The article in the Record-Eagle today may have given you the false impression that human waste was used on food-producing gardens at the Little Artshram site.
Let us be clear: NO HUMAN WASTE HAS EVER BEEN USED ON FOOD GARDENS AT LITTLE ARTSHRAM IN ITS SEVEN YEAR HISTORY.
This false rumor was started by a member of our gardening community. We have been informed that he is continuing to spread this false information. He notified the health department, and understandably, they immediately came to the gardens for an inspection. At their request, we removed the above-ground composting toilet that had been part of an educational program for four and half weeks, and we showed them the area that is beyond the food gardens (west of the gate) where this urine and small amount of feces was buried in a composting operation. Their inquiry is now closed, with no charges or citations.
As part of the overall inspection, a representative from the department of agriculture determined that the horse manure that was donated in good faith was not fully composted; this is the reason that we have discontinued the CSA program and the “charity garden.” Though the risk is small, we recognize that this is a serious issue, and fully support the decision that was made.
We understand both the fear and perceptions that our gardeners are dealing with. We also understand the seriousness and our responsibilities, but ask that false rumors be quelled immediately.
We also ask for support in speaking honestly to those who continue to fuel the false rumors.
All gardeners are invited to attend the Wednesday, August 17th potluck, at 6:00 pm at the Community Grove. A follow up report will be made on these issues, with updates on action taken, as well as reports from the Community Garden Working Groups, and a comprehensive composting demonstration.
The issue of human waste is one that pushes a lot of buttons in our civilized society, we invite you to peruse the Humanure Handbook which can be downloaded on line. We followed these guidelines, for our simple composting toilet, which includes NEVER PUTTING HUMAN WASTE on food producing gardens.
It’s with great regret that our beautiful Charity Garden will be dismantled on Sunday morning at 10:00 am, weather permitting. Please join us, and use this as an opportunity to strengthen our commitment to building a community rather than dividing us.
`penny Krebiehl, DIrectress and Rokko Jans, Little Artshram Board