ethiopia

"It takes about two kilograms of feed grain to produce one kilogram of chicken. For pork, it takes three kilos of grain, and for beef, eight."
- Larry Edelson

Rabbit meat is efficient compared to other meat.

  Stone lines

Sand dams

Fog Catcher
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Watershed management in India

Rainwater harvesting






"If we don't change the direction in which we are going, we will end up where we are headed." - Red Skelton

Sources of information:

Free online libraries of agricultural books 1. 2.

Callahan, Ph.D., Philip S., Paramagnetism - Rediscovering Nature's Secret Force of Growth, Acres U.S.A., 1995.

Callahan, Ph.D., Philip S., Tuning in to Nature : Solar Energy, Infrared Radiation, & the Insect Communication System, Devin-Adair Pub., 1976.

Davis, Malcolm and Lis, How to Make Low-Cost Building Blocks : Stabilized Soil Block Technology, Intermediate Technology, 1994. Compressed soil blocks offer an economical building material with which to build your home's exterior and interior walls. Interior soil block walls are a heat sink to store heat and coolth, complementing your passive solar design. There are machines available to make compressed soil blocks. Do an Internet search.

Del Porto, David, & Carol Steinfield, The Composting Toilet System Book - A Practical Guide to Choosing, Planning and Maintaining Composting Toilet Systems, an Alternative to Sewer And Septic Systems, The Center for Ecological Pollution Prevention (CEPP), PO Box 1330, Concord, MA 01742-1330, 1999.

Fukuoka, Masanobu, The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming, Bantam Books, 1985. No till organic farming prevents erosion, builds the soil, removes the need for a tractor, and saves a lot of work. This may be the agriculture of the future.

Gerson, M.D., Max, A Cancer Therapy - Results of Fifty Cases and The Cure of Advanced Cancer by Diet Therapy - A Summary of 30 Years of Clinical Experimentation, Gerson Institute, Binita, California, 1990. See Chapter XXIV "The Significance of the Content of the Soil to Human Disease" pages 175 - 185. Dr. Gerson recommended the use of human manure to rebuild soils around several German cities. The results were highly satisfactory, producing vegetables "greatly superior in both quantity and quality to those previously obtained by the use of commercial chemical fertilizers."

Hazeltine, Barrett and Christopher Bull, Field Guide of Appropriate Technology, Academic Press, 2002.

Howard, Sir Albert, Farming and Gardening for Health or Disease, Oxford City Press, 2011. Sir Howard's book can be read online here.

Jenkins, J.C., The Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Jenkins Publishing, PO Box 607, Grove City, PA 16127, 1994.  

Kachadorian, James, The Passive Solar House - Using Solar Design to Heat & Cool Your Home, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, White River Junction, Vermont, 1997. Every home should take advantage of economical, passive solar heating and cooling. By burning less fuel, you will save money and create less air pollution.

Kinsey, Neal, Charles Walters, Hands-On Agronomy, Acres U.S.A., Metairie, Louisiana, 1995.

Khalili, Nader, Ceramic Houses & Earth Architecture - How to Build Your Own, Cal-Earth Press, Hesperia, California, 1996. Every time we hear about adobe houses collapsing during earthquakes we think of Nader Khalili's book on ceramic houses. Adobe houses are beautiful and practical. In many parts of the world where the climate is dry and wood is scarce, most of the buildings are adobe. With their arches, vaults and domes even the roof is frequently made of adobe. Unfortunately adobe is heavy and dangerous when your house falls on top of you during an earthquake. Nader Khalili has found an answer - using kerosene burners he fires the entire house like a large kiln. In fact, he fills the house with unfired pottery and then fires the pottery and house together. With firing, the house turns to one large stone. It is waterproof, fire proof, earthquake proof, insect proof, will last forever, and is very economical to build and maintain. The interior can be sculpted to extraordinary beauty before firing and can be plastered or glazed.

Malik, M.A.S., et al, Solar Distillation, A Practical Study of a Wide Range of Stills and Their Optimum Design, Construction and Performance, Pergamon Press, 1982. "Most of the conventional water distillation plants are energy-intensive and require scarce electric power or fossil fuel for operation; however solar energy despite being a much lower grade energy, is ideally suited for this job."- page v. The basic solar still is a sheet of glass over an enclosed container of salt water or brackish water. Sunlight through the glass heats the water and causes it to evaporate. The inside of the box can be painted black to better absorb the sun's heat. The glass, being exposed to the outside air, is relatively cool and the evaporated water condenses on the glass. If the glass is angled, the condensed water will run down the glass and into a trough that leads the fresh water to a cistern. Based on this system, the capital and operating cost of a water distillation plant can be very low and is easily scalable from small back-yard operations to as large as is required. See also the remarkable Watercone. Atmospheric dew collector. 

