Friday, 13 November 2009

Composting, Caddies, Clear out’s and Copious Amounts of Urine?



Winter is definitely on the way.  There is a distinct chill in the air and the sub-tropical’s are anxious for the first frost is looming.  Many garden bloggers have gone in to hibernation and in fact the same can be said for many gardeners as much of the focus throughout the land has now deviated from flowers and the typically aesthetic parts of gardening to Winter preparation.  I don’t like to be beaten by the seasons and inclement weather.  So what else is there for us to do?

At present I am looking towards more practical aspects that help us in our quest for garden greatness.  In my last post I discussed Tree O’Clock, a great tree planting drive from the BBC.  If you haven't heard about this click the link and muck in!  

In this article I will look at composting and its associated joys.  In an attempt to become the next Alys Raven (a combination of Alys Fowler’s thriftiness and Sarah Raven’s fabulousness) I have pictured my compost caddy which has sat in my kitchen for about two years now.  I imagine that if it were to appear in some garden magazine it would be pitched in the following way:  'A stylish must have for any bachelor pad.  This compost caddy is functional, versatile and perfect for the eco-minded among us'.  Then again, it is just a recycled ice bucket.  At the end of the day it does the job.  All of my uncooked food waste is placed into the caddy and this is then added to the compost bins along with garden waste, shredded paper, waste from the vacuum cleaner, dog hair, litter from the Rabbit cage, and some ash from the wood burner.  Some of the first batch of compost from the new bins has been utilised this Autumn and the rest will become Spring mulch and mixed in to a great potting medium.

Last weekend I cleared the garden in preparation for Winter and I have filled another compost bin with what was left from this years growth, a lot of foliage from herbaceous perennials, fallen leaves, and clippings from the hedge.   

When browsing the BBC news website this morning I stumbled upon an article discussing how gardeners at a National Trust Property in Cambridgeshire are utilising the power of urine.  The male gardeners have been asked to relieve themselves on a massive straw bale in an attempt to collect a great deal of compost activator.  I especially liked the line where women have been denied this joy for "logistical reasons".   You can read the full article here.  Of course, the reason I write about this is because it has got me thinking.  

Should I join in?  Has anyone tried this?  Or more specifically, is anyone game enough to admit it?

15 comments:

  1. Future toilets will capture urine for use as fertilizer, saving water for better things than flushing.

    For use now directly, dilute first.

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  2. Go on- pee on it. But don't let your other half see you!

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  3. I have worked in gardens where the male gardeners used the compost heap as they weren't allowed in the house, - the piles always produced great compost. - Female urine is more acid and has hormones in it, so not as good for the compost, - plus I always get invited into the house by my clients!!

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  4. I was given a book 'Liquid Gold' by Carol Steinfeld on the subject but have not have put the theory into practice yet :)

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  5. Hi Batman,
    Peelieve it or not, I have my son peeing around the yard on occasion. We live rurally, not a big deal to the neighbors. Have I noticed any difference? No, just less pee on the toilet seat inside now. :)

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  6. I am not ashamed to say I have used this method of activation. Plastic milk bottles come in handy and I have diluted it. And my hubby remarked " please tell me that's not what I think it is" when I took it up to the allotment. I tell you, the things I have done since taking on my allotment, even crawling into a water butt to screw on a new tap ! How else can you put a new one on ? I would love to know as it's still leaking, and I am not crawling in there again. Don't ask if the urine worked as I have never made compost before, but it was such good stuff, but who knows it could have been good anyway without it.

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  7. How can women be denied when the SheWee exists??

    http://www.campingsurvival.com/shmoplfuforw.html

    I dump used cat litter on the pile (cats are indoors only and don't have weird viruses and parasites), so the pile gets lots of urine from the cats. I also use an old kitty litter bin for collecting kitchen scraps - it has a lid and doesn't let out smells.

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  8. I usually just pee in the woods not on my compost pile...yet.

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  9. No, I haven't tried this....yet. I love your kitchen caddy. Mine's just the standard plastic run of the mill thing.

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  10. LOL...can't say I have ever heard of that one. I will have to check out the BBC news. I'm sure my boys would be happy to oblige in that effort. I am recruiting my son to help me build a compost bin on the side of our house, so neighbors might complain about the boys at the compost bin ...:0

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  11. I'm all for it, but he-who-lives-with-me still needs to be converted. My compost bin is tall and overlooked so the direct method would be logistically challenging to say the least.

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  12. Surely this idea came from Garden Question Time's Bob Flowerdew? He has been advocating adding urine to the compost heap for years.

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  13. There's an award for you on my blog, I hope you will accept it.

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  14. Well, any urine is better than none for activating compost in my experience. And surely it makes sense to use it this way, rather than waste water by using a toilet that then gets flushed, losing both the good qualities of the urine and yet more precious water.

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  15. What a waste of an ice bucket, it should be crammed full of cold, cold beer

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