Urine as compost agitator

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Yes, it works, and it works extremely well...

OK, it all sounds rather strange, and maybe even icky, collecting urine in a container and then putting it onto the compost heap or into the compost bin but that is what was done not so long ago in rural households anyway. In fact men and boys were sent outside to urinate onto the compost heap in the yard. Somewhere along the line the old ones knew more, it would appear, than we know today. We rather flush this valuable resource for garden and fields down the drain with gallons of fresh water right behind. A double waste.

I have written about the theory of this in an article before and then have put it to the test, as one should. The results are in, so to speak, and they are very positive. I do not know about the nitrate content but know that what normally would take up to three years, that is to turn whatever into compost in the compost bin, aka composer (the Dalek kind), has taken about three months and a bit, and that even without much of heat from the sun. By far a better result than from any commercial compost agitator tried and tested; the kind that you can buy in a garden center. I hasten to add that some of the content of the composter was also shredded paper and card and wood shaving from wood carving (being a spoon and treen carver) and not just vegetable peelings, leaves, grass clippings, and such.

All compost agitators, the ones you can buy in the garden centers, those that I have tried, have either had none to very little effect while “fresh” urine, on the other hand, went straight to work and did its job, and did its job well, and if what our ancestors did is any explanation then it has been doing this job well for generations and generations. They have used this valuable resource that is a waste product of our bodies and not just in the garden. It was used to tan leather and in the production of gun powder.

Not only do we, as far as gardeners, smallholders, and such, are concerned a valuable resource of nitrate flushing all the stuff down the drain, followed by gallons of potable water, also does our watercourses no good at all as it contaminates them with too much nitrate. So, using urine as in the compost is a win-win situation. It is also cheaper than any other compost agitator, most of which seem not to work, or not very well.

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