Home made fertilizer from Urine?
In a recently released study on US Food, Fiber, Feed, and Fuel -- production and demand over the next 50 years in the Southwest Farm Press, it was concluded that "with a growing population and increased demand for food and fuel, research regarding nutrient use, recovery, and recycling is crucial." This means all nutrients. Can we recycle urine successfully away from the waste water treatment plant? Can that act reduce our carbon foot print and make lower cost food? The answers below from the EU and a German University explain how. Are these publications a sufficient arguement to the value of urine re-processed on-site as a valuable tool? Maybe.
A customer recently asked me what they could do with the ashes from their fire pit. I knew that they are constructive, but I wasn't sure about concentrations etc.
In my weekend reading, I came across the following article in the Stockman GrassFarmer written by Allan Nation:
"The ashes should be scattered before planting season and growing plants side-dressed with wood ash periodically about five inches from the plant. This side dressing will keep snails and slugs out of your plants in a addition to fertilizing them. Wood ash also stabilizes fruit sugars and allows vegetables to better resist diseases.
A recent article in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry reported that wood ash mixed into human urine far out-performed chemical fertilizers in gardening trials. The Journal said tomato yield increased by 400 percent over conventional fertilizers and showed a response equal to 135 pounds of N per acre."
This is definitely something to consider. I hope that this idea of home-made fertilizer will catch one somewhere (i.e. maybe South Austin?). One product that may make great sense here is biochar. It can help control smells and capture the nitrogen. The Bokchar (Bokashi & Biochar combo)/Bokashi PLUS might make real sense and are worth a trial comparison!
Here is a pamphlet sponsred by the European UNion and put out by 'Women in Europe for a Common Future - WECF' www.wecf.eu Scroll further for German sponsored pamphlet designed for Ghana which has some better ideas on how much urine can contribute to your soil. According to that calculation, each person generates enough urine to fertilize approx. 2,000 square feet of heavy feeding vegetables such as tomatoes. Low demand crops such as Lettuce, beans etc., could get away with 25% of that rate, or enough for 8,000 square feet. Stunning.
Here is an authoritative Youtube video on the subject featuring the attractive blond in a little black dress - Novalee Truesdell: (note: Fast forward to about 5:44 in the video)