Maitzner Laura S. and Martin L. Price, Amaranth to Zai Holes - Ideas for Growing Food Under Difficult Conditions, Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO), 1996. "Amaranth is a drought-resistant plant which provides both high-protein grain and delicious edible leaves. Zai holes use termites to improve soil fertility and increase water filtration in farmers' fields in West Africa. These are just two of the plants and techniques people are using to produce food under difficult conditions in the tropics. This book is an expanded, updated compilation of fifteen years of the technical bulletin ECHO Development Notes (EDN). Over 4000 people in 140 countries share their ideas and experiences through EDN as they assist small farmers and urban gardeners in feeding their families and making a living. This collection of ideas from around the world holds promise for places which face special challenges in growing food. The topics include vegetables, fruits, dryland and hillside farming systems, multipurpose trees, pest control, animals, seeds, and urban gardening. ECHO networks ideas, information, and seeds to help development workers and missionaries in their service with people who are hungry. We share information about plants and methods with potential to improve nutrition and income in the tropics so that field workers have more ideas to test in their communities."

Mollison, Bill, Permaculture - A Designers' Manual, Tagari Publications, Tyalgum, Australia, 1996. Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems - edible landscaping - which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. (i.e. do less and accomplish more).

National Association of Home Builders, Design Guide for Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations, NAHB Research Center, Washington, D.C., 1995 (Free PDF). This is the most economical foundation for your home. See also other similar free publications 1, 2, 3

Radabaugh, Joseph, Heaven's Flame, Home Power Publishing, Ashland, Oregon, 1998. Heaven's Flame explains the use of sunlight for cooking and offers suggestions regarding how a solar cooker may be incorporated into homes. Another thought for cooking fuel is hydrogen gas manufactured onsite by means of the electrolysis of water. Surplus electricity from solar cells and windmills can be stored in the form of hydrogen gas for later use. The storage vessel could perhaps be a small monolithic concrete dome (see As homes, monolithic concrete domes are waterproof, fire proof, earthquake proof, insect proof, and TORNADO PROOF. Every school in tornado alley should be a monolithic concrete dome. Affordable. efficient stove.

Robbins, John, Diet For A New America, Stillpoint Publishing, Walpole, NH, 1987. This book and the video 1, 2 with the same title are highly recommended.

Robinson, Ed and Carolyn, The "Have-More" Plan, Storey Books, 1978. Living on your "basic acre" in your passive solar super insulated home, you can garden intensively, grow most of your own food, and be self-sufficient in nearly all respects. Build a "four generation" home, and each generation will find ways to help the others.

Schaeffer, John & The Real Goods Staff, The Real Goods Solar Living Source Book - The Complete Guide To Renewable Energy Technologies & Sustainable Living, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, White River Junction, VT, 1996. See 

Solberg, Gordon, Building With Papercrete & Paper Adobe : A Revolutionary New Way to Build Your Own Home for Next to Nothing, Remedial Planet Communications, 1999. Papercrete can provide economical insulation for a home. A super insulated home has R40 walls and R60 ceiling. Complemented by super insulation, passive solar generally offers all the heating and cooling you need. See also The Straw Bale House by Steen. Papercrete is much less heavy than straw bales, making it particularly good for roof insulation. Both papercrete and straw bales are surprisingly fire and insect resistant. See also Air-Crete 1, 2, 3 and HempCrete 1, 2, 3. "Passive house" requires minimal heating or cooling. Search the Internet for more information.

