Saturday, 29 May 2010


"In former times, alchemists tried to turn ordinary materials into gold. Modern society is inclined to laugh at the very idea, but is itself based on something foolish; to take pristine natural resources and turn them into pollution. It is a kind of alchemy in reverse."
Peter Harper & Dave Thorpe

The picture shows my reverse reverse alchemy installation. It takes waste and turns it into compost. In permaculture this is called linking: taking the output of one process as the input of another. I didn't want to use artificial fertilizer, since nitrogen fixation takes a lot of energy, and peak phosphate has been projected to occur around 2030. And I also didn't want to buy compost, as I "don't believe in impoverishing one part of the Earth in order to enrich another"+. So I built this outhouse out of scrap wood. It's a great place to watch the birds in the hedge and to think globally, act locally.

+Michael & Julia Guerra in: Patrick Whitefield (2004) The Earth care manual

1 comment:

  1. Great quotation. Reverse reverse alchemy is the way to go. (o: Cheers, Andy