N E X T .

Soil Feeder: Fermenting My Everyday

2012-4 Organic Garden of Australian National University, Canberra

  • Ecosanitation as life practice ‧ composting research ‧ bio-pedagogic storytelling ‧ Black Soils

Collaboration with Gardens & Grounds, ANUgreen Sustainability Office, The Dirty Beanstalk, David Freudenberger, Karina Bontes Forward, Paul D’Arcy, and Hermann Paulenz.

In this two-year long, homemaking research, human ecology was explored on the most intimate level. Starting with minimal gardening expertise, returning human ‘waste’ sensitively back to the soil entailed foremost adeptness in the negotiations with campus facility management, environmental scientists, marginalised knowledges, and fellow student gardeners. The processes involved radically subjected personal life routines to seasonal rhythms, interexistent intuition, and fermentation successions of the Terra Preta cultivation method.

Soil Feeder was motivated by the quest to reclaim the agricultural potential of the human body and bring metabolic byproducts back to where they belong: the soil. Circumventing sanitation logistics and conventions, integrative fermentation was applied to grow new life out of toilet and kitchen ‘waste’.

Woody residues from campus landscapers helped balance the nutrients.
Scientific advisor David Freudenberger at pile of woody shreds with heat-releasing microbial life.
Organic Garden volunteers helping with clearing the Soil Feeder garden.
DIY-Biocharring with side benefits of feathery encounter and foot bath.
Urine ferment, acidy testing, and nutrients tracking.
Testing biochar quality by comparing weight fluctuations of input/output in composting trial.
Resulting black soils attract bio-diversity.
Soil Feeder
Bucket toilet for kitchen and toilet solids.
Soil Feeder
Mustard greens grown in black soil (top) and non-fertilised soil (bottom).
Soil Feeder
Terra Preta technique applied to bush environment of Canberra.