Steen, Athena, et al., The Straw Bale House, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, White River Junction, VT, 1996. Straw bales can provide economical super-insulation for a home. See also Building With Papercrete by Solberg. Thick walled construction produces a deep silence in the home as exterior noise is excluded. Also, there is a freedom from fear and peace of mind that comes with knowing you will be warm all winter with minimal supplementary fuel or electricity. Windows in thick exterior walls are generally set lower and the interior window ledge is padded to provide a window seat and alcove. Thick walls cost too much unless you are willing to use innovative and inexpensive building materials such as earth blocks, papercrete, hempcrete and straw bales. Walls of earth blocks, papercrete, hempcrete and straw bales can be stuccoed or plastered so the appearance is as ornate as you may desire. Concealed behind an ornate finish, no one will know what is inside your thick walls, but everyone will appreciate the improved quality of life that they provide. Other interesting insulative materials include spray-in-place polyurethane foam, HempCrete, and Air-Crete.

Tompkins, Peter & Christopher Bird, The Secret Life of Plants, Harper & Row, New York, 1989.

Tompkins, Peter & Christopher Bird, Secrets of the Soil, Harper & Row, New York, 1989.


Healthy House Program

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a "Healthy House" program. CMHC's Healthy House requires NO MUNICIPAL SERVICES. The Healthy House captures its own rain water, treats its own sewage, generates its own electricity, is super-insulated and captures supplementary heat from the sun. The CMHC web site is Protect yourself from rising energy costs and power outages by living in a self-sufficient Healthy House.


Foliar Feeding

Music played to plants can increase the number of stomata per unit area by about 66%. Stomata are mouth-like openings through which plants transpire. In addition to taking in gases, the plants also absorb water vapor and nutrients through the stomata. Some plants such as Spanish Moss do not even have roots, taking in all their required nutrients from the air.

The frequencies and harmonics of pre-dawn birdsong cause the stomata to open. Spraying plants with a mist containing water and nutrients is called "foliar feeding" and by this means it is possible to have plants absorb far more nourishment than they will absorb through their roots alone. This can result in plants growing to extraordinary size. The plants also show increased adaptability to different altitudes, more frequent blooming, increased yields, and the nutritional value of the plants is much higher.



The Importance of Trees

Devoting 22% of the land to trees can double the long term output of a field surrounded by the trees, because trees:
- create a microclimate
- reduce wind speed
- lift the water table
- prevent erosion
- humidify the air (a single tree can transpire 80 gallons of water a day)
- cool the air by providing shade and because evaporation of water absorbs heat
- provide homes for pollinating insects
- provide homes for insect predators such as birds & bats
- bring up minerals from deeper layers of the Earth
- deposit these minerals on the surface in falling leaves
- the falling leaves feed a higher population of worms and the worms carry the minerals and humus into the topsoil

The worldwide "Men of the Trees" movement has planted millions of trees reclaiming man-made wastes, particularly in Australia. When farmers cleared the land of trees, the thin layer of topsoil was soon swept away by erosion leaving a wasteland. Using special planting methods, Men of the Trees has used trees to restore thousands of farms while creating a new resource in the form of millions of dollars worth of tree plantations.

"The Man Who Planted Trees"
Africa's Great Green Wall
Israel plants over 240 million trees
Forest Man
The Man Who Stopped the Desert
Regreening the Desert
Regreening the Planet
Hope in a Changing Climate
Tree Planting to Tackle Climate Crisis
Regreening Texas
Acacia Trees

Diana Beresford-Kroeger tree whisperer 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Wild Pollinators

With the disappearance of honey bees, farmers need a back-up plan for pollination of their crops. Total reliance on one species, the honey bee, for pollination creates an avoidable risk. Given a chance, wild pollinators can provide near complete pollination of crops.

Large agricultural monocultures create unfavorable conditions for wild pollinators. Conditions which restore the population of wild pollinators include:

  • Create wild areas (hedgerows, windbreaks) around fields where wild pollinators can live.

  • Create islands of wild habitat within large fields.

  • Some native bees nest in the earth and are killed by plowing, so leave some areas fallow each year.

  • Plant strips or islands of plants and flowers that bloom in succession (spring, summer, fall) to provide forage for wild pollinators.

  • Allow weeds to grow around fields to provide habitat for wild pollinators.


Pot-in-Pot Refrigeration

Being utilized in Northern Nigeria, the Pot-in-Pot consists of one small clay pot placed inside a larger pot with the space in between filled with sand. Water is poured on the sand and, as the water evaporates, the inner pot is cooled. Eggplants that used to last for three days now last 27 days. Spinach now keeps for 12 days instead of spoiling after one day, and tomatoes and peppers last for as long as three weeks. Medical providers even recommend it to patients to keep medications cool.

Although this method may seem low-tech in many parts of the world, it has dramatically changed the way of life in that country. Farmers have longer to sell their produce, and the demand for pots is booming. Even enrollment in primary schools has increased considerably since young girls are free to attend school instead of peddling food every day.

- Dr. David Williams, Alternatives newsletter, June 2006.


Low cost air conditioning.



Farmers wishing to make the switch from unsustainable chemical agriculture to sustainable eco-agriculture can start by subscribing to this newspaper: Acres USA - A Voice for Eco-Agriculture, P.O. Box 91299, Austin, TX 78709 telephone (515) 892-4400 fax (515) 892-4448 Acres USA hosts periodic conferences on Eco-Agriculture which include seminars on various aspects of sustainable agriculture. Acres USA also has a mail order catalog of books on all aspects of sustainable agriculture.

The Importance of Food Supplements

If there is one thing people could do to help preserve the environment in the US and around the world it is EAT LESS MEAT. By moving away from a diet based on animal proteins we will help conserve topsoil, reduce water usage so that depleting aquifers can begin to recharge, allow reforestation to begin, get off the top of the food chain, have less toxic chemicals in our bodies, and be much healthier.

Rebuilding the fertility of the US and world topsoil after decades of destruction by chemical farming is going to be a massive task. Composting toilets have an important role to play in rebuilding the topsoil on farms close to human population centers. Intelligent reforestation will also help. Most important is the move away from chemical agriculture that destroys the life in the soil, thereby preventing the creation of humus, making the soil susceptible to erosion, and thereby causing the incredible loss of topsoil around the world.

It takes nature 500 years to build an inch of topsoil. This amount can wash away in a single heavy rainfall when soil low in humus is plowed and exposed to the elements. We must move to sustainable, health-building and soil-building agriculture soon or be faced with very real food shortages. Civilizations have collapsed in the past when they destroyed their topsoil and it can happen again. The "fertile crescent" in the middle east was once the cradle of civilization. The cedars of Lebanon are now a myth, yet once they were a forest covering 2,000 square miles. The whole area has become a desert and the main reason for this is the clearing of forest for agriculture followed by topsoil loss due to poor farming methods. As we follow their example the entire central United States is about to become the Great American Desert. For more information on ancient civilizations and their farming practices go to

"Forests to precede civilizations, deserts to follow." - François René Chateaubriand (ca. 1840)


Four Prophecies


Edible Wild Plants 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Toxic chemical agriculture is an experiment that has failed. Its legacy is a poisoned ecosphere, untold suffering and millions of cancer deaths. It has its origins in wartime nerve gas and chemical warfare plants that tried to convert themselves to peacetime uses, and the powerful business people who owned these plants. The move away from toxic agriculture involves educating the public and farming community regarding the reality that sustainable agriculture can work.

Much more is known now about sustainable agriculture than was ever known in the past. If sustainable agriculture became a social priority, research budgets in this area could be quickly expanded. At present, most publicly funded agriculture research benefits the chemical and bio-tech companies. There is a political battle to be waged with the business interests who promote and profit from toxic agriculture and who's activities have become a public nuisance. The people of each country need to regain control of their government agencies and agricultural colleges that have sold out to well-financed "special interests" and become promoters and apologists for toxic agriculture and the consequent poisoning of the population. 

All of this is taking time. Now that you are awake to the realities, what are you to do? You still need to eat. Armed with your refractometer you can purchase the best fruits and vegetables available, but chances are that even the best will measure poor to average. The food just pretends to be food, while costing you real dollars.

In this situation, particularly if you are already in less than perfect health, you need to supplement your diet with items that are rich in the nutrients lacking in food. How do you know what is lacking in your food? Unfortunately, it is probably safe to say that nearly everything is lacking. So the nutritional supplements & superfoods we have chosen to recommend are rich in all the trace minerals, macro minerals, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and fatty acids that your body requires.   


Wild fish stocks world-wide are down 90%. Tilapia is a fresh water aquaculture fish that is fast-growing, short-lived and mostly vegetarian. It is quite healthy to eat and converts food to body weight on a one to one ratio, which is the most efficient feed to food ratio we know of.

Asian carp are good to eat and are considered an invasive species in the Mississippi river system. If you like eating fish, do the environment a favor and eat Asian carp from the Mississippi.

"Live simply so others might simply live.
- Gandhi


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