While we are showing off the new HDTS signs, I also wanted to remember to post the signs that just went up a few weeks ago at AZ West. With 35 acres all cobbled together – and with each parcel serving a different function – it’s becoming more and more important to help people find their destination on the property.
Skylar helped us figure out an economical way to build the metal frame and Randy Brill executed the router carving. Then Patrick and Marcus kept warm on a winter afternoon by digging 40″ holes and trying to get the whole thing leveled out in three directions.
Solar showers are high on our wish list as part of the new kitchen and bathroom area in the encampment. In order to try some preliminary tests with solar hot water we temporarily repurposed one of the composting toilets as a test shower. To do this we connected four sections of 50′ black garden hose together, then we connected that to a shower-head, last we added in mixers to control the hot/cold ratio of the water – and walla… a shower!
Reports from our lone resident were that the shower was warm in the mild November weather –but not long lasting and hot. I’m not sure if a long hot shower is even possible with a solar shower in November (average temps are in the low 50’s in the day), but it would be good to know if using the black hose is a better or worse strategy then using a black water tank. Anyone out there have any good answers for this?
Among the new amenities currently underway at the Wagon Station encampment are composting toilets. Being total novices to the world of composting, we thought we’d start with simple toilets that use five gallon buckets to collect the poop, then composting it in an official composting area closer to the future vegetable garden. The toilet enclosures were actually a lot of fun to make – we started out with a minimal plan and a pile of wood, but turned out pretty stylish!
The composting bins were conceptualized by Ari (and built once by dry stacking) and then remade with mortar by David Baker. Later on they will get a coat of white paint. According to the Humaneur Handbook, the “compost” should age for a year before we use it – hence the two sided bins. Cement block was used for the bins in order to keep out rodents (later lids will be added) and to keep moisture and humidity in.