[permaculture] human urine as fertilizer

Dick Pierce dickpiercedesigns at gmail.com
Tue Mar 10 12:03:58 EDT 2009

Yahoo, Yippppeee! My original teacher and inspiration was/is Anna Edey. So
glad you brought her up. Our MV-PDC Class had a wonderful visit with Anna at
Sol Viva last Sept. A lovely person, a lovely place - we'll re-visit during
PDC Course in Sept 2009.

I agree, she and her book "Sol Viva" are inspirational, implementable, and
way down to earth. The book has an interesting sub-chapter on how she and
her young daughter discovered the use/value of urine as fertilizer. I highly
recommend it for folks wanting to get off the grid, elegantly. Anna's web
site is: www.solviva.com.

My other guru and mentor is Carol Steinfeld. She is a noted author,
consultant, and lecturer. Her web site is: http://www.carol-steinfeld.com/.
S Read's asked her the following question on hormones:

"I was wondering if Carol Steinfeld or others had much/anything to say on
the diff between using male or female derived human urine? There are often
quoted but rarely referenced by people to hormone content etc in XX urine
esp when  using contraceptive pill. When this is added to the oestrogenic
homonal input into XY's thru diet/breakdown products of pesticides/others
there's apparently a problem (?) Another quoted thing is a real or perceived
problem with pharmaceuticals  excreted in the urine flow, perhaps someone
has some good references/facts?"

Her answer was:

"For the guy in France: Studies show that hormones appear to disaggregate
when in a complex biologically rich system, such as an ecological wastewater
system. What nature put together, nature can take apart. Will hormones get
taken up by plants? I haven't found a study that shows that. That would be a
good study.

There are many ways hormones from humans and animals could get to farmed
food with current practices. If there is concern, one might run their urine
through a planted system or even just a planter filled with rocks, to be
sure there was some biological treatment first." [careful: note the question
and reply are re: urine, not combined human manure - might be the same
answer, but question wasn't asked and I don't know]

I'd highly recommend reading Sol Via, visiting Anna's web site - same for
Carol's books and website. She also is a well-regarded international

Good luck. Let's Go for the Gold!

Dick Pierce

On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 10:26 AM, Lisa Rollens <rollens at fidnet.com> wrote:

> Dick,  Have you read Solviva, by Anne Edey?  You can also get additional
> info at solviva.com  She designed a flushable composting toilet...right
> there on Martha's Vineyard, that seems to be a great solution to the
> problem.  Black water drains away and solids go into a carbon source
> (chopped leaves) with earthworms.  Apparently everything decomposes at an
> incredible rate, even in winter.  As a matter of fact, I think I am going
> to
> send for the plans and try it.  Down here in southern MO we have Karst
> topography and the soil drains too well...right down to the underground
> water...nitrogen and all. Check it out.  Lisa
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dick Pierce" <dickpiercedesigns at gmail.com>
> To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:45 AM
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] human urine as fertilizer
>  > Thanks for the dialogue, interest and opinions. I'm afraid that I
> didn't
> > say
> > it well enough - Martha's Vineyard is a small island off the coast of
> > Mass.,
> > USA. The overwhelming majority of sewage is processed by septic systems
> at
> > individual homes, no island-wide septic/sewage. "Individual" in my
> > context is meant to convey an individual household.
> >
> > I fully agree that Bears do it [right], and humans can also - pee/poop in
> > the woods. The "cat scratch" is also an elegantly simple way of nature
> > worth
> > emulating. And, the Orchard Toilet is a good model from this. I'm all for
> > difusing waste into nature and natural processes - want us all to move
> > toward that. Also believe fervently, as you do, in moving away from large
> > quantities of human waste that is collected [and neglected or] handled by
> > industrial processes.
> >
> > My start on this path is to separate my [individual] urine and use it to
> > help my comopst along - a very individual-family and natural process - or
> > to
> > dilute it and use it as fertilizer on our family garden. My plan is to
> > move
> > away from [or never join] large, industrial processes for anything. I
> also
> > plan to read/study further on what is and stays in urine and what is and
> > stays in poop - both good/bad and what Nature can/does break down to
> > good/harmless and what it can not.
> >
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