Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Noah Project

We arrived in Denver yesterday and drove three hours to Rush, only getting lost a couple of times. We were taken immediately to the home of Don and Nancy who are providing us great food and a comfortable place to sleep.

Today, we met with Jack Dody for about 7 hours of training. We are going through a textbook he wrote called The Noah Project, which you can download at www.christianhomesteaders.org. We took a tour of his home and property, took a tour of another house he is building down the road, and we spent the majority of time learning how to "hook up" a solar system. We climbed on his roof and checked out his system, and then moved inside to see how it all fit together.

My brain is swirling with words like amps, watts, inverters, chargers, volts, and batteries. I'm pretty sure I didn't understand most of what I heard today, but repetition is helping. Doug and I also got to practice soldering with a hand held unit and also a blow torch (yes, even me).

Jack and his wife, Marilou, are not hooked up to electricity or a water system. The Sun produces energy for them, and they catch rainwater on their roof for all their water needs. The rain gathers and flows to a 4000-gallon tank that sits under their bedroom floor. They filter their drinking water and all water from sinks and shower flow to an indoor flower bed. After it is used there, it is pumped out to water the garden and trees thay have planted. Nothing is wasted.

We also saw his "sawdust toilet" and all the steps their waste takes after it leaves the house. After you go to the bathroom (while sitting on a toilet seat placed over a 5-gallon bucket), you cover your waste with a couple of cups of sawdust.

When the bucket is full, you dump it in a compost pile outside, which is mixed with other waste food from inside and different things from outside (like leaves, charcoal, and animal manure). When the pile gets full enough, Jack will cover it and let God "cook" it for a year while he starts another pile. After a year, it is perfect for gardening and other uses. It's really made a difference for Jack out here on the high plains of Colorado. The ground here is a fine sand. How fortunate my mom is in Texas to have good soil and not have to go through this process to grow her garden!

Nevertheless, it was good to see nothing going to waste (no pun intended). This process would be very helpful for the sanitation problems in some countries. How blessed we are! I won't take flushing a toilet for granted again. I can't wait until I have my pictures to show you! I'm sure you can't wait to see them either!

I'm told the reason I'm tired at 6:45pm is because of the altitude. I don't know if that is the reason, but I'm going to take advantage of not having kids to put to bed and put myself to bed.


Stefanie Kellum said...

You got to use a BLOW TORCH?! So cool. I must admit I'm a bit jealous...except for that sawdust part. Ew.

Overall, I'm amazed at that lifestyle. Quite green and creative. :)

The Spears Family said...

WOW. Sawdust. I just want a semi-Western toilet(with a place to sit) :) Can't wait to see the pics!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the website. Sounds like a great experience for your family!