Castings safe for v veggie gardens?

by Karen
(Virginia )

Are worm castings generated from human waste safe for the vegetable garden and other edible plants?

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May 19, 2024
Pathogens in humanure NEW
by: Gayle

Red an article by the US Forest Service about Denali and human feces. A ranger, Roger Robinson, did a rather unscientific study using worms to compost feces that came off Denali. He had the compost tested and found that the resultant product was 99% pure. He added ash and some other product and was able to get it to 100% purity. Sorry - don't remember the other product.

May 09, 2022
Re: Are worm castings safe for veggie gardens
by: Stephan

Hello Karen,

sorry for the late reply but there seems to be always more to do than hours in the day in these crazy times.

We have been working and composting human waste for quite some time now under monitored conditions and have not noticed any kinds of diseases. Although the worms digestive system can remove quite a few pathogens from human and animal waste there are still chances for possible pathogen contaminations in the produced worm compost/castings once the waste has been processed by the worms.

To be safe we suggest to thoroughly thermophilic compost the humanure first before feeding them to the worms which if done properly will kill the overwhelming majority of all possible disease-causing pathogens during the process.

Another added step of safety is to let the composted humanure age for 24 months which should destroy any remaining pathogens in the compost.
A good guide for this is the "Joe Jenkins" method.

To find out some more about recycling humanure with the help of earthworms have a look at the following article Caroline wrote on our web pages.

Kind regards

Stephan Kloppert

Author of "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget"

Editor of

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