Sacred Garden Sanctuary News Issue #002 July 2009

Welcome to the second issue of Sacred Garden Sanctuary News!

Once again we've accomplished significant projects, inching us closer to our goals. 

Wishing all our supporters and interested parties a wonderful month of July!

In This Issue:

1) Nyagen concrete cover/floor completed

2) An inexpensive gravity-fed water tank

3) Updated Accomplishments and Future Plans

1) Nyagen Concrete Cover/Floor Completed!

What is a Nyagen? Michael Grainge discovered this while in the Peace Corps in Africa. It is a simple hole-in-the-ground squat toilet, covered with concrete. A lid over the toilet keeps out flies and keeps odors in. We are enhancing the design by adding a 4" vent pipe which will carry away odors and help dry out the contents, a feature of nearly all modern composting toilets. 

Soon, we will build a dome over it, adding a shower in the process, and pouring concrete around it to finish the dome floor.

For pictures and video see

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2) An Inexpensive Water Tank System




We have designed and built an inexpensive water tank system, providing us with over 400 gallons of capacity. For more details, see An Inexpensive Water Tank for Gravity Fed Systems

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3) Updated Accomplishments and Future Plans

  • We will be setting up Michael Grainge with his camper-trailer and two small (10') adobe domes which will be connected together (but separate from the camper-trailer). His space will be located on Terrace #3 (the lower terrace). Michael is going to set up his own garden in raised beds, because most of the soil in his area is subsoil fill which is rocky and lacking in organic matter. He is purchasing his solar system (approximately $3000) and will pay for materials for the domes, which should be substantially less than $1000. UPDATE: Michael's solar panels have come in, we are waiting for the inverter and charge controller, but are working on mounting the panels in the meantime.
  • We had some heavy rains to test our swale berms, and had four blow-out spots. We quickly repaired them and made them higher than they originally were. When the next rains come, we may have one or two more blow-outs if the storm is strong enough, but with the current work done, the swale capacity should be substantially increased.
  • Add another shelf to the toolshed and better organize the tools.
  • Rent a Ditch Witch to dig a trench for the main water line and side-branches and bury all water lines.
  • Bury 12V line going to guest camper.
  • Install shade structure between two guest campers.
  • Move and fix up the guest shower house, put a roof on it with a clearstory window on the south side for winter heat gain. Build a better solar collector with an old water heater.
  • Install a bathroom sink on the outside of the toilet house for washing hands.
  • Fix the diesel generator starter.
  • Road repair using available gravel in our garden areas has gone well. We will be raking one area of the road where it is particularly rocky and placing the larger stones in mud holes where the water leaves the valley area. 

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