The Great Urine Debate

There is a stealth movement in the United States to recycle human urine into fertilizer. It is a natural product for sure. It has been used in China and other places for millenia. It does not destroy soil biota. It only transmits disease if the donors are diseased. It is free. It is silly to flush urine into our drinking water system and pay big bucks to clean it out for drinking.  Guess where I stand on the issue.

I first discovered human urine as fertilizer after my mom and dad bought me a chemistry set when I was in second grade.  I was reading the chemistry book and discovered urea… and fell out laughing.  My dad told me that in China they used human urine as fertilizer and feces too!  I laughed even harder.  My dad was such a tease that I thought he was making fun of me.  Still… urine is urine, right?  So I went to the library (pre-internet) and looked it up.  Sure enough, the Chinese have used urine and feces for thousands of years.  Farmers even built privies on the side of roads to collect waste from travelers.  That’s called win-win.

Note that urea… market economy fertilizer from cattle urine… is already used on our food crops.  It is collected from cattle and not in test tubes either.  In fact the regulations are pretty lax and rarely enforced.  The marriage of corporations to government, eh?

So of course I tried it.  I diluted it with water and poured it carefully on the soil around my mom’s plants.  It worked.  Don’t tell my mom!  Never mind mom, don’t tell my dad, he would laugh like an old hyena.  Every time he caught me out he just laughed ’til he cried, but mom would swat my behind.  Then gripe dad out for getting me to do some dumb thing.  He could fool me until he died.  He was very plausible.  Every time I thought I caught him out it turned out he was right.  I still laugh remembering my dad.

I am the only one who eats from my garden so I am the only one I have to please.  Our urine is mild 3-3-3 or thereabouts fertilizer that gives yours plants a mild boost without burning soil organisms.  Plus I am creating a Food Forest and even the feds approve its use on trees and shrubs.  They are leary of annuals because of splashback.  As for disease, you cannot spread disease if you are not diseased.  I don’t have disease and I am not excreting drugs.

It really is one more link in the circular economy at my house.  It does improve performance of the compost pile, a plus at my cold mountain trailerstead.  Reduce Reuse Recycle… you heard it here first.

I have full confidence in the soil biota that has been processing wildlife urine for eons.  They know their job.

Please don’t think you need to try this at home… although I think most m-e-n already have.


About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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One Response to The Great Urine Debate

  1. Pingback: The Great Urine Debate | treeseeddreaming | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

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