- 60 gallons of poo & sawdust (we had another 5-gal bucket sitting around waiting)
- 4 sacos of balo leaves (balo is a tree here in Panama that grows amazingly)
- 6 ounces of yeast
- 8 cakes of raspadura (pressed sugar cane), mixed in about four gallons of water
- ~20 feet of tallo de platano (plantain or banana tree trunk), chopped
- 1 gallon of urine, mixed with about three gallons of water (our toilet seperates urine into a tank, and since urine is high in nitrogen it can be a valuable ingredient)
- 2 5-gallon tanques of soil
- 2 5-gallon tanques of finished compost from the last time
- 1 cartucha (plastic grocery bag) of carbon (ash from the school stove)
(See Chapter 7, page 144:
Complete pathogen destruction is guaranteed by arriving at a temperature of 62°C (143.6°F) for one hour, 50°C (122°F) for one day, 46°C (114.8°F) for one week or 43°C (109.4°F) for one month. It appears that no excreted pathogen can survive a temperature of 65°C (149°F) for more than a few minutes. A compost pile containing entrapped oxygen may rapidly rise to a temperature of 55°C (131°F) or above, or will maintain a temperature hot enough for a long enough period of time to destroy human pathogens beyond a detectable level (see Figure 7.6).)
So how did our pile do heating up? Here is a chart of the temperatures we found by poking around in the middle of the pile and the corners/edges, looking for high and low readings.
If you'd rather just see the numbers graphically, here is our high and low readings from the center of the pile, compared to the temperatures necessary to kill the bad stuff and how long they need to be maintained.
(You can see that our high (red) and low (grey) have exceeded in temperature and time even that needed to kill everything in one minute (single orange dot at 6:30am, just 18 hours after we started). Depending on your browser, you may be able to click on the chart to see it bigger.)
(The thermometer reading at a hot spot)
Needless to say, we have been thrilled at our sucess with getting the bocachi to heat up sufficiently. Look for a post soon on the beautiful soil that was produced by our first batch of bocashi and what we're growing in